Greetings mate and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Before we get into the JBL LSR 305 vs. 308 comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you today
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to simply compare and contrast the LSR 305 with the 308, and then give a recommendation towards the end. 🙂
- A Poker Analogy
- Similarities & Differences
- Comparison Video
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
I’ve had the pleasure of owning the JBL LSR 305s since December 2014 but had to sell them in 2019 for some quick cash.
The majority of their lifespan was active, meaning they were almost always on.
With the exception of me being away from my apartment, I used them nearly every single day.
They’ve been perhaps the most reliable component of my studio, although everything I purchase holds up well because I’ve always put a lot of time into my research.
This is why I can stand behind every one of my recommendations.
No piece of gear is perfect, but you have to be willing to look at the big picture, as there is some risk involved.
For example, there are always going to be negative reviews, but as long as the positives overwhelm the others, the risk is sound.
It’s almost like playing Texas Hold ‘Em.
A Poker Analogy?
I used to play the small-stakes cash tables and quickly found out that most people have no idea what they’re doing or why they’re betting.
If you have an understanding of concepts like hand ranges, player tendencies, showdown value, and pot odds, you can profit fairly easily against the average player.
The point is that there’s still risk involved. You could play a hand perfectly and still lose the pot.
Buying a piece of studio equipment is similar.
You could buy the Studio Monitor with the best reviews and most positive consensus, but that doesn’t mean it won’t break down in some way.
As in poker, if your odds to win the hand are high, you’ll most likely win the hand. Still, there’s that small chance you’ll lose it to a worse player and then go on tilt.
Similarly, if you buy a piece of gear with excellent reviews and a high star rating, there’s still always that small chance something could go wrong. It’s a chance you must take.
- Related: What are studio monitors?
That said, the 305 is one of the best (if not the best) entry-level studio monitors because it’s so reliable and sounds so good.
The 308 is similar, but there are some marked differences.
Let’s find out what they are!
Similarities & Differences
Both have the image control waveguide, which basically allows the sound to disperse from the cone tweeters in a manner that’s going to enhance the overall sound coming out both vertically and horizontally.
What this ultimately does is it provides better mid-range clarity and focus, as well as improving things like phasing and balance of the sound.
It’s interesting to note that this feature is actually derived from JBL’s M2, which is a high-end $20,000 monitor.
Both are rear-ported.
It’s important to note that because of this, you should keep the monitors away from the wall if at all possible.
This will ensure that the sound isn’t bouncing around too much.
Both have XLR inputs. What is XLR?
Both have TRS inputs. TRS vs. TS
Both have 1″ tweeters.
Both have Low frequency and High-frequency trim switches, allowing you to adjust the bass and treble based on your own room/space, and personal taste.
The LSR 308 has an 8″ woofer while the LSR 305 has a 5″ woofer.
We’ll get into what this means in a jiffy.
The LSR 305s can put out 82 watts of power vs. 112 for the 308. This is one of the main differences.
The 308s have a deeper bass extension with some added “oomph.” and a bit more clarity around 80-100 Hz.
That said, the 305s provide a pretty startling amount for a 5″ woofer.
To this day I haven’t turned the dial past 7, as they can really bring the house down with properly mastered tracks, and even sub-standard ones.
It’s a pretty spectacular sound with a lot of impact.
37Hz–24kHz for the 308 vs. 43Hz – 24kHz for the 305.
As you can see the bass digs a little deeper on the 308.
The 308 comes in at 112 dB vs. 108 for the 305.
- Related: What is SPL?
The 308s will leave a much larger footprint on your desk, though both are fairly large. My 305s are rather hefty!
The 305s were meant for smaller bedroom-type studios like mine, while the 308s thrive in a larger space.
I honestly wouldn’t get the 308 unless I was planning on employing some Acoustic Sound Treatment, and using a larger sized room.
Because more bass generally = harder to control in less-than-ideal room situations with no treatment.
However, I have read some people having success with the 308s in a smaller space with treatment.
General Room Sizes
I get asked this question quite a bit so I’ll go ahead and outline it here for you.
- Small Room – 10×10 or smaller
- Medium-Sized Room – 12×12
- Large-Sized Room – 14×14, 14×16 or larger
For reference, my room is probably considered medium-large at around 12×14.
Generally speaking, the smaller your room is, the smaller your monitor should be.
The LSR 308 will leave a bigger footprint, so if you have a small to medium-sized room, the 305 is the solution.
In a smaller room, you can get away with not using any bass traps or acoustic panels, but it’s better to have them.
In larger-sized rooms, you will most definitely need to employ some Acoustic Sound Treatment.
Being that these are near-field monitors, you’ll want them pretty close to you, but not so close that they’re suffocating.
If you have a desk, try to situate them far enough away from the wall (especially if they are rear-ported), but close enough to you where you can actually hear what’s going on.
This will ensure the sound doesn’t bounce off the wall too much. You get the idea. Just experiment a little as well.
Also remember that they will sound best at around ear level, and should form an equilateral triangle towards your dome piece.
If you’re going to be mixing in a large room, have plenty of space, and plan on employing some treatment, the 308s are the ticket.
SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!
If you’re going to be in a small to medium-sized room, and are strapped for space, the 305s are your solution.
I don’t have any panels on the wall at the moment, and they sound fantastic regardless.
Don’t be fooled by the 5″ woofers. These babies really slam hard with excellent accuracy and control.
If you’re going to be mixing with them, treatment is highly recommended but not mandatory.
SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!!
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope I’ve shed some light on the JBL LSR 305 vs. 308.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Need further clarification? Please leave a comment below or Contact me! I would be happy to help in any way..
Which of these are you more likely to go with? Let me know as well!!
All the best and God bless,
What do you consider a small, medium and large room? I want to have all-around speakers for creating mixes, sound recording and production, and mini dance parties in our living room.
Hey Keiko! I think a medium sized room is like 12′ x 12′, small 10 x 10, large 14 x 16 (approx. #’s), but the LSR305’s work well in all 3 types really. They have a tasteful amount of power if that makes sense. I only had the dial on mine at 7/10 and they freaking blew me away. Ultra clean, crisp sound. Perfect for all of the things you mention. I mixed on them but also listened casually. They are like a hybrid to me. They work well for pretty much anything! Let me know if that helps! Where are you from?