First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
JBL SCS260-6 Home Theatre Speakers
- Small and attractive, good sound quality, can reach high volumes without distortion
- High frequency sound a little piercing, more awkward to set up than most speakers
A good set of home theatre speakers for people who want decent power but a small form factor.
Price$ 1,199.00 (AUD)
JBL's SCS260-6 is a great set of 6.1 Home Theatre speakers with excellent design, audio performance and styling. Though they may seem slightly expensive and come with a few flaws, lower priced home theatre systems can't touch the quality of these speakers. They're also small, making them an ideal companion for the user who likes powerful sound, but doesn't want metre high speakers to achieve it.
Sound quality is of course the most important factor for any speaker system and the SCS260 did not disappoint in this regard. First off, we ran through a selection of DVDs to assess the impact of the speakers. Using our favourite scene from The Incredibles, we were impressed by the clarity of the surround field and the differentiation between directions. The whole sound range was reproduced beautifully with good synergy between the satellites and the subwoofer. Moving on to the siege of Gondor from Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King we were also impressed, with powerful bass rocking the room as the battle raged.
We also tested a variety of music and it was fairly impressive. From the orchestral sounds and shrill tones of Sigur Ros to the deeper and more varied sound of the Eels we found music to possess great warmth and depth. Our one complaint would be that tones from the higher frequencies occasionally sounded a little piercing and lacked the separation we would have liked. The speakers are rated to a maximum input of 100W and as such handled high volumes with ease, with no noticeable distortion until we reached extremely high levels.
Setting up the SCS260 is a more involved process than is usually the case with surround sound speakers. Each of the six identical speakers needs to be attached to plastic stands or wall mounts. They can't stand up on their own. In an effort to tidy away the speaker cables, JBL has drilled holes in the plastic mounts so that the wires can feed through the innards of the stands and out the bottom. While this does indeed keep the wires out of the way it leads to several annoying problems. As the stands are fairly slender and the holes relatively small, if you wanted to use high quality speaker cables, which are likely to have a wide diameter, you'll be out of luck with this system.
JBL has also gone against the trend of most home theatre companies by omitting colour coded wiring. We always find this helps setting up systems with multiple speakers. This leads to a second minor problem with the stands. Once the wires are inside the stands it becomes impossible to tell which wires are connected to the positive and negative terminals. We had to unscrew the stands so as not to make a mistake when connecting them to our AV receiver. The final problem with the stands is that really they aren't very adept at standing. The slightest knock will cause the speakers to go tumbling, so be aware of this when you are placing them.
Once everything is set up, however, it looks great. Each of the satellites is fairly diminutive meaning they are quite unobtrusive and suited to a smaller room. The six speakers are all finished in an attractive silver colour, with matching meshing over the front. Removing the mesh reveals that each speaker contains dual three inch midrange drivers and a half inch tweeter. The subwoofer is finished in an attractive silver mesh pattern which matches the speakers perfectly. The subwoofer also carries a separate bass level control.
Overall the SCS260 is a great system, with attractive looks and good sound. Though the system appears best suited to film soundtracks, it is certainly more than capable of producing great sound from music.
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GGG Evaluation Team
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