JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Photo Profile

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Photo Profile

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Front View
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Front View. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

As a companion piece to my review of the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System, the following is a photo profile that goes into visual detail of the contents of the speaker package, a closer look at the connections and features of the system, and also a summary of audio test results.

To get started with this up-close look of the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System, here is a photo of the entire system. The large speaker is the 8-inch Powered Subwoofer, the five small speakers pictured are the center and satellite speakers. For a closer look at each type of loudspeaker in this system, proceed to the rest of the photos in this profile.

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Cables and Accessories

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Cables and Accessories
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Cables and Accessories. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

One of the great things about the JBL Cinema 500 system is that comes with all the accessories to set it up. JBL has supplied more than enough cable length for any practical speaker setup.

Starting in the back row is the User Manual. On either side of the user manual are the stand inserts for the satellite speakers and in front of user manual is the stand assembly for the center channel speaker.

Also shown are the speaker connection cables for the satellite and center channel speakers, and the RCA cable shown with the purple tips is the subwoofer connection cable.

Finally, the four "crisscross" shaped objects are the stand bases for the satellite speakers. The four inserts shown in the back row are inserted into these stands. After this is done the stands slide into the bottom of the satellite speakers.

Proceed to the next photo for a look at the assembled satellite speaker stands...

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Assembled Stands

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Assembled Stands
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Assembled Stands. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Here is a look at the assembled satellite speaker stands for the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System. These stands slide into grooves on the bottom of the satellite speakers.

For a detailed look at each type of speaker, which the stands attached, used in the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System, proceed to the next series of photos...

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Center Channel Speaker - Front/Rear

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Center Channel Speaker - Front and Rear View
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Center Channel Speaker - Front and Rear View. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown on this page is an example of the Center Channel speaker provided with the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System. The photo shows the front and rear views - see supplementary photo with the speaker grill removed provided by JBL.

Here are the features and specifications of this speaker:

1. Frequency Response: 120Hz to 20kHz.

2. Sensitivity: 89 dB (represents how loud the speaker is at a distance of one meter with an input of one watt).

3. Impedance: 8 ohms. (can be used with amplifiers that have 8 ohm speaker connections)

4. Voice-matched with dual 3-inch midrange and 1-inch-dome tweeter.

5. Power Handling: 100 watts RMS

6. Crossover Frequency: 3.7kHz (represents the point where signal higher than 3.7kHz are sent to the tweeter).

7. Enclosure Type: Sealed (Acoustic Suspension)

8. Connector Type: Push-spring terminal

9. Weight: 3.2 lb

10. Dimensions: 4-7/8 (H) x 12 (W) x 3-3/8 (D) inches.

11. Mounting options: On counter, On wall.

12. Finish Options: Black

For a look at the satellite speakers provided with the JBL Cinema 500, proceed to the next photo...

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Satellite Speakers Front/Rear View

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Satellite Speakers - Front and Rear View
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Satellite Speakers - Front and Rear View. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown on this page is an example of the Satellite speakers provided with the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System. The photo shows the front and rear views - see supplementary photo with the speaker grill removed provided by JBL.

Here are the features and specifications of this speaker:

1. Frequency Response: 120Hz to 20kHz.

2. Sensitivity: 86 dB (represents how loud the speaker is at a distance of one meter with an input of one watt).

3. Impedance: 8 ohms (can be used with amplifiers that have 8 ohm speaker connections).

4. Drivers: Voice-matched with dual 3-inch midrange and 1-inch-dome tweeter.

5. Power Handling: 100 watts RMS

6. Crossover Frequency: 3.7kHz (represents the point where signal higher than 3.7kHz are sent to the tweeter).

7. Enclosure Type: Sealed

8. Connector Type: Push-spring terminal

9. Weight: 3.2 lb each.

10. 11-3/8 (H) x 4-3/4 (W) x 3-3/8 (D) inches.

11. Mounting options: On counter, On wall.

12. Finish Options: Black

For a look at the subwoofer provided with JBL Cinema 500, proceed to the next photo...

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Sub 140P Subwoofer - Triple View

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Sub 140P Subwoofer - Triple View
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Sub 140P Subwoofer - Triple View. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown on this page is a triple view of Powered Subwoofer provided with the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System. The photos shows the front, rear, and bottom of the subwoofer. Here are the features and specifications of this speaker:

1. Downfiring 8-inch Driver with additional down firing port.

2. Frequency Response: 32Hz - 150Hz (-6dB)

3. Power Output: 150 watts RMS (Continuous Power).

4. Phase: Switchable to Normal (0) or Reverse (180 degrees) - synchronizes in-out motion of sub speaker with in-out motion of other speakers in system.

5. Adjustable Controls: Volume, Crossover Frequency

6. Connections: 1 set of stereo RCA Line inputs, LFE input, AC power receptacle.

7. Power On/Off: Two-way toggle (off/standby).

8. Dimensions: 19-inches H x 14-inches W x 14-inches D.

9. Weight: 22 lbs.

10. Finish: Black

It is important restate that this is a downfiring subwoofer. This means that subwoofer cone faces the floor.

When placing this subwoofer be sure to place it on a flat surface that is clear of any items that stick up that many damage the subwoofer speaker cone. Also, be careful when lifting the subwoofer that you don't accidentally puncture or tear the subwoofer speaker cone.

For a more detailed look at the connections and controls of the powered subwoofer, proceed to the next photo...

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JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Sub 140P - Controls/Connections

JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Sub 140P Subwoofer - Controls and Connections
JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System - Sub 140P Subwoofer - Controls and Connections. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a close-up look at the adjustment controls and connections for the Powered Subwoofer.

The controls are as follows:

Subwoofer Level: This is also commonly referred as Volume or Gain. This is used to set the volume of the subwoofer in relation to the other speakers.

Phase Switch: This control matches the in/out subwoofer driver motion to the satellite speakers. This control has two positions Normal (0) or Reverse (180 degrees).

Crossover Control: The crossover control sets the point at which you want the subwoofer to produce low frequency sounds, against the ability of the satellite speakers to reproduce low frequency sounds. The crossover adjustment is variable from 50 to 200Hz.

If your home theater receiver has a dedicated subwoofer output and built-in crossover settings, it is best to connect the subwoofer line output from a home theater receiver to the LFE line input (purple) of the Sub 140P subwoofer.

In addition to the Subwoofer controls are the the Input connections, which include an LFE line level RCA input, 1 set line level/RCA phono jacks (red, white).

If your home theater receiver does not have a dedicated subwoofer output, another option is to connect to the subwoofer using the L/R stereo (red/white) RCA audio input connections. This enables you to use the Sub 140P's crossover control.

Power On Mode: If set to ON, the subwoofer is always on, regardless if a signal is passing through. On the other hand, if the Power On Mode is set to Auto, the subwoofer will only activate when it detects an incoming low frequency signal.

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JBL Cinema 500 System Freq Response Measured by Anthem Room Correction System

JBL Cinema 500 System Frequency Response Curves as Measured by the Anthem Room Correction System
JBL Cinema 500 System Frequency Response Curves as Measured by the Anthem Room Correction System. Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a look at the frequency response curves of both JBL Cinema 500 center channel and satellite speakers and Sub 140P subwoofer in relation to db output and room used for testing, as measured and corrected by the Anthem Room Correction System.

The vertical portion of each graph displays the db output of the center and satellite speakers and Sub 140P subwoofer, while the horizontal portion of the graph displays the frequency response of the center/satellites and Sub 140P subwoofer in relation to the db output.

The red line is the actual measured frequency response of the test signal as generated by the speakers and subwoofer.

The broken blue line is the reference or target that the speakers and subwoofer need to approach in order to provide optimum response performance within the room.

The green line is the correction that is calculated by the Anthem Room Correction software that provides the best response possible with the JBL Cinema 500 speakers and subwoofer within the specific listening space in which the measurements have taken place.

In looking at these results, the center and satellite speakers perform very well in the mid and high frequencies, but start dropping off below 200Hz.

Also, the subwoofer results show that the Sub 140P outputs a consistent output between 50 and 100 Hz, which is very good for a compact subwoofer, but begins output drop off below 50Hz and above 150Hz.

The graphs also show that the low frequency drop off of the satellite and center speakers overlap well with high frequency drop off of the subwoofer, which indicates a very good crossover frequency transition between the subwoofer and the center/satellites.

My Take

Although I would, by no means, consider this an audiophile speaker system, I found that the the JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System provided an overall good surround sound listening experience for movies and stereo/surround listening experience for music that many consumers will appreciate for the price. JBL has delivered a stylish and affordable surround sound speaker system for a more mainstream user who may also be concerned about size and affordability.

The JBL Cinema 500 provides well-styled center and satellite speakers that do not overwhelm room decor. However, the "cone-pyramid" styling of the SUB 140P may seem odd to some. The JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System can function well as a modest home theater speaker system for the budget and/or space conscious.

The JBL Cinema 500 Home Theater Speaker System is definitely worth a look and a listen.

For full details on setting up the system, you can also download the User Manual.

For additional perspective on the JBL Cinema 500 Speaker System, read my Review