43

JBL Authentics 500 Review

True Score

83
80
5

Experts

92
164

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The well-built JBL Authentics 500 offers strong bass and sound customization through its app but lacks portability, and there is noticeable compression at max volume. Its Bluetooth latencies are too high for problem-free audio-visual playback.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The JBL Authentics 500 is a top-end home speaker first announced around mid-2023. The rectangular-shaped speaker adopts a very retro design and features a built-in subwoofer and tweeters, which is very common among many of the best speakers in its price range. The speaker also supports both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. Owners can connect up to two devices over Bluetooth and use its voice assistant capabilities when connecting over WiFi. Like many highly-rated Bluetooth speakers, the Authentics 500 also features Dolby Atmos support for immersive listening and has a companion app with an adjustable Equalizer for sound customization. The Authentics 500 also gets pretty loud and offers built-in compatibility with popular streaming platforms such as Chromecast, Amazon Music, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect.

Best For

  • Bass

  • Loudest

Consensus

our Verdict

The JBL Authentics 500 offers premium sound quality, well-balanced highs and mids, a strong bass output, and the opportunity to customize its sound output through the Equalizer on its user-friendly JBL One app. A max volume rating of 102.8 dB places it in the top 10% of speakers in its category, but it’ll have to be plugged into a main power source since it is not battery-powered. It also has no water or dust resistance but an AUX and USB port for playing from or charging other devices.

The speaker pairs through its Bluetooth 5.3 and WiFi support. While it can connect to two devices at a time, there will be a lack of audio-visual synchronicity, as the speaker has a latency of 269 ms and 244 ms on iOS and Android connections. Still, the range is exceptional, at 334.6 ft.

Despite its ability to get quite loud, there is noticeable compression at loud volume.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Great sound quality
    • The JBL Authentics 500 delivers an impressive sound output and offers the ability to fine-tune its sound through its JBL One companion app.

    • It also gets quite loud, hitting 102.8 dB at max volume. This places it among the top 10% of speakers in its category.

  • Good build quality
    • The JBL Authentics 500 feels well built, with metallic gold touches and faux leather wrap-around.

Reason to Avoid

  • Noticeable compression at max volume
    • There is some noticeable compression at loud volume.

  • High Bluetooth latency
    • The JBL Authentics 500 has high Bluetooth latencies. It averages 269 ms and 244 ms on iOS and Android connections, respectively, which may result in slight delays when watching audio-visual content.

  • Poor portability
    • The JBL Authentics 500 is meant for home use. It is quite large in size and weighs about 17.5 pounds.

JBL Authentics 500 Specs

Battery Charge TimeBattery Charge TimeWired
Battery LifeBattery LifeWired
Built In MicrophoneBuilt In MicrophoneYes
DepthDepth10.07"
HeightHeight9.44"
IPX RatingIPX Ratingn/a
SizeSize
Smart AppSmart AppJBL One
Speaker PairingSpeaker PairingYes
Water ResistantWater ResistantNo
WattageWattage270W
WidthWidth17.6"
Wireless RangeWireless Range30 ft

All Specs

Test Results

Battery Life (Hours)0
Volume Output (dB)102.8
Low End Roll Off (Hz)57.391
High End Roll Off (Hz)18,510.994

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Product Comparison

JBL Authentics 500 Review

True Score

83
79
85
78

Ranking

#

43

/

260

#

81

/

260

#

11

/

260

#

87

/

260

Market Context

The JBL Authentics 500 is a top-end home speaker first announced around mid-2023. The rectangular-shaped speaker adopts a very retro design and features a built-in…

The JBL Authentics 500 is a top-end home speaker first announced around mid-2023. The rectangular-shaped speaker adopts a very retro design and features a built-in subwoofer and tweeters, which is very common among many of the best speakers in its price range. The speaker also supports both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. Owners can connect up to two devices over Bluetooth and use its voice assistant capabilities when connecting over WiFi. Like many highly-rated Bluetooth speakers, the Authentics 500 also features Dolby Atmos support for immersive listening and has a companion app with an adjustable Equalizer for sound customization. The Authentics 500 also gets pretty loud and offers built-in compatibility with popular streaming platforms such as Chromecast, Amazon Music, Spotify Connect, and Tidal Connect.

The JBL Authentics 500 is meant for home use, so is not as portable as the JBL Flip 4. The Authentic 500 is also larger…

The JBL Authentics 500 is meant for home use, so is not as portable as the JBL Flip 4. The Authentic 500 is also larger in size compared to the Flip 4. Additionally, the Flip 4 is cheaper, and also has a water resistance rating that the Authentics 500 does not, and the Authentics 500 needs a main power connection while the Flip 4 is battery-powered. However, the Authentics 500’s companion app features a graphic equalizer for sound customization, which the Flip 4 lacks. So, if you want portability more than anything else, you should look at our JBL Flip 4 review.

The JBL Authentics 500 supports multidevice connectivity, as owners can pair two different devices to it. The Sonos Move 2 can only be paired to…

The JBL Authentics 500 supports multidevice connectivity, as owners can pair two different devices to it. The Sonos Move 2 can only be paired to one device at a time. However, the Sonos Move 2 is much more compact in size and more affordable, and its lower weight makes it ideal for moving around compared to the heavier Authentic 500. For more on the Sonos Move 2, check it out in our Sonos Move 2 review, but if you’d prefer a more compact home speaker, then our IKEA SYMFONISK Bookshelf review might be worth a look.

The JBL Authentics 500 is a lot bulkier and more expensive than the Bose Home Speaker 500, but in terms of sound output, the Authentics…

The JBL Authentics 500 is a lot bulkier and more expensive than the Bose Home Speaker 500, but in terms of sound output, the Authentics 500 comes out on top, with features like a room correction tool to optimize sound based on a room’s acoustics and a higher max volume output compared to the Speaker 500. Here’s our Bose Home Speaker 500 review for more information on what else it has to offer, but if you’re in the market for a more portable alternative, then our Bushnell Wigman View review might come in handy.

Battery Charge Time

Wired

3.5 hrs

n/a

Wired

Battery Life

Wired

12 hrs

24 hrs

Wired

Built In Microphone

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

10.07"

2.8"

4.9"

4.3"

Height

9.44"

2.7"

9.5"

8"

IPX Rating

n/a

IPX7

IP56

n/a

Size

6.9"(w) x 2.7"(h) x 2.8"(d)

6.29"(w) x 9.53"(h) x 4.96"(d)

Smart App

JBL One

JBL Portable

Sonos app

Amazon Alexa app, Apple AirPlay 2, Bose Music, Google Assistant

Dig Deeper

JBL Flip 4 Review →

Sonos Move 2 Review →

Bose Home Speaker 500 Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

80

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

92

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

83

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    102.6

    Category Trust Rating

    77
    The JBL Authentics 500 is a premium home speaker with built-in Alexa and Google Assistant…. Read More

    By:

    Raphael Boyer
  • PC Mag
    54.9

    Category Trust Rating

    70
    JBL’s Authentics 500 speaker supports wired and wireless playback, delivers massive sound, and offers hands-free… Read More

    By:

    Tim Gideon
  • Techradar
    46.31

    Category Trust Rating

    80
    The JBL Authentics 500 provides punchy room-filling sound, with a classy design and plenty of… Read More

    By:

    Tom Bedford
  • Pocket Lint
    51.48

    Category Trust Rating

    70
    Big, loud, powerful and bassy. That’s the JBL Authentics 500 in a nutshell when you… Read More

    By:

    ANDREW WILLIAMS
  • Techhive
    43.37

    Category Trust Rating

    80
    In terms of design, the JBL Authentics 500 serves up a cheeky and appealing flirtation… Read More

    By:

    Andreas Bergsman

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