Home Theater Review

 

JBL Project Array 1400 Array Loudspeaker

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HTR Product Rating

Performance
4 Stars
Value
3 Stars
Overall
3.5 Stars

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The JBL Project Array series of home theater and music loudspeakers is one of JBL's high-end speaker lines, incorporating professional-quality drivers and a number of unique design aspects in its quest to deliver exceptional sound quality. The 1400 Array (suggested retail price: $5,500 each) is the top of the line Project Array loudspeaker.

Additional Resources
Read a review of the top of the line JBL Project Everest speakers from HomeTheaterReview.com.

The 3-way 1400 Array loudspeaker utilizes JBL compression drivers in conjunction with a conventional dynamic (cone) woofer, a configuration that is also employed in the company's professional loudspeakers used in movie theaters. Measuring 46.5 inches high by 15.5 inches wide by 19 inches deep and weighing a massive 115 pounds, the 1400 Array features a one-inch pure titanium ultra-high-frequency compression driver that extends out to 40kHz, a three-inch aluminum-dome midrange/high-frequency compression driver and a 14-inch Aquaplas-treated paper-cone woofer (Aquaplas is used to damp the cone and give it a smoother, tighter bass response). The speaker's frequency response is 32Hz - 20kHz; it is rated at eight ohms nominal impedance with an 89 dB sensitivity. The Array 1400 is available in a lacquered wood finish with black trim and grille cloth.

One of the 1400 Array's distinctive design attributes is that the ultra-high frequency and midrange/high-frequency drivers are mounted in an integrated, vertical JBL Bi-Radial horn assembly that is mounted on top of the speaker without any enclosure. This cabinet-free mounting design is intended to reduce enclosure colorations and optimize dispersion.

The sonic strengths of compression drivers are exceptional dynamic range, wide dispersion, high efficiency and excellent transient response. These qualities are very much in evidence in the JBL Array 1400. The speaker delivers music and dialogue with an effortless, unstrained quality, even at high playback volumes. For those who have never heard compression drivers and horns done right, the Array 1400's superb dynamic response, from whisper-quiet to loud and then louder, may come as a revelation. Check your preconceived notions (trebly, beamy) of what horn loudspeakers might sound like at the listening room door - the midrange and treble are natural and articulate without being strident or harsh, and the bi-radial horns blend well with the woofer as long as you're not sitting too close to the speaker. And yes, the speakers can image well and produce a realistic soundstage. As you might guess, the 14-inch woofer delivers punchy, powerful and extended bass - no need to augment the 1400 Array with a subwoofer (but if you want to, the 15-inch, 1000-watt model 1500 Array subwoofer is available).

Competition and Comparison
To compare the JBL Project Array 1400 loudspeaker against its competition, read our reviews for the Dynaudio Sapphire loudspeaker
 and the MartinLogan Summit loudspeaker.  You can also find a great deal more information available to you in the Floorstanding Speaker section or on the JBL brand page.

High Points
• The 1400 Array's professional-quality compression drivers deliver exceptional dynamic capability and transient response, along with excellent dispersion.
• The 1400 Array is a true full-range speaker with bass response down to 32Hz.
• These speakers can play loud and clear and easily fill a medium-to-large-sized room with plenty of sound.


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