JBL ES900 Cinepack
Stunning sound quality from an impressive 5.1 speaker package
- Incredible sound quality, ability to adjust subwoofer
- Audiophile price tag
JBL's ES900 Cinepack offers amazing quality and depth of sound, even if it's at a price not many can afford.
Price$ 3,496.00 (AUD)
The ES900 Cinepack, which joins the ES800 and ES1000 in JBL's new line of home theatre surround sound packages, delivers great sound. Its only flaw is the audiophile-grade price.
The ES900 Cinepack, comprising two floorstanding speakers, two bookshelf speakers, a centre speaker and a subwoofer, is a very large and imposing setup. Delivered in five separate boxes, it's not light — weighing almost 83 kilograms in total. This weight is justified though: the units have an impressive build quality and are finished in a black ash veneer. JBL has not bundled a surround sound receiver or amplifier with the system. This might be a failing for a cheaper unit, but the market for the ES900 Cinepack is audio enthusiasts who already have dedicated amplifiers and sources.
The package's focus is understandably on the two floor-standing speakers, which serve the front left and right stereo channels. (They are available separately as JBL's ES90 speakers.) They are quadruple driver speakers: they have individual elements dedicated to different ranges (bass, treble, and mid-range). This allows for a better and more unified balance of sounds. The centre speaker and the two surround bookshelf speakers play a secondary role. The centre speaker is more than capable for movies, with a focus on mid-range, which means it is well suited to vocals and movie dialogue. The surround speakers are equally capable and do a good job of adding separation to positional audio.
The five speakers of the system are complemented by JBL's ES150 subwoofer. It's a 10in driver. This may seem small by home theatre standards, but it has a massive amount of power. It runs off its own built-in amplifier, which allows for the volume and frequency cut-off of the subwoofer to be set manually. We found this useful when setting the ES900 Cinepack up: it allows you to adjust the subwoofer to the room size. The subwoofer can handle incredibly loud volumes without any evident distortion. Bass was consistently punchy at all volumes, with a reasonably quick decay.
Even without the subwoofer turned on, the front speakers do a fantastic job for stereo music. Bass is well covered by the dual 8in woofers. The high-quality tweeters used in the floorstanders give a beautifully sharp edge to high-range notes, without sounding harsh or fatiguing.
The system is wonderfully balanced. In either stereo or surround mode there is no obvious focus on any part of the aural spectrum; the speakers perform excellently for any musical style.
It is when used for surround sound that the ES900 Cinepack really excels. We connected the speakers to a dedicated Onkyo receiver and DVD player and threw on The Matrix. During the well-known lobby scene, we were blown away by the sound quality. Individual gunshots, footsteps and other noises could be clearly distinguished without any confusion; positional audio was exceptionally good. We then switched to a Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player and The Fifth Element. The speakers performed flawlessly, with a deep, rich musical sound accentuated by crisp, clean highs.
Whether you're listening to stereo music or surround sound movies, the ES900 Cinepack from JBL is a package that is exceptionally capable. If you're not put off by the price, this system is a great choice.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Toys for Boys
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
ESET Smart Security Premium
Tivoli PAL BT
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Although they have their pros and cons, cartridge-based printers can sometimes be more troublesome and frustrating to use than you’d like.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Sonos move forward with Google Assistant for the Sonos One, open to adding Bixby
- CES 2019: Hisense showcase 8K and a MicroLED showpiece of their own
- CES 2019: Australia is about to get a taste of Hisense's new soundbars
- CES 2019: TCL will bring their 8K Mini LED TV to Australia in 2019
- CES 2019: Hisense headline Australian range with revamped Series 9
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?