Many audiophiles and sound system enthusiasts wonder which studio monitor offers the better quality, the Yamaha HS8 or JBL LSR308 as both are popular.
Being the third iteration of Yamaha’s HS series, the HS8 is a notable upgrade from its two smaller siblings and comes with enhanced power.
The JBL LSR308, on the other hand, has won a fair share of hearts in the market with its great overall features. But this does not answer the question, does it? If you are a budding music producer setting up a studio and you have to choose one over the other, which one will provide a better audio reproduction?
Size:16.5" x 10" x 12.1"
Freq. coverage: 37Hz- 24kHz Amp. power: 112W
|TRL, XLR, EQ, Power switch
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|Size: 14 x 16 x 21 inches Weight: 23.6lbs
Freq. coverage: 38Hz- 30kHz Amp. power: 120W
TRL, XLR, EQ, Power switch
|Black and white
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JBL LSR308 vs Yamaha HS8: Comparison
There’s only one way to answer this question, and that is to pit these two bad boys against each other. In this article, we’re going to compare the two studio monitors and provide you with the verdict.
The design of the monitor, in terms of aspects such as color and texture, affects the overall appeal of the speaker. It influences the “face value” perception of the buyer. However, the design also affects the quality of sound produced. For example, ported and closed cabinet designs offer different levels of frequency response and sonic accuracy.
The Yamaha HS8 features a striking black and white design, that is applied to all HS series of monitors. The white speaker cone stands out in the backdrop of a subtle black cabinet with smooth edges while the tweeter frame on the HS8 stands out with its overemphasized thickness.
The speaker also weighs around 22lbs, and features dimensions of 15.4" x 9.8" x 13.1". Generally, the HS8 comes with a charming design that stands out from the crowd and will naturally blend with the color scheme in your studio.
As far as appearance is concerned, the JBL LSR 308 doesn't leave much of an impression. It has a plain blackish/grayish frame with a black speaker cone and waveguide tweeter with a glossy finishing. The cabinet comes with slightly curved and smooth edges.
The LSR308 is a little bit lighter than the HS8 at around 19lbs. It measures 16.5" x 10" x 12.1", which comes pretty close to its counterpart, although just a tad shorter.
If you care about your own interior design, then the Yamaha HS8 will be an easy choice over the JBL LSR 308. We just don’t prefer the plasticky face and the all grayish/blackish color of the LSR 308, it looks monotonous! The first point goes to the Yamaha HS8.
Onboard features such as input ports and EQ options on the studio monitor are very essential as they help the music producer to tweak the different sound settings and enhance the acoustic response inside the studio room.
The HS8 features a bass-reflex cabinet with a rear bass port that is made of MDF. It accepts balanced TRS and XLR signals, and offers high-frequency and low-frequency sound adjustment. There is also a large on/off power button at the back.
As far as features are concerned, the JBL LSR 308 is very similar to that of the HS8. It also comes with a bass-reflex cabinet and a bass port at the back made from MDF. Similarly, it offers balanced XLR and TRS inputs along with low and high-frequency equalizer options. Not to forget the on/off switch button.
Also view: Yamaha HS7 vs HS8
The two studio monitors have practically the same onboard features. As such, there is no clear winner in terms of features. This category is a draw!
The quality of audio produced by the monitor will guide the producer in terms of mixing his music which eventually determines the quality of the final work. Ideally, there should be a great balance between the high and low-frequency sounds for an honest reproduction of sound.
The Yamaha HS8 can handle sound frequencies between 38Hz and 30kHz, leaving the producer with a wide frequency response. It is fitted with a 1-inch tweeter that offers 45W of high-frequency power output. Elsewhere, the 8-inch low-frequency driver produces 75W of power output, leaving you with a total of 120W in amplification power.
This also means that more power has been allocated to the bass driver and that’s why the HS8 is known for its exceptionally good bass output. Generally, this would be the ideal monitor to set up in a large studio as the volume produced is high and punchy.
However, you shouldn’t opt for this monitor if you just turned your old room into the studio. In a confined space, the bass sound will bounce all over the place and turn the whole recording session into a disaster.
JBL LSR 308
On the other hand, the JBL LSR 308 offers a frequency response of between 37Hz and 24kHz, which is relatively wider than what you get on the Yamaha HS8. The bi-amplification system features a 1-inch tweeter with a waveguide design that enhances directivity control at low frequencies. The tweeter also produces 56W of power.
The second 8-inch low-frequency driver produces 56W of amplification power, meaning that there is a balance between the high frequency and low-frequency sounds. Another aspect to note about the LSR308 is that it has a 2K feature, which can be a little sensitive.
You might notice occasional spikes in sounds when using the LSR, and this can be credited to the tweeter on the sound monitor. If you don’t know how to control the 2K feature, it might just mess up the results of your mixing.
Both these monitors come with a bi-amplification system that nicely balances the low and high-frequency sounds production. It is also clear that the JBL LSR308 has a wider frequency response than the HS8. However, the HS8 has a far better bass, and this is as a result of the more powerful low-frequency driver.
The bigger subwoofer means that more sound waves will be pushed over, and this is what gives the HS8 a punchy sound. This is also what gives it the edge over the LSR308!
The price of the monitor is always one of the first things that potential buyers will scrutinize. Naturally, you want to buy something that is within your budget, and offers you the greatest value for your money.
The Yamaha HS8 will cost you a little more than $350 and is significantly more expensive than its rival the LSR308. But given the quality it offers; the price feels totally worth it. If you’re looking for a professional-level monitor, this is still a reasonable price to pay, but if you’re just getting started with producing music, you might want to look for a cheaper option.
The JBL LSR308 will cost you just under $200. It is an affordable price tag for a good quality studio monitor. When you consider that you get practicality all the features offered by the more expensive HS8 (except for the final sound quality), it is a great option to consider.
The Yamaha HS8 will cost almost twice as much as the JBL LSR, although it is substantially the better studio monitor. Due to the fact that the LSR 308 is more accessible to all levels of audio enthusiasts, we will have to declare it the winner.
JBL LSR 308
The HS8 is a high-performance studio monitor. It is quite good and offers the kind of quality that a professional music producer would look for in a monitor. If you’re not concerned about the price, then it would be a nice addition to your studio room.
However, we cannot downplay the value that the XLR 308 brings, especially at its cost! The difference in price is quite huge between the two, and in the end, it will come down to what you can afford. If you are a novice producer looking to put together your first studio, you might want to take a minute and let this sink in.
Your studio will need more than just a monitor, you will require cables, monitor stands, sound interface, etc. So, before you blow the whole budget on the monitor, consider these other accessories. We are of the opinion that the XLR308 will give you a better start to your producing career!