Home Studio Monitors JBL LSR305 Review: Unlocking Professional Sound On A Budget

JBL LSR305 Review: Unlocking Professional Sound On A Budget

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

The JBL LSR 305 studio monitors have enjoyed a substantial wave of acclaim and attention within the audio community for many years, touted for their impressive sound quality and affordability.

However, as time progresses, questions surface regarding their enduring value proposition in a landscape where audio engineers seek precision and accuracy in their studio monitors.

The crucial debate revolves around whether the LSR 305s still hold their ground as a commendable choice or if investing in purpose-built studio monitors for serious mixing might offer more comprehensive features and long-term advantages.

In our forthcoming review, we’ll delve deeply into the realm of the JBL LSR 305, scrutinizing their performance and features, while weighing them against dedicated studio monitors.

Our endeavor is clear: to provide an exhaustive assessment that unveils whether the LSR 305s maintain their appeal or if there are superior alternatives on the market.

We’ll navigate through their sound fidelity, design, and suitability for critical audio tasks, aiming to assist you in determining whether the LSR 305s are a worthwhile investment or if there exist other options that better align with your specific audio needs and aspirations.


Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Check eBay!


  • Powered: Yes
  • Power Configuration: Bi-amped
  • LF Driver Size: 5″
  • HF Driver Size: 1″
  • HF Driver Type: Soft Dome
  • LF Driver Power Amp: 41W
  • HF Driver Power Amp: 41W
  • Total Power: 82W
  • Frequency Range: 43Hz-24kHz
  • Crossover Frequency: 1725Hz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 108 dB
  • Enclosure Type: Ported
  • Input Types: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4″ TRS. What is XLR?
  • Height: 11.75″
  • Width: 7.28″
  • Depth: 9.88″
  • Weight: 10.12 lbs.


Like you, I needed a good mixing/reference solution and waited quite a long time before deciding to purchase any kind of monitor!

I don’t really know why.

Perhaps I was intimidated by all the technical jargon that goes along with higher-end audio equipment.

For the longest time, I used my computer’s internal Soundcard (whichever laptop I was using at the time), and my mixes suffered.

It wasn’t until I purchased the Sony MDR-7506s that my beat quality improved tenfold.

However, it is common knowledge that you shouldn’t rely on just headphones to mix.

With that in mind, my next task was figuring out which monitors got the best reviews, packed a hefty punch, remained flat enough to mix on, and were also easy on the wallet.

I scoured the internet and read as much as I could.

I read every single Amazon review, then went to as many other sites as possible.

I literally went back and forth for weeks before finally arriving at a decision.

I had never heard of the name JBL before, so I put extra care into making sure there was a universal consensus about how good these are.

To put it bluntly, the hype was real.

It’s almost like buying your first smartphone.

You can never go back to a flip phone or even a slide phone for that matter.

The convenience of a smartphone is priceless in today’s fast-paced society.


I could never go back to laptop speakers, standard computer speakers, or even a pair of Logitechs!

The difference in sound quality is night and day.

They are everything I wanted and needed, and then some.

Are these the best ever? No, of course not.

Are they the best entry-level monitors? I would say so.

Are they the best bang for the buck?

Well, the Presonus Eris e3.5s may have something to say about that, but I’d venture to say the 305s will probably be your first really good pair of speakers/monitors.

What Are They?

JBL LSR 305 Review

Lego men bask in the 305’s glory.

The LSR 305s are entry-level studio monitors meant to satisfy the needs of the producer/engineer looking for exceptional, reference-level sound quality at an affordable price.

They are active monitors, meaning they don’t need a separate amp to power.

They do however need AC (alternating current) power.

AC simply means the power frequently reverses direction many times per second.

The standard is 60Hz, with hertz being your typical unit of measure.

They are MONO speakers and come with two power cables, as each needs its own power source.


Some common sources and DACs (Digital to Analog interfaces/mixers) that are used with the JBLs:

An audio interface

Right now I have the Universal Audio Volt 2 and love it. I don’t actually have the 305s anymore, but we’ll get into that later.

The 305s have both TRS inputs as well as XLR, so you’ve got some wiggle room. I purchased this TRS to XLR cable which will work fine with the Volt 2’s dual TRS outputs.

A Mixer

You could also go with a mixer if you like more of a hands-on approach to EQ.

A solid option would be something like the Mackie Mix 8.

JBL LSR 305 Review

Connections on the back.


Taking a look at the back panel, we’ve got the On/Off switch, Balanced XLR and TRS options, an LF (Low-Frequency Trim), an HF (High-Frequency Trim), an Input Sensitivity switch, and the Volume Potentiometer.

In all my time with these, I never pushed the Volume dial past 7.

In other words, they pack quite a punch!

With the trim options, just play around with it until you’ve found something satisfactory.

With the bass, you’ve got the option to boost it by +2dB, cut it by -2dB, or keep it neutral.

With the HF Trim, the same applies.

Since we’re dancing around the subject, we may as well go into how they sound!


If I had to quickly sum up how these sound based on the 5 years I owned them from 2014 – 2019, I’d describe it as a cross between neutral and emphasized.

The great thing about them, and likely a reason why they’re so popular, is that they’re kind of a hybrid between monitors you can realistically mix on, and speakers you can kick back and just casually listen to some tunes with.


A big reason why they’re so enjoyable to listen to is the bass.

It’s not overly boosted like say, a KRK monitor, but it also doesn’t drop off a cliff.

In other words, it slams hard and has impact, but doesn’t sound sloppy like that chick in college you probably shouldn’t have made out with at the Kegger party.


Perhaps the most important component of any successful mix-down is the mids, and JBL knows this all too well.

In short, you can expect an excellent rendering of this crucial area, with vocals and instruments sounding true to life and very, very natural.

In fact, it’s one of the main things that makes them so fun to listen to.

There’s no nasally weirdness, no honk, none of that.

You’re getting a faithful rendering without the added shout and overemphasis that many monitors fall prey to.


The treble has a bit of sparkle up top, but it never sounds out of line or harsh. This is super important.

Yes, you’ll want some brightness to help with overall clarity and the like, but the 305 never ventures into sibilant territory and will sound just zesty enough for the majority of users.

Overall resolution

This is definitely a highlight of the 305 and likely a byproduct of their excellent overall tuning with regard to the bass, mid-range, and treble.

Not only can you hear almost everything going on, but it doesn’t sound unnatural or forced. Records sound crisp, detailed, and saucy. Your mixes will, too.


JBL LSR 305 Review

Entry level heaven.

The above image is right before I had to sell them, so work with me. xD

They are near-field monitors, meaning that they need to be about a foot or 2 away from you, facing diagonally creating a 3-point equilateral triangle at about ear level.

the farther you are away, the less impact the sound has.

This is especially true for the higher frequencies that lose a bit of energy at a greater distance.

This means you should invest in some stands (if space allows), build 2 simple shelving units on the wall (as I did in my old space), or MacGyver something to get them elevated to the proper height.

Here’s my old setup (bedroom) after I sold the 305s but before I got the HS7s. I built the shelves with a future monitor purchase in mind.

All of this really depends on your studio space.

You’ll know you have them situated properly when you sit squarely in the middle of both speakers, close your eyes, and are able to place each distinct sound in the Soundstage.

The sound should also feel like it’s coming from the center, back a bit, and/or up, with sound also coming from the sides – if the engineer/producer did a good job of spacing things out.

How the music is imaged depends entirely on the song and can vary from track to track.


Being that the bass is ported on the rear, you may want to consider some Acoustic Sound Treatment in the form of acoustic foam panels and try to place the monitors as far away from the wall as you can.

It’s impossible to get a perfect sound in a bedroom, but taking this extra step will help the sound coming out of the JBLs immensely.

I recently moved my studio out of my bedroom and into a larger space, and it definitely goes a long way in improving the overall sound coming out of any monitors.

Here’s my current setup in the dining room that I never used:


By now you may be wondering why I have the HS7s if I just spent an entire review gushing over the 305s.

Well, friend, times were tough in 2019 and I had to sell my precious babies.

Now I’m back in black like AC/DC, but this poses an interesting question and brings us back full circle from what I mentioned in the open:

Are the 305s still a good value today?

Yes, absolutely. If you don’t have the money to spend on the HS7s, I would definitely snag a pair of 305s and not think twice about it.

They’re fantastic budget monitors that punch way above their price tag (literally).

Are they the best option for mixing?

Not quite.

I firmly believe the HS7s are better for more serious production work, but that just goes back to what I said about the 305s; in that, they work well for both casual listening and reference work but aren’t quite specialized enough for either scenario.

As much as I love my HS7s, they’re brutally honest and will not so much as get a single smear of lipstick on a pig. 

The 305s?

It’s like a girl with a subtle amount of makeup on. She doesn’t quite look like this:

But she also isn’t completely bone dry.

Wow, now that I’ve completely alienated any female readers (which is like no one), let’s give a consensus!


The JBL LSR 305 is widely acknowledged as an excellent budget-friendly studio monitor ideal for production work.

Its versatility lies in its ability to serve as a hybrid monitor suitable for both casual listening and professional reference purposes.

Renowned for delivering impactful sound without excessively altering or coloring the audio, the LSR 305 garners praise for its mostly balanced performance.

Its capability to cater to various audio needs, from everyday listening to critical reference monitoring, positions it as a versatile and reliable choice within its price range.

Closing Thoughts

Proper Home Studio Monitor Placement And Positioning Setup Guide

The JBL LSR305s were my first studio monitors.

For individuals with budget constraints looking to venture into the realm of studio monitors, the JBL LSR 305 stands out as an ideal choice.

It serves as an exceptional entry point into the world of professional-grade audio monitoring, offering a compelling alternative for those who aren’t ready to invest in higher-priced models like the HS7.

The LSR 305’s ability to deliver quality sound, its versatility for both casual listening and reference purposes, and its overall performance make it an excellent long-term companion.

As a perfect gateway into the realm of studio monitors, the LSR 305 will serve you extremely well, providing a reliable and satisfying audio experience for years to come.

Learn More:



Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this JBL LSR 305 review and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

If you love what I do here and want to support the blog and channel in a more personal way, check me out on Patreon and discover all the value I have to offer you.

Just want to make a one-time donation? Click here. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps keep this site running!

Are you better equipped to make a purchasing decision based on my review? What are your experiences within the realm of music production? I’d love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!




JBL LSR 305 Studio Monitor




Build Quality




Ease of Use



  • Crazy Value
  • Sexy
  • Amazing reference quality sound
  • Crystal clear clarity
  • Easy to set up


  • Ugly (to some)
  • No grill
  • Tweeter is sensitive/fragile

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How To Buy Term Life Insurance Online December 29, 2014 - 11:19 pm

Thanks for the detailed review of jbl lsr 305. I like music that sounds good. 🙂

Stu December 29, 2014 - 11:24 pm

Thanks a lot!! I appreciate the feedback 🙂

Nate December 30, 2014 - 12:13 am

Hey Stu – thanks for the review This monitor sounds awesome! One day…..

Oh and your third paragraph cracked me up! Keep these reviews coming

Stu December 30, 2014 - 12:15 am

Thanks Nate!! Haha I’m trying to incorporate some of my humor in these posts.. Glad you enjoyed it!! 😀

David Snodgrass December 30, 2014 - 1:39 am

yes I used to own a pair of JBL’s they have a great sound

Stu December 30, 2014 - 1:51 am

I love em!!

Dan December 30, 2014 - 3:54 am

JBL all the way. My buddy has some JBL’s. I don’t think it’s jbl lsr 305’s but they definitely have an excellent sound. Thanks

Stu December 30, 2014 - 9:12 pm

Yeah they are still kind of under the radar esp. because it seems like KRK dominates this particular market. Love the JBL’s though..
thanks for the comment!

Steve December 30, 2014 - 8:26 am

These do look tasty! And JBL are a brand I have a lot of respect for… They are defo up on my list. Thanks for an awesome review 😉

Stu December 30, 2014 - 9:11 pm

You’re welcome Steve!! Thanks for stopping by bro. 🙂

Bassam January 19, 2015 - 6:34 am

I am in the market for some monitors, I will keep your suggestion in mind when I am buying one. Great stuff Stu!

Stu January 19, 2015 - 9:09 pm

Thanks Bassam! You can’t go wrong with these. They are incredible

Ricardo December 2, 2015 - 1:21 pm

congrats, this is the best review I have seen regarding these monitors!

Stu December 4, 2015 - 1:01 am

Thanks Ricardo!

Andrei Bangala February 6, 2017 - 1:01 am

Thanks for this review !
I order : 2x JBL LSR 305, subwoofer LSR 310 S and Scarlett 2i2.
I hope to be happy with this setup. In the pas I had Logitech Z906 …

Stu February 7, 2017 - 2:01 am

You will be more than happy with the setup brother! Let me know how you like it and if you have any questions.

Jason Pham March 13, 2017 - 12:20 am

Hi Stu. Great review article even in 2017! Just a question, how far apart do you put these left and right speakers? Would 1.2m do justice? Thanks a lot.

Stu March 13, 2017 - 1:16 am

Hey Jason!

Thank you so much for the comment. I work incredibly hard on this site and it’s nice to see people recognizing that.

As for the monitors, yeah that sounds about right. You don’t really have to place them too far outside of your own body position actually. Just make sure that they form an equilateral triangle towards your ears, at around ear level. That is very important because otherwise you’re not getting the full impact of the sound and will miss out on some precious detail. I’ve had this happen and it was eye opening when I got the placement right. Hope that helps! Let me know what monitors you go with and if you have any other questions!


Christian Chatelle November 10, 2017 - 12:18 am

You sir deserve a Nobel prize for spending your time teaching and helping so many people for free, wish you a merry christmas and thanks for doing this 🙂 Regards from Norway 🙂

Stuart Charles Black November 10, 2017 - 12:24 am

Thanks Christian! Wishing you a Merry Christmas as well!!

James P Kelly May 16, 2018 - 2:46 am

Hi Stu! TY for sharing your reviews! I’ve a friend in Italy who asked for my advice re speakers for under 400 euros she could hook directly to her notebook pc. I suggested the JBL LSR 305s as well as the Edifier R1700BTs, the Mackie CR5s [of they make them in 220V European plugs], and the Presonus Eris E4.5…but the JBLs were my 1st recommendation. Now I’m concerned by your comment re needing an interface between a computer and the JBLs. Could you please explain this further? Thank you!

Stuart Charles Black May 16, 2018 - 12:36 pm

Hey James!

An interface is needed to power the monitors via XLR to balanced TRS. The TRS plugs into the back of the interface, and the XLR ends plug into each monitor. The interface also plugs to your PC/Laptop via USB. I have the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, which does very well with the 305’s. 🙂

If you need any further explanation let me know!


Ezra August 28, 2018 - 3:17 pm

Hey Stu! Super great review. I’ve been indecisive about buying HS 7 or this beast for about two months, considering I have a really weird shaped room. I have somewhat a triangle rooftop shape kind of room. Plus, my music is mainly dance music. I was planning on buying HS 7 + HS8S subwoofer, but then considering my room, which is around 10m x 3m wide, plus I read this review. I am a newcomer in music production but I am highly passionate, that’s why I’ve been roaming all over the net for producing related stuffs. Any recommendations Stu? Thanks in advance!

Stuart Charles Black August 29, 2018 - 1:41 pm

Hey Ezra!

How tall are your ceilings specifically?


Alex September 17, 2018 - 7:28 pm


Little confused, why is it hazardous?

Stuart Charles Black September 18, 2018 - 5:01 pm

To be honest, I can’t remember where I read that but I did quite a while back in my research. I wouldn’t worry much about it. It was really just me trying to be as detailed as possible and really can be omitted from this article. I’ve had mine since 2014 with absolutely no issues. One of the best (if not the best) audio purchases I’ve made since I started in 2007.

Hope that helps! Let me know.


Connor June 10, 2020 - 7:39 pm

Hey Stu! Would you recommend the LSR’s over the newer 305’s? I’ve also heard very good things about Kali audio’s Lp6 and wanted to know if you could compare the two. I’ve also heard that both these models tend to have a hissing problem. Is this a big issue? Thanks!

Stuart Charles Black June 11, 2020 - 1:56 pm

Hey Connor! I’m not quite sure about the newer 305’s but if I had to take a guess they probably sound around the same. Don’t quote me on that though as I haven’t looked into it. 😛 Which model is cheaper? Also haven’t heard the Kali’s. Sounds interesting! I actually had to sell my 305’s last summer because money was very tight but now I wish I hadn’t lol. It’s pretty much the only thing I miss out of all the stuff I sold. I’m kind of in the market for another pair so I will definitely have to check those out.

Leonardo Lopez September 8, 2020 - 6:02 pm

Hola Stu, para estos JBL 305, que sería mejor, el DAC Fiio k5pro o la Focusrite 2i2??
– No los uso para producción musical, ni tampoco para juegos, son exclusivamente para escuchar música con buena calidad de audio.
– Creo que te faltó explicar cómo conectarlos a un DAC/AMP

Te felicito por tu trabajo y tus conocimientos, leer tus artículos es realmente divertido y se aprende bastante, gracias!! ????

Stuart Charles Black September 11, 2020 - 2:57 pm

¡Hey hombre! Sé que hablamos en Instagram, pero ¿necesitas más de 1 entrada / salida? El 2i2 tiene 2 entradas combinadas XLR / TRS en la parte frontal, pero es posible que no las necesite. Cuando vuelva a comprar una interfaz, obtendré la tercera generación en solitario porque solo necesito una entrada en la parte frontal para rapear y las salidas en la parte posterior para algunos monitores.

Pero sí, creo que el Solo combinado con el 305 es una solución perfecta para ti.

¡También edité el artículo para reflejar la configuración! Gracias por señalar eso 🙂 ¡Déjame saber tus pensamientos hermano!

Leonardo Lopez September 12, 2020 - 12:57 pm

Hey Stu!! si, hablamos por Instagram, pero siempre es bueno ver tus comentarios y respuestas en distintos lados ?…
Si, definitivamente lo mejor es JBL 305 + Focusrite solo + cables balanceados, iré por esa configuración sin duda, y estoy seguro que la disfrutaré bastante!! – Aunque no descarto el k5pro para una futura compra, eso sería un regalo principalmente para mis Sennheiser HD58x, además no pienso morir sin antes confirmar que suena tan bien como todos dicen ??

Un saludo, mi hermano, mil gracias por tu atención y tu tiempo, y compartir tus conocimientos!! ????

Stuart Charles Black September 28, 2020 - 2:19 pm

¡De nada, amigo mío! ¡Mantenme informado de todo y no dudes en comunicarte con nosotros!

Andrew June 19, 2022 - 12:32 pm

Hi Stu, thanks for your reviews and the knowledge you share.

Came here as I’m looking* for a pair of headphones to use with my 305s. The ones I have now, are too far off the 305s to be used together.

Based on your experience, which pair from your Budget review, will give the least nasty surprises, when you take them off and listen to the same mix over the 305s?

Thanks in advance.

*3rd result on DDG when looking for “headphones to pair with lsr 305” and country set to Germany. Moves to the second page without country filter. So German DuckDuckGo likes you better than international :O 😀

Bit of background:
Can’t remember when I got mine, they were quite new at the time. Currently they’re hooked up to a Behringer Xenyx Q502. Needed some extra inputs. They’re also used for listening to music and watching videos. They had previously been hooked up to a M-Audio M Track II (cheapest that I could get with balanced outputs when I bought the 305s). Lots of low cut and compression when watching videos due to thin walls.

Been a hobbyist since the 80s (aside from MIDI modules, mainly software Synthesizers and Samples, i.e. computer based). I had a pair of Senheiser Headphones and Magnat satellites for about 15 years, before getting the 305s –
just getting a new subwoofer when I was somewhere that I could use it(they survived a lot of travel). So I knew them really well. Before that I used whatever I could get + EQ and reference albums that I knew well.

The one’s I have now (super budget Superlux), whilst fine for listening to music or gaming and even fun when making music (as long as I’m using only presets). Few days ago I switched from phones to monitors… for the first time I encountered something sounding horrible… usually it’s was just a bit of EQ and levels and good to go. I could hear what needed to be done. But this one.. the whole grove was lost and it sounded depressing instead of uplifting like before :O …hence the realisation that I really should get some other phones.

Stuart Charles Black June 30, 2022 - 3:32 pm

Hey man thanks for the comment and it’s my pleasure! Which Sennheisers did you have? I’d probably recommend either the AKG K702, 6XX, or DT880 for reference level sound at an affordable price. Let me know.

amanieux September 19, 2022 - 12:53 pm

just my 2 cents about the 1 meter equilateral triangle setup for casual low volume listening , i found jbl 305 sounded better much closer to your ears but far enough to avoid the tweeter hiss so my best sounding configuration is 10 cm ahead of me, 70 cm to right and 70 cm to the left.

Stuart Charles Black September 19, 2022 - 2:44 pm

Nice! I will have to keep that in mind because I plan to get another set of these. Right now I have the Eris e3.5. Really good for the money!

David Kra June 7, 2023 - 11:32 pm

As noted in the review, in portrait mode the frequency response is stable from seated to standing. The very noticeable difference is the narrow side to side dispersion from the treble. Given the waveguide’s shape and orientation, this makes sense. (Broad dispersion is perpendicular to the long axis. That is the physics of long emitters, not specifics for this speaker.)
For a multiperson home studio, or even a single person who sits and rolls left and right with a wheeled chair, or when used outside the studio with one on either side of the TV:
Solution: Turn the LSR305’s on their side from portrait to landscape mode.
I have received almost hate mail elsewhere for giving this advice, but it really does make a big difference .

Stuart Charles Black June 10, 2023 - 1:14 pm

Dang! I wish I could try it but I don’t have the 305s anymore. I had to sell them in 2019 for cash purposes but I was thinking of either getting them again or going straight for the Yamaha HS7.


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