These classic 8-inch bookshelf loudspeakers from JBL offer the absolute best acoustic performance from a pair in their price range.

Sporting the 70s vintage styling found on the larger L100 Classic, JBL’s L82 brings the beautiful design and advance acoustic technologies into a more compact cabinet.

  • Retro design with iconic JBL styling and vintage Quadrex foam grille in a choice of three colors: black, orange, or blue
  • Genuine satin walnut wood veneer enclosure with black front and rear panels
  • 8-inch white cone, pure pulp woofer with cast frame
  • 1-inch titanium dome tweeter with waveguide
  • Bass-reflex design with front-firing port
  • High-frequency L-pad attenuator
  • Matching JS-80 floor stands available (sold separately)

The modern acoustic compontents are housed in a genuine walnut satin wood veneer cabinet, fronted by a unique Quadrex foam grille available in three colours, black, orange or blue. The grille is held in with pegs and can be easily removed. The wood is the same dark colour for all colour options. Each speaker comes in at a weighty 28lb.

The L82 features a 2-way design, with a powerful 8-inch cast frame white pure pulp cone woofer operating in a bass-reflex design with a front firing tuned port. The 1-inch (25mm) titanium dome tweeter and shallow waveguide found on the L82 come directly from the L100.

A high frequency L-pad attenuator allows you to customise the output to tailor the sound, giving you control over the upper frequency response. The knob controls a large portion of the frequency range, changing the sound significantly making the song brighter or darker as desired. This is rare to see on passive speakers, as they require external amplifiers and thus no digital signal processing on-board.

Many 2-way design speakers struggle in producing a smooth transition between the lows and highs, however the tweeter is sufficient at hitting lower notes to smooth out the transition.

An asymmetrical speaker layout leads to the tweeter position being mirrored on each speaker. Swapping the speakers around, placing the tweeters on the inside or outside edge, adjusts the soundstage giving you a narrower or wider sound.

The speakers produce fantastic, large room filling sound, with an expansive soundstage, despite its small size. JBL keep the sound fairly accurate, without colouring the sound, exaggerating the bass or pumping the highs too much. The L82s slightly emphasis the midbass, but this is dependent on position. No need for a subwoofer, as the speakers comfortably hit lows of around 30Hz. They can be turned up to uncomfortably loud levels without distortion. The pair could double as studio monitors, though this is not where the speakers shine.

For a full in-depth analysis on how accurately it produces sound, head to TNW. TNW provide Quasi-anechoic Spinoramas and contour plot/polar maps on and off axis, plus a guide on how to read it. The outcome shows the L82 performs very well for a passive design without a built-in digital EQ, with a little messiness in direct sound around 1-2kHz that is mostly inaudible. The speakers accurately produce most audible sound. The result are almost identical to what JBL provide, that shows they’re not hiding anything. For more accurate results, you’ll need to look at active speakers or true studio monitors.

The L82s can be used with JBL’s JS-80 floor stands, which come in at $250 a pair, to be used in a freestanding environment, angling the speakers gently backwards and focus the sound to the listening position.

JBL’s L82 Classic doesn’t come cheap at $2499.98, but as stated, if that’s your budget these aren’t to be missed.