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JBL Studio 290 Floorstanding Speakers Review


When I looked at the JBL Studio 290 Floorstanding Speakers, I was already familiar with JBL’s reputation for delivering top-notch audio for home and car sound systems. After having experienced a set of JBL Studio 305s, which provided immense value, I had great expectations for the Studio 290 setup. Even before taking them out of the box, I was struck by the weight, around 55 pounds per speaker, which promised a solid construction and substantial presence. When I set them up, they did not disappoint in size and weight; as another reviewer pointed out, photos genuinely don’t do these speakers justice.

Understanding the Importance of Bi-amp Wiring

Getting straight to the technical stuff, it’s important to note that these Studio 290 speakers feature DUAL speaker connections on the back (four terminals), which essentially facilitates bi-amp wiring – a critical detail seldom mentioned in most JBL Studio 290 reviews. If you prioritize sound imaging, clarity, and highs and lows, take note of this bi-amp feature. It genuinely makes a big difference to the overall sound experience. Keep in mind. However, you will need two pairs of wires running to each speaker, which may tie you down if you appreciate the flexibility and minimal wiring.

Amplification & Power Preferences

While the JBL Studio 290 speakers performed admirably with a 44-watt per channel Onkyo 9010, I observed it preferred a bit more power. I noticed a difference when I connected it to an older Onkyo M-501 power amp, rated at 150 watts per channel. The more powerful amplification resulted in more precise voices, tighter bass, and a more controlled interaction between the highs, mids, and lows.

Comparison with Competitors

The JBL Studio 290 tower speakers hold their own even compared to higher-priced models like the JBL Synthesis LS80. I put Studio 290 to the test in the Harman global store, comparing it with various brands and models. I was delighted to experience its superior sound quality, especially considering the reasonable price.

Sound Quality and Performance

The first thing that stands out about the JBL Studio 290 Floorstanding Speakers is the classic ‘JBL Sound’ mark – deep, tight musical bass at the lower octaves. The treble, although somewhat on the lively side, never ventures into harsh realms. The mid-range and upper bass sound polite, leaving the vocals and specific instruments under-emphasized. However, this is more of an observation than a drawback for my purposes. The speakers offer a live experience, ideally suited for home theatre, rock, and pop music.

JBL Studio 290

Design and Build Quality

Aesthetically, the JBL Studio 290 speakers offer a simple yet refined look. They are pretty significant, demanding some careful handling. The gloss black tops are attention-grabbing, although they are a scratching magnet. They project a premium vibe, adopting the traditional ‘big black speaker box’ aesthetic. Yet, they don’t compromise on form or function.

Minor Concerns

Although the build quality of the 290s is impressive, I noted that the glossy black top surface is made of plastic that is likely to accumulate scratches over time. While they require a subwoofer to balance out the high frequencies optimally, none of this detracts from the solid performance these speakers offer.

Value for Money

Considering the price point, the JBL Studio 290 speakers impressed me with their sound quality, and in my opinion, they are a solid investment that offers good value for money. You wouldn’t require a separate subwoofer since the speakers provide a decent bass response, which becomes even better over 20-30 hours of playtime. In general, if you are particular about the sound quality of your speakers, the Studio 290s would be an excellent choice to invest in.

Pros and Cons

Based on my experience and existing JBL Studio 290 Floorstanding Speakers reviews, I’ve summarized the pros and cons.


  • Great sound quality
  • Reasonably priced
  • Classic JBL soundmark
  • Bi-amp wiring
  • Looks aesthetic


  • The treble may sound a little bright
  • Vocals and specific instruments can feel under-emphasized
  • Glossy tops are scratch magnet
  • Large size requires careful handling

Final Verdict

The JBL Studio 290 Floorstanding Speakers hit the sweet spot between price and performance. If you love high-quality sound, prefer bass, and are on a budget, it’s hard to go wrong with the Studio 290. Take advantage of the bi-amp wiring for the best audio results. Lastly, these speakers aren’t just built to perform; they are also quite a sight for sore eyes, but remember to take care while handling them as these are not the most miniature boxes around.

Bass Response
The bass output garnered mixed reviews. Numerous users found the JBL Studio 290’s bass rich and punchy, especially for instrumental music, while others noted it needed to be boosted, mostly at lower volumes. For satisfactory bass performance, some suggested coupling it with a powered subwoofer.
Treble Detail
The higher frequencies were praised for their cleanliness and fullness. The JBL Studio 290 has been detected to favor these frequencies a little more. However, a few opinions considered the treble on the brighter side, while others noted an increase in quality once paired with a suitable amplifier.
Midrange Clarity
Mid-range performance was noted as being clear, with some users stating specific genres and vocals might be slightly under-emphasized. Improved performance was reported after a break-in period, suggesting the speakers need some time to reach their full potential.
Despite their large size, users found their design to be refined and aesthetically pleasing. However, some criticisms were aimed at the glossy plastic top, as it attracts scratches over time.
Sound Quality
The overall sound quality was largely appreciated, with multiple references to 'honest audio'—sound reproduction that stays true to the source without boosting or dipping frequencies. Coupling it with powerful amplifiers or receivers heightened the sonic performance even more.
Value for Money
The JBL Studio 290 delivers exceptional quality for its price category. Most users considered this to be a worthy investment, evident from the plaudits about its price to quality ratio. However, some criticisms were directed at the need for additional components like subwoofers and ample space, which may necessitate more spending.
Total Score
Rating Summary
The JBL Studio 290 proved to be quite a stand-out in its price bracket, delivering more than what is expected of it. Users consistently highlighted the impressive value for money in their reviews, and for the majority, its performance justified the initial investment. However, to milk the best out of these speakers, additional purchases like a more powerful amplifier or a complementary subwoofer might be necessary. On the sonic front, the bass showed some inconsistencies—some users praised its punchiness, others deemed it lacking, and a few suggested it struggled at lower volumes. The treble and mid-range had clearer verdicts with most users lauding the clarity and honesty of these frequencies, although the higher frequencies slightly eclipsed the mids. However, these nuances in sound quality can be tamed via suitable amplification. Despite their big size, users found the speakers aesthetically pleasing with a refined finish, the plastic top notwithstanding. Overall, the JBL Studio 290 is a solid investment, and with the right companions, these bad boys can really sing!