JBL Cinema Sound CS680
- Clear and powerful output
- Bass is sluggish at times, Speakers fall over easily when not wall-mounted
For a heavily bass-driven system, the CS680 speakers perform very well across the range, but they do struggle to reproduce fast and punch bass.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
JBL's Cinema Sound CS680 speakers, the upgraded version of the JBL Cinema Sound CS460, come with a bigger sub and slightly more conventional design. Delivering more power and a distinctly different sound, the CS680 is an excellent option for bass-hungry users, but as a high-end piece of home theatre equipment, it does have a few notable flaws.
Generally, sound quality on the CS680 is incredibly good. Treble and mid-range frequencies are clear and well defined, and they played out well during our tests. Bass performance, despite being powerful, did tend to lack a little definition and clarity at higher volumes. Bass tends to be slow and rumbling on this system - great for explosions and atmospheric music. The system's handling of punchy electronic music and tracks with fast and jumpy bass-lines didn't quite live up to what we'd expect from a system at this price level, as bass performance during these tracks was sluggish. Apart from this, however, the speakers deliver a well-balanced mix of sound.
This great sound quality did start to slightly deteriorate at higher volumes; however, the amount of power that this system delivers means that all but the craziest users won't need to venture much further than about the 70 percent volume mark. With an 8in, 125W subwoofer, and with each of the five speakers having 3.5in woofers, the amount of bass this system can generate is substantial. Bass-fiends will be well pleased with the CS680's ability to shake walls and rattle windows!
Setting up the speakers is a fairly standard process, and it took us about 20 minutes from opening the box to switching the unit on. As with the JBL Cinema Sound CS460, optional speaker stands are available for the CS680. The speakers themselves don't come with a receiver, so users will need a receiver with outputs for a 5.1 system.
Unlike the Cinema Sound CS460, the CS680 actually has quite a standard look. The speakers are roughly cylindrical, standing upright, and the entire ensemble has an attractive silver-trimmed-black finish. Suitable for most living room decors, the only fault we could find with the design was the fact that the cylindrical speakers, standing vertically, are susceptible to being knocked over. The included wall mounting brackets, however, provide an elegant solution to this problem.
JBL's Cinema Sound CS680 speaker package comes across as being targeted specifically towards users who are after slow and rumbling bass. Those who listen to material that has a lot of quick and punchy bass may be better served by different speakers.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
- Denon's latest S-Series A/V receivers are built for 4K Ultra HD video and 3D audio
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCData Center ArchitectNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (JAVA/Windows Programming) 160422/AP/544Asia
- CCSr. Business Analyst - ServicePLUSVIC
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- CCSenior AGILE Business AnalystNSW
- CCLead Administrator - Network and SecurityNSW
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCSenior IT Business AnalystVIC
- FTSoftware Design Engineer (Embedded Software)SA
- FTSoftware (.Net) DeveloperACT
- FTSenior Project Manager, SoftwareNSW
- CCTransition Program ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW
- CCWeb AdministratorACT
- CCTechnical ExpertVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - HealthcareVIC
- CCFront End DeveloperVIC
- CCAnalyst Programmer (Lotus Notes/Networking) 160504/AP/781Asia
- CCSolutions Architect - Network and InfrastructureNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperSA
- CCNV1 | System admin with SQL server experience for Defence Application SupportACT
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect (Security)NSW
- FTITSM Head of Service Desk & SwitchboardACT