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JBL Authentics L16 and L8 Wireless Speakers want to take over your living room

Tom Morgan
6 Mar 2014
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Two huge new wireless speakers from JBL, the Authentics L16 and L8, promise powerful sound and plenty of connectivity options - if you can make room for one, that is

JBL has introduced the Authentics range of wireless speakers, which aim to combine the company's vintage design ethos with new technologies like AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth for cable-free music streaming from virtually any device - as long as you have the room for them.

Both Authentics models are absolutely gigantic, having clearly been designed as a focal point of the room rather than to be hidden out of view like many wireless speakers. They both use authentically retro materials including stained wood and classic grilles to give the appearance of a 1970's hi-fi, reimagined for the present day.

JBL Authentics L8

The Authentics L16 is finished in a walnut veneer, with six 50W amplifiers inside to power six separate speaker drivers: a 4in woofer, 5.25in woofer, 2in mid-range driver and twin 1in tweeters. As well as AirPlay, DNLA and Bluetooth wireless playback, it also supports "studio quality" 24-bit / 96 kHz playback via analog, optical, and phono inputs.

The Authentics L8, meanwhile, switches to four 30W amplifiers to power two drivers: a 4in woofer and 1in tweeter. It too supports AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth, comes with a selection of physical inputs and is finished in gloss black.

Both models are compatible with the free JBL Music app, which lets you control the speaker through an iOS 7 or Android device. Beyond volume, it can control tone to either boost or reduce treble and bass, and enable JBL's proprietary Harman Clarr-FI technology. This reportedly restores details lost in the compression process when creating MP3 files.

The two Authentics speakers are due to arrive in March, with the larger L16 expected to cost £899.99. The smaller L8 should retail for around £499.99.

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