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JBL SCS200.5 REVIEW!

Updated on September 12, 2011

The JBL SCS200.5

JBL, a well known company with a fairly good reputation. So you probably ask, how bad can this system be? After all it's JBL.

Well I decided to check it up for you.

And just to break the tension a bit, it's not bad at all but does have a few drawbacks. I will test this system and it's up to you to decide whether the advantages overcome the disadvantages or not.

Let's begin.

So What Do We Have Here?

The JBL SCS200.5 is a 5.1 surround system, or in other words, home theater system. This system consists of 6 speakers which are 4 satellites (2 front speakers and 2 rear speakers), one center speaker, and last but not least an 8". This system claims to be cost effective and I checked how cost effective it actually is.

Technical Specifications

Satellites:

Maximum Power - 100 Watt

Nominal Impedance - 8 Ohm

Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) - 86dB

Frequency Response - 110Hz - 20kHz

High Frequency Drive Unit - 1/2" Titanium-laminate dome

Mid. Frequency Drive Unit - 3" PolyPlas

Dimensions -

Height - 184mm

Width - 102mm

Depth - 89mm

Weight - 0.8kg

Center:

Maximum Power - 100 Watt

Nominal Impedance - 8 Ohm

Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) - 88dB

Frequency Response - 110Hz - 22kHz

High Frequency Drive Unit - 1/2" Titanium-laminate dome

Mid. Frequency Drive Unit - 2 x 3" PolyPlas

Dimensions -

Height - 102mm

Width - 292mm

Depth - 86mm

Weight - 1.4kg

Subwoofer:

Maximum Power - 100 Watt

Frequency Response - 35Hz - 160Hz

Low Frequency Drive Unit - 8" Bass Reflex

Dimensions -

Height - 413mm

Width - 279mm

Depth - 349mm

Weight - 12.7kg

Unboxing and Assembly

One picture worth a thousand words, most of the unboxing and assembly is best described with photos. The system comes rapped well and will require few minutes to carefully take all the protective sheets of the speakers and stands.

This is what you get:

4 x satellite speakers

1 x center speaker

1 x subwoofer

4 x wall mounts

5 x shelf stands

3 x 12m speaker cables

2 x 4.6m speaker cables

1 x RCA interconnect cable

The 12m cables are meant for the two rear speakers and the 4.6m cables are for the center and two front speakers. RCA cable is used to connect the subwoofer to the receiver trough the LFE connection (Low Frequency Effects).

There are 4 wall mounts and 5 shelf stands. Might be confusing but it's quite simple, the center speaker is not meant to be mounted on the wall. Therefore no wall mounts were supplied for it.

After getting all of your speakers and cables free it's time to assemble the system. There are two options: mounting on the wall or using shelf stands. I highly recommend to start with the shelf stands so you can adjust the speakers position until you get your desired result and then you can mount it on the wall. Mounting on the wall right away may not be a good idea.

When putting the speakers on shelf stands make sure to put the cables through the shelf stand and connect them to the speaker because after you assemble the shelf mount you can't reach the connections. Refer the picture to get the idea.

Setting Up The System

This basically is another step which is very important to perform right otherwise your system won't produce and sound it was build for.

Since high frequency speakers are directional their position is crucial. I won't specify the whole steps because it's not relevant.

I mentioned this step because I think it's crucial.


You can check here how this step is done: Setting Up 5.1 Surround System

The Main Event

Ok so we unboxed everything assembled and set the system up. Everything is ready, let the testing begin!

The tests I decided to do are:

- General First Impression

- High Volume Distortions

- Build Quality

- Music

- Movies

- Games

- Cost Effective

General First Impressions

The system comes with long cables, or more accurately, long enough. The speakers serve the purpose of satellites which means compact high-mid range speakers. The subwoofer is the highlight of this system. Its mind blowing! no, it's actually window breaking. =)

The bass is so powerful that it shakes the whole building (in case you tune it to high volume).

I can confidently say this subwoofer itself worth the deal.

I didn't like the shelf stands too much, just personal opinion, you might like it. I just found if uncomfortable to use when I place the speakers on areas that are not 100% strait and clean of pavements.

Wires as always are a big trouble and are essential if you want to hear something, so yes, lots of cables but I don't think it's a drawback. That's how most of the world work today.

Score 80/100

High Volume Distortions

How simple this test might be it must be done careful in order not to damage the speakers. I gradually increased the volumes and the system produced extreme volume levels. Little to none distortions in the sound levels I tested and I talk about deafening volume.

Playing at these levels probably not good for the long term life of these speakers but I did it in the sake of testing.

I assume that 99% of the people wouldn't reach these sound levels anyway but just in case.

REMEMBER: it also depends on the amplifier you connect your speakers to.

AND REMEMBER: know the limits of your system, playing at high levels all the time will shorten the life of your system.

Score: 95/100

Build Quality

Ok I admit, I didn't use a hammer and a screwdriver to test the build quality. But I just couldn't resist putting this picture.

The tech specification gives us a first clue on the build quality, the speaker's weight. Heavier literally means better. It means thicker enclosure, more solid wires and speaker components and basically bigger amount of material inside the speakers. I must admit the satellites and center are surprisingly heavy by feeling.

Beyond that, the shelf stands of the speakers are a bit weak. They won't break if you will leave them alone and I didn't test the braking point but its looks they aren't that strong.

The speakers themselves look good and built very well, symmetrical and neatly designed.

The subwoofer is also creatively designed. One major point is that the sub is standing on rubber "legs". It's good when you don't want the whole floor shaking, but, do you?

Score: 80/100

Music

Music, when it comes to satellite speakers, always becomes a problem. Music is just constant high amplitude sound waves. Unlike movies that are usually calmer, even at action movies. Gunshot takes a fraction of a second in a movie, in music terms it's playing this gunshot for a length of a song and it's harder for the speaker to achieve.

I played many kinds of songs, classic, rock, club, etc.

Music is defiantly not the strength of this system and is a beat of a weakness. While the subwoofer provides enough basses the satellites are a bit struggling to produce high volume in music and it seems that generally, song make this system sweat a bit.

REMEMBER: we talk about fairly high volumes, low volumes are easy to operate at any type of sounds.

It Provides good music quality but struggling at higher volumes.

Score: 70/100

Movies

Wow, that's all I have to say. Movies prove to be one of the strengths of this system.

Surround sound that pulls you into the atmosphere of the movie, breathtaking basses, simply genius. Even when watching cable TV channels the feeling is just amazing.

This system provides the complete circumferential feeling.

Wow.

Score: 100/100

Games

Games are pretty much like movies and so does the performance.

Simply amazing feeling, totally different atmosphere than that stereo provides.

You can actually when things come from. And again, heart stopping basses, I just can't help it the basses are amazing!

Score: 100/100

Cost Effective

This area is a bit difficult to just since different people buy at different prices. The average price of this system is a bit above 200$.

Honestly, the subwoofer worth more than that.

This is cost effective as it was claimed to be.

You get enough cables, shelf stands and instructions. I think a wall mount for the center speaker is essential in case you television is wall mounted and you don’t have a table to put the center on it. In that case it will require creative ideas that will cost money.

Score: 90/100

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages:

- Powerful Subwoofer.

- Cost effective system.

- High performance in movies and games.

- High volume capabilities.

Disadvantages

- Heavy subwoofer (up to you).

- Weak shelf stands.

- Medium performance with music.

- Center speaker wall mount.

Final Verdict

For conclusion, I think this system really provides what it was built for. It has great sound quality with an amazing subwoofer.

For me, the advantages overcome the drawbacks. And this system is recommended.

The only reason I wouldn't recommend this system is If you just listen to music. Music is best fitted to two big stereo speakers rather than 5 surround speakers.

This is a great value for you money and if you look for cheap, cost effective and high quality system, go for this one.

Final Score:

- General First Impression: 80/100

- High Volume Distortions: 95/100

- Build Quality: 80/100

- Music: 70/100

- Movies: 100/100

- Games: 100/100

- Cost Effective: 90/100

Quick math brings me to overall score of : 88/100

Good Luck!

JBL SCS200.5 Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cheers for the review, bought a Pioneer VSX527 last night and had 5.1 speakers at home only to fall in to a beginners trap, my existing system didn't have an active (powered) sub, hence now looking for cost effective 5.1 set with a decent Sub these are the cheapest I can find in Adelaide (SA) but think after reading this review they may just well do the job for now. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a awesome review mate!

      True its very good value for you're money, ive myself been using thoes speakers with the Harmon/kadon amplifier avr 158 for the last 3months.. And nerver been complaining only my neighbors has! (-;

      I Will say 90/100 in total, remember its still in the cheap end of real hi-fi so its not bad at All!!!

    • profile image

      elenidona 5 years ago

      Thanks for the review!!!

      Like!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for this review. Very good one! High-lights, low-light all the package. Made everything clear my head and am flying over to the store to get myself one hell of a big cinema system that packs the punch I need.

      I have tested JBL scs 200 at the cinema store and came to almost the same verdicts, but thanks for filling in the gaps and the encouragement. Will ad a review myself on this after home usage.

      Thank again and wish you all the best