JBL SCS300.7 Surround Cinema Speakers Reviewed

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When the clock in the publishing office strikes 3 p.m., a sense of excitement that's been building all afternoon reaches a crescendo. It's at this time of day delivery people arrive with new electronic products for the editorial staff to test. It's almost like Christmas every day of the week. Many of the products we test are delivered after we've requested (or sometimes begged) for them, while others arrive unsolicited. It's the unsolicited products and the great companies that provide them that make my job easier and more enjoyable. That is, if my job could get easier or more enjoyable.

One company intent on getting the word out on their products is JBL. When a new JBL product arrives, I know it must be something special because the folks at JBL are proud of their electronics and want everyone to experience them. During a recent delivery from the Santa in the big brown truck, I yielded a new loudspeaker ensemble from JBL. The new system, part of the Surround Cinema Speaker (SCS) line, is a 7.1 surround sound speaker system perfect for complementing a flat panel display.

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Unique Features - There are hundreds of speaker systems on the market for confined listening environments and flat panel applications. Just about every manufacturer has jumped on the small speaker bandwagon. But the seven slender speakers in the JBL SCS300.7 ensemble are small without sacrificing sound quality. They are accompanied by a brawny 10-inch powered subwoofer for a complete home theater loudspeaker package.

The SCS300.7 has six identical vertical satellite speakers and a corresponding horizontal center channel. Each of the nearly one foot tall satellites has a uniquely designed cabinet with shapely curves and an attractive faux-metal removable grille. The center channel looks identical to the satellite speakers, but is designed to rest on its side. The speakers all share the same dual three-inch midrange driver
design with a center mounted half-inch titanium-laminate dome tweeter between them. The two-tone silver cabinets that house the three speakers have a curved bottom so they cannot stand upright on a shelf on their own. Therefore, JBL includes both wall brackets and small table stands for the sats and center channel. FS1000 floor stands sold in pairs are optional accessories for the 300.7 system.

With a 150-watt power amplifier, the subwoofer included in the system fits well with the satellites. The bass-reflex enclosure has a downfiring 10-inch woofer and port on the front baffle. The cabinet has a dark carbon-fiber looking vinyl laminate on the top and front, with silver side panels to match the satellites. Connection options for the subwoofer are plentiful. On the rear panel of the cabinet, you'll find stereo speaker-level inputs and outputs, line-level inputs and a dedicated LFE/RCA input.
Click to Page 2 for Installation, Listening, and the Final Take.

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