When I was first setting up my home DJ studio I knew I needed a good set of speakers. I wasn’t looking for large bulky DJ speakers and needed a quality set of studio monitors for my medium-sized space.
The speakers needed to be well built, offer good sound quality but also have a decent amount of punch to them. I also didn’t want to have to get a second mortgage to afford a decent pair of speakers! That’s where the JBL 305P MkII comes into the equation.
The JBL 305P MkII is the latest in a long line of quality studio monitors from JBL.
JBL 305P MkII
Trying to please both the casual and audiophile market in a 5-inch woofer package is a tough ask. With a bunch of new innovations, they promise to once again be one of the best options when selecting studio monitors without breaking the bank.
Let’s dive into what the JBL 305P MkII offers for the DJ looking to add a pair of studio monitors to their setup.
The most important part of a studio monitor is the sound quality. This is where the JBL offers some impressive features. JBL uses its own patented Image Control Waveguide. This allows the speaker to have a wider sound stage than other studio monitors. This is great if you have a larger studio space as the sweet spot is broader. I had become so used to studio monitors having a narrow near-field output it actually was a pleasant surprise.
JBL has also worked on the low-frequency response giving these a bigger hit in the low end. For lovers of bass or for those that work with bass-heavy tracks in the studio you’ll be impressed with the low end. Keep in mind these are studio monitors so they are not overbearing in bass like commercial speakers. I found the bass satisfying when mixing on my DJ gear while still maintaining good mids and highs.
As a result, they are not as flat in the sound frequencies as other speakers. Some die-hard audiophiles might not be impressed with the greater low-end emphasis.
They sound great at medium to high volume. When played at low volume there is an audible hiss that comes from the speaker. While not uncommon for studio monitors it is something to consider if you plan on playing your music at low volume.
JBL has been making speakers for 70 years and has built a reputation for solid build quality. While it may be a little early in the life cycle of the new generation MkII to make a definitive call I do feel these are on par with previous models.
At just over 10 pounds (4.5kg) they feel sturdy. A solid cabinet houses all the internal components with security. I’m definitely not worried about incidental damage from minor bumps.
JBL has incorporated some of the technology they have developed for their higher-end range of studio monitors into these more affordable models. One such feature is the double-flared port which is how they manage to get the deeper bass that I’m enjoying.
The JBL 305P MkII Studio Monitors are taller than an average 5-inch studio monitor.
The 5-inch powered woofer is a good size for a medium-sized studio. Since it is powered you don’t have to plug them into an external amplifier. However, the size might be a little overboard for a smaller space.
With a frequency range of 43 Hz – 24 kHz and a frequency response of 49 Hz – 20 kHz they provide plenty of scope for your music. You’ll hear plenty of detail. Not as much as some other models but it’s hardly noticeable unless you are comparing side by side.
On the loudness front, it can reach 108dB which is more than loud enough for a small studio and adequate for a medium-sized studio. It can still benefit from a subwoofer but that tends to be the case for most studio monitors. If your studio is on the large side I’d suggest looking at a larger model.
Offering options to tune your studio monitors is something I always appreciate. Not every studio is the same and sometimes you can’t place the speakers in the ideal position. This is where having the ability to trim either the low or high frequencies becomes important.
If your speaker is jammed up against a wall you may find that the bass needs to be trimmed back. Likewise, if you have a lot of reflective surfaces the highs may need some adjusting. These offer options for both which will help you find the ideal configuration for your personal space.
When it comes to design it is very subjective. The solid black box is coupled with a smooth shiny plastic finish. It’s flashy without having that over the top vibe that some studio monitors give off.
The gloss coating is attractive but does attract fingerprints and is prone to scratching.
They certainly look different from the very matte looking options that tend to dominate the studio monitor space. Don’t get me wrong there are far more important aspects to a studio monitor than the appearance. That doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate something that looks as nice as it sounds.
While I like shiny plastic it does come with a few issues. The moment you take that protective coating off the dust begins to accumulate. Plus there is the problem of the fingerprints with shiny plastic if you handle these. A soft microfiber cloth is needed to clean the front to prevent the chance of scratching the plastic.
You have the choice of balanced XLR or ¼ inch TRS. This at least gives you a choice between connection options.
Two connection options are available on the JBL 305P MkII studio monitor.
They are not the cheapest studio monitors in the market but they are still very affordable. The old adage of you get what you pay for rings true here. You won’t get some of the high-end features of more expensive studio monitors but you also won’t be left with a pile of cheap junk.
What Others Have To Say
Having experienced these I wanted to see what others had to say. In general, most agree that they are a great option at this price point. I have to mention that they’re not the most perfect analytical speakers available. But, from a DJs perspective, they tick all the boxes.
Why Your DJ Studio Needs Studio Monitors
Studio monitors are not your ordinary speaker. They’re designed to give you an accurate representation of the music you are playing. As a DJ you want that pure sound to pick up on the errors in your transitions and improve your mixing.
Having a good pair of studio monitors is also critical if you move into producing your own music. This is where traditional DJ speakers fall flat. They over color the sound which can make it difficult for you to properly mix and master your music.
If you need a pair of pounding speakers for your next party studio monitors will likely not do the job. But, if you want crisp, quality sound while laying down your next mix within your studio you’ll appreciate studio monitors more.
What To Look Out For
When looking at buying studio monitors you want to keep an eye out for well-built speakers that are going to last. Sticking to reputable brands is usually the best approach.
Studio monitors also need to offer a good scope in sound and ideally not have too much emphasis on any particular sound frequency. It’s all about balance.
Selecting a studio monitor that is appropriate for the size of your studio is important.
It’s also worth considering the space of your studio and how loud you want the sound. This can impact the size of the woofer that you’ll need. There are plenty of good small studio monitors out there. But, if you have a large room you’re going to need to get bigger studio monitors.
Your budget is another factor. Studio monitors vary in price by large amounts. Finding good value for money within your price point is important.
The studio monitor space is stacked with various options. So how do the JBL 305P MkII’s compare to other popular studio monitors at this level? Let’s find out. You can also check out our guide to the best studio monitors for DJs where we cover them in a bit more detail.
PreSonus Eris E5 Review
Another great option due to its very flat sound. While not as punchy in the low end as the JBL’s they still are a rather loud studio monitor. They come with extra RF shielding built-in. This can prevent exterior interference from affecting your speakers.
- Good choice for a flatter sound.
- Solid build quality.
- Lacking in the lower end.
Read our full PreSonus Eris E5 review for more detailed information.
Presonus Eris E5
Mackie CR3-X Review
The smaller 3-inch woofer is still loud but will be softer than the JBL. The main thing this monitor has going for it is the affordable price. If budget is a concern they are a decent option. Keep in mind they are not as solid as other studio monitors so you may need to factor in an upgrade sooner than expected.
- Affordable entry-level option.
- Very loud for the size.
- Build quality is not as great.
Read our full Mackie CR3-X review for more detailed information.
Yamaha HS8 Review
Moving up to an 8-inch option will certainly give you a louder studio monitor. The Yamaha offers an impressive range of sound with a very flat response. For those focused on music production, it will allow for more analytical listening.
- Excellent flat sound quality.
- A quality speaker made by one of the leaders in the space.
- More expensive. These begin to move into the mid-tier range of price points.
Read our full Yamaha HS8 review for more detailed information.
Should You Buy?
It may not ideal for the die-hard audiophile or the studio producer wanting to analyze their music in the finest detail. But, for a small to medium studio space, the JBL 305P MkII is a great choice for DJs.
Offering impressive sound quality with a fatter lower end is perfect for DJs who want to enjoy their music. This becomes even more evident if you are into electronic music.
Good value for money in an area that can get very expensive is another huge thumbs up from me.
JBL 305P MkII