Remember the JBL MX100 Sound Station we featured last week? We were able to secure a demo unit and we’ve been testing it over the weekend. We tested a variety of song genres, set-ups (including hooking it up to our home theater system), and playing from different audio sources like CD, FM, and iOS devices. Here’s a quick summary of the review just in case you’re in a rush. The in-depth look follows after. 🙂
- Superb sound quality across all genres. Will expound more below.
- Gorgeous, sleek, and modern design makes it blend with your furniture at home.
- Versatile player, audio from almost all kinds of devices. Only thing lacking is bluetooth!
- Built-in loudspeakers are… er… loud! We maxed volume and the songs were heard at the lobby of our condominium (we’re at the 4th floor).
- Price might be not affordable for everyone.
- No subwoofer but you can add one to make it a complete audio system for your living room.
- If you can afford it I can’t see any reason whatsoever not to buy it. 🙂
Unboxing the JBL MX100 Sound Station is an experience in itself. You can almost feel and imagine the pulsating power of this audio beast raring to get released from it’s cage into the wild! Actually you can even call this an audio gorilla for it’s size and weight considering it’s one of the heaviest iPod docks at 18 lbs. Don’t get me wrong though. This isn’t some primitive audio system. When you take away the plastics you’ll be amazed to find a beautifully designed, elegant, and modern sound machine.
The digital display is at the top of the sound station and it displays the time, what song you’re playing, and the audio source. At the side you’ll find the controls which are also all lighted. There’s the power button, volume, next/previous, and source changer. The CD slot is at the front and you can easily just pop-in a CD you want to listen to. For the iPod/iPhone dock you just have to connect it to the other side and insert your iOS device. Oh, note that this has GSM shielding so there’s no need for you to turn your iPhone to Airplane mode to avoid to ticking sounds when you have incoming messages or calls. For the I/O there are several that you’ll find at the back including analog, RCA, Composite and S-video output, and headphone/subwoofer outputs. In other words this thing is a complete solution for all of your audio needs at home!
Now let’s talk about sound quality. We played a variety of songs. First up we tried acoustic guitar tunes from the Korean superstar Sungha Jung. We listened to his renditions of With our Without You and Mission Impossible. The sound was very crisp, clear, and you can literally almost imagine the kid plucking away in front of you.
We decided to shake things up a bit after and tried disco songs like the legendary Boracay anthem — Bonnie Bailey’s Ever after. It was audio bliss. The song never sounded so good before. The bass was powerful and punchy while the other instruments and the vocals were distinctly separated and audible.
How about something more complex like orchestra? We popped in the OST of Kingdom Hearts and listened to Nobuo Uematsu‘s orchestra version of Simple and Clean. Again the sound was phenomenal. The string instruments were very detailed and refined and the drums and trumpets pounded with authority. I ended up downloading more orchestra songs because it was such an enjoyable experience.
We also tried rock(30 Seconds to Mars’ This is War), love songs (Ben Rector’s White Dress), and other genres (One Republic’s Secrets) and the results were the same – fantastic sound quality.
So what’s the catch? There has to be something wrong, right? Well, other than the price, the only thing we found lacking was a built-in amp or EQ. That’s about it.
Like what we said above if you love listening to music and you can afford it (Php34,499 price tag), the JBL MX100 is one of the best all-around solutions you can have for your living room or office.