If you loved JBL’s recent “weave” design theme but need more power than its inexpensive Jembe speakers, good news: Studio 130 ($299) is here. Incorporating the company’s signature weaved lines into a more traditional boxy wood chassis, each Studio 130 packs a 1” dome tweeter and 4” cone woofer—a driver combination with the crisp treble and deep, powerful bass JBL is known to deliver. Sold as a set of two speakers, this package offers great value for the dollar, though there’s also a catch.
Studio 130 is designed to sit between the high end of its computer speaker offerings and the lower end of its bookshelf speakers, with benefits from both categories: unlike many bookshelf speakers, it’s magnetically shielded to avoid interfering with TVs and monitors, yet the wood enclosure offers bass resonance that typical thin plastic computer speakers struggle to match. There’s only one tradeoff here: while Studio 130 is rated for a cinema-ready 125W of output power—more than five times what the $60 Jembe puts out—you’ll need to supply the amplifier yourself. Since Amazon’s selling Studio 130 for as little as $150, you can put those extra dollars towards any little amp that floats your boat.