Testing the JBL TL260 LE loudspeaker system

JBL TL260 LE loudspeakers with dynamic sound and extra deep bass. We really liked how much fun and drive they had playing pop and rock music, the Americans did a great job with dance rhythms as well. The speakers will be great frontal pair in a good home theater.

Test:Denis GONCHAROV, Consumer magazine. Video & Audio




The American company JBL celebrated its 60th anniversary not only with the Everest DD66000 reference speakers, available only to millionaires. For music lovers with more modest means the company prepared another surprise: a remake of L250 models – the most popular speakers in the family of “home” speakers in the history of JBL. Introduced in 1982, the L250s have been continuously improved until JBL introduces the latest Limited Edition version of the TL260.

Without touching the trapezoidal design, the developers of JBL added new content to the old form, equipping TL260 LE with modern drivers and crossovers, in addition the speakers gained another speaker hypertwister , becoming a 5-way. The speaker baffle is made of 40mm MDF sheet and the cabinet is bound inside with cable ties and bulkheads. Along with the slanted side panel, the front of the speakers is slightly tilted back, on the back side of the cabinet comes the proprietary FreeFlow port.

The TL260 LE drivers weren’t designed from scratch, but were built with speakers with a proven track record. The TL260 LE’s SSP Strait-Line Signal Path crossover frequencies are 0.28, 1.2, 4.5 and 20 kHz. The Hi-Jack features a 19mm mylar dome on a die-cast aluminum chassis.

Sound directivity of the hypertweeter is controlled by a deep Bi-Radial horn, which provides wide dispersion of sound in the horizontal plane 60° , narrowing it, on the contrary, in the vertical 30° . Tweeter with aluminum chassis and 25 mm diameter full-titanium dome framed by a plastic liner with a specially designed Elliptical Oblate Spheroidal profile and vertical breakup plate. The overlay acts as an acoustic lens to adjust the directivity of the high frequencies.

Midrange and midwoofer have a diameter of 100 mm and 150 mm, respectively. Both speakers are equipped with aluminum baskets, motors with Heatscape overheat protection and magnetic shielding. Driver diaphragms are constructed using our proprietary PolyPlas technology: a special polymer coating is applied to the paper backing to radically increase cone rigidity without adding much weight.

The TL260 LE features a 300mm PolyPlas cone, an enlarged Kapton voice coil and a Symmetrical Field Geometry SFG magnet system with a shorting magnet ring. For the finish of the TL260 LE JBL designers have provided only one option: black royal lacquer.


Strong points of TL260 LE – deep bass and uninhibited dynamics of sound in the lower octaves, these features sound American, you pay attention first of all. Tonal balance of the speakers at first glance seems pretty even, but prolonged listening reveals some accents on the edges of the frequency spectrum: treble and bass splashes TL260 LE plays in a good bright, but in general, legible middle part is slightly recessed into the scene.

At the same time, the speakers are no strangers to emotion, though we liked the reproduction of male vocals a bit more, probably due to the convex delivery of the lower middle. Particularly expressive was the voice of Tom Waits, with its characteristic gruff huskiness and solidity of the lower timbres. Speakers give a lot of details and air in the upper frequencies, cymbals loops are elaborated in detail, after-sounds are not cut off on the way to the last octave, but clearly traced up to the very top, the hi-hat is fast and sharp.

The musical scene of TL260 LE builds up with a large span in width, evenly and correctly arranging the virtual objects on the fronts, a good localization is not lost on the side edges of the stereo image. The depth of the scene is usually represented by several echelons, the front layers are always contrasting and at times slightly forward, the rear ones are elaborated in a little less detail, but I liked the realistic transfer of bass source sizes.

Although the resolution is not enough for full symphonic music reproduction, TL260 LE speakers handle the construction of a quality scene in recordings of small ensembles and chamber ensembles well. The disadvantages of the speakers are the slight coloration of the sound in the upper bass and low midrange, moreover, the midrange lacks the finesse in the processing of the fine structure of overtones.

Price: 74 990 Dollars.

Floor-standing acoustics



The multi-band configuration of the TL260 LE is reflected in the complex behavior of the impedance, which in most of the frequency range varies smoothly and stays in the corridor from 3.8 ohms 125 Hz to 8.7 ohms 6.5 kHz . The only concern is the unevenness around 125 Hz, the bass driver exhibits harmonics of this resonance at 250 and 500 Hz.

Anyway, on the total AFC we do not see any strong resonances: the unevenness of the AFC is within +/-3,5 dB up to 12 kHz, the lower limit of the working range by +/-3 dB level is 32 Hz. The speakers have a wide dispersion pattern, although in the direction of 30° from the axis at frequencies above 12.5 kHz appear sharp modulation sensitivity.

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