JBL and Yamaha are two of the most reliable brands when it comes to producing quality monitors. When pitting the two brands against each other, two products pop out immediately — the JBL LSR305 and the Yamaha HS5.
We’d say that the JBL LSR305 is more powerful, but the Yamaha HS5 can be better for mixing. So, it’s a close one, but we’ll give it to the JBL LSR305.
However, let’s get into this JBL LSR305 vs Yamaha HS5 ultimate buyers guide to settle the dispute and see which is better for which situation.
Yamaha HS5 vs JBL LSR305: Complete Comparison Review
Yamaha HS5 Review
- Wide frequency response range of 54Hz to 30KHz
- High-performance 70-Watt power amplification
- Includes room control and trim response control
- Two-way, bass reflex, bi-amplified nearfield variant
- Has poor bass extension
- Comes with a bigger price tag
Yamaha has been in the music business since 1887 when Torakasu Yamaha built his very first reed organ. Since then, the company has become one of the most reliable names in the music industry.
Not only does Yamaha have its hands busy with producing quality musical instruments, but it also creates a wide range of musical accessories and gadgets for professionals of varying levels.
The HS5 is one of its most popular models and is sure to put up a fight when pit against the JBL LSR305.
This single unit two-way, bass-reflex, bi-amplification Yamaha studio monitor features a 5-inch cone woofer and a 1-inch dome tweeter. The bi-amplification system is great because it offers a boost to the monitor’s output.
Also, the use of 5-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter makes this model ideal for amateur musicians because they’re apt for small spaces. Add to this the extremely flat response, making it an ideal pick for bedroom setups and small home studios.
It also comes with XLR and TRS phone jack inputs and can accept both unbalanced and balanced signals. These are notable as they allow multiple input options while making music.
The option of using balanced and unbalanced signals provides more sound variations at the input stage. You get a wide frequency range of 54Hz to 30kHz in this model.
Such a range ensures you have access to healthy high and low ends while listening to or making music. This combines well with a 45W low frequency plus 25W high-frequency bi-amp system to listen to the high and low end with greater clarity.
The HS series utilizes a set of newly developed transducers that provide a smooth response to the listener over a wide range of bandwidths. Yamaha studio monitors achieve this thanks to the advanced magnetic field design — this regulates the monitor’s magnetic response to assist with a natural sonic transition.
It also sports a high-performance amp unit that’s perfectly matched to the set of transducers. The use of a bi-amp design with a separate dedicated amp for the tweeter and woofer consistently delivers high-resolution sounds.
Yamaha HS5 Reviews
In our honest opinion, the HS5 is a better quality studio monitor speak for serious music producers and audio engineers.
This added build quality and branding comes at a cost, this is something you have to consider when making your purchase.
Don’t forget that there are many more pieces of equipment you will need to buy for your studio, so shop smart.
So, does that mean that the HS5 monitors are the best for your studio or computer setup?
Let’s see what other music producers have to stay about these iconic studio monitors.
On first impressions, one producer mentioned not noticing improvements in audio quality until breaking in the speakers and noticing nuances in the sound and frequencies.
Other bed-room producers that have recently upgraded to the HS5’s commented on the lack of bass frequency ranges and possibly needing to add a subwoofer to their setup.
The majority of reviews online report a great true sound, perfect for small studio environments and bedroom production.
Be mindful that these powered studio monitors have a large footprint and are quite heavy, which is not good for people looking for a pair of speakers for your computer or multi-media center.
See how the HS5 compares to Yamaha’s HS8 in this review!
- Increased high-frequency detail design
- Room-friendly model allowing even dispersion in most given spaces
- Features a broad sweet spot
- Includes dual input channels
- Not ideal for mixing down or recording vocals.
- Emits white noise when powered on.
JBL has made quite a name for itself in the musical instrument and related accessories world. It’s managed to take on long-standing competitors, such as Yamaha, despite its relatively short life in the market.
The JBL LSR305 is a great monitor when you’re looking for a fuller sound when producing. It’s capable of delivering a rich and smooth sound at most frequencies without distortion and is especially adept at handling higher frequencies.
It also comes with a punchy bass that many producers enjoy in their setup!
This is the first generation model of the famous JBL professional 3-series of monitors. It’s built on the flagship M2 Master reference monitor’s features — one of these being the inclusion of image control waveguide technology.
Thanks to this patent-pending design feature, this monitor accurately controls the sound waves emitting from the speaker. This ensures a neutral output position, optimizing the speaker for mixing — perfect for hip hop!
You’ll also find JBL’s legendary transducers in this model. The series 3 long-throw woofers employed here benefit from a neodymium tweeter made out of a damped woven composite to reproduce music.
Note that it has a broad sweet spot — the design means it delivers a wide and neutral sound in different environments, regardless of the acoustics.
You also have access to XLR and ¼ inch TRS inputs, allowing greater flexibility during production. This isn’t the best model if you’re looking to mix down or record vocals.
On the flip side, it has a punchy bass, which is something many enjoy when seeking monitors.
JBL LSR 305 MKII Review
We have scoured the internet to find out exactly what producers and beatmakers have to say about the LSR 305’s.
Let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews.
Both newbie and advanced producers are calling these the best value for money studio monitors on the market.
The 305 MK2’s produce a clear, crisp sound, with a very tight bass response and the ability to make hip hop and dance music.
These pair of speakers are great for both studio referencing and your audio entertainment center.
In a nutshell, if you are looking for a great set of multi-purpose speakers for both your music studio, PC setup, and entertainment system then you can’t go past the LSR 305 MKII.
Check out this in-depth comparison review of the two products to determine a winner.
It’s time for the Yamaha HS5 vs JBL LSR305 battle!
Both products have been expertly designed and are flagship products.
In particular, the JBL305 uses an image control waveguide system in its design, which precisely controls the emitted sounds.
While JBL prides itself on this design choice that helps in the even distribution of sounds, Yamaha uses a low resonance enclosure design in the cabinets.
This helps remove any unnecessary resonance and heightens the accuracy of its sound reproduction. So, while JBL focuses its design on dispersing sound evenly, Yamaha is focused on improving sound clarity.
Additionally, while JBL uses a double-flared shape to improve its bass effect and improve its low frequency, Yamaha relies on noise-reduction technology in the ports to reduce air vibrations.
Thus, both models use different techniques to improve sound clarity and eliminate external disturbances from hindering output.
All in all, the top-quality design of both models makes it difficult to award a winner based on design alone.
Winner: JBL LSR305
As the JBL LSR305 is much cheaper than the Yamaha HS5, despite being a 5-inch monitor with similar specifications, JBL takes this face-off.
Winner: Yamaha HS5
Mixing / Mastering
The Yamaha HS5 is a better monitor if you want to mix and master recordings. This is because of the very flat response, making it ideal for music production.
The flat response of the Yamaha HS5 makes it ideal for bed-room production. The JBL 305 has a full sound that’s also great for producing, just not in a bedroom setup.
Both speakers offer excellent sound reproduction and true sound, but the Yamaha HS5 has a flatter response.
Winner: Yamaha HS5 due to a comparison of the below specs:
- Both Devices Run On External Power.
- Both monitors are bi-amped.
LF Driver Size
- Both use 5-inch drivers.
LF Driver Type
- The JBL uses a soft dome driver, while the Yamaha uses a cone driver.
- Cone drivers are better in this situation as dome setups limit the monitor’s frequency range, giving the edge to Yamaha.
HF Drive Size
- 1-inch drivers on both monitors.
HF Driver Type
- The JBL uses a soft dome while the Yamaha just offers a dome. JBL wins this one!
LF Driver Power Amp
- The JBL LSR 305 has a 41W driver power amp while the Yamaha HS5 has a 45W driver, so we favor the Yamaha here.
- The JBL has a frequency range of 43Hz to 24KHz, while the Yamaha has a range of 54Hz to 30KHz.
- You have access to better low ends on the JBL and better high ends on the Yamaha, making this a draw.
- The crossover frequency of the JBL is 1725Hz, while the Yahama’s is 2Khz.
- As this is the frequency at which the sub-woofers take over from the monitor, a higher frequency is always better, meaning that the Yamaha wins this round.
Maximum Peak SPL
- The JBL’s peak SPL is 108 dB, while the Yahama tops out at 134 dB. A higher peak SPL is better, so Yamaha gets the medal.
- Both the JBL and Yamaha offer 1 XLR input and 1¼-inch TRS input.
- Both models utilize ported enclosures.
- JBL: 11.75 inches.
- Yamaha: 11.2 inches.
- JBL: 7.28 inches.
- Yamaha: 6.7 inches.
- JBL: 9.88 inches.
- Yamaha: 6.7 inches.
- JBL: 10.12 inches.
- Yamaha: 11.7 inches.
From the above specifications, we can see that the JBL is the bigger unit, but the Yamaha is heavier.
Stand Out Features
The battle between JBL LSR305 vs Yamaha HS5 is near-inconclusive.
These pair of monitors stands out in certain departments, and we’ll help you see these factors here.
The JBL LSR305 stands out because:
- Sound quality: The 305 is the ideal entry-level studio monitor pick for producers and engineers on the lookout for excellent reference level sound quality.
- Tone: The sound varies between flat and neutral but also has a warm quality.
- Stereo imaging: The stereo imaging feature on the 305 is excellent, and placing these monitors in the right spot will offer an excellent output.
- LF: The low end of this monitor goes all the way down to 43Hz.
- HF: The 305 has a great high-end, as the monitor doesn’t experience distortion even at the highest volumes.
- Genre: Ideal for classical music as you’ll pick up on subtle compositions.
- Clarity: The 305 offers incredible output clarity.
- Sound production: Great for listening and mixing.
- Exterior: The 305 has a strong build and sturdy exterior.
- Design: Image control waveguide technology produces a wider stereo image.
- Accuracy: Stereo sound over surround sound for accuracy.
Meanwhile, the Yamaha HS5 sticks its neck into the fray with the following factors:
- Sound: Produces an extremely neutral sound.
- HF: The high end of this model is spectacular.
- Frequency range: The distinction between the lows, mids, and highs is well-defined and evident.
- Output: Output clarity is excellent. Producing a good mix on this unit will translate well into other devices.
- True sounds: Minimal changes are needed once you’ve done the initial mix-down. This is because of its accuracy and true sound.
- Exterior: Extremely well built and has a sturdy construction.
The Yamaha HS5 is the way if you:
- Are looking to record instruments.
- Are seeking a superior technical product. It emerged on top when we did a spec breakdown, so it’s definitely the better set of monitors technically.
- Want to work in mid-range and high-frequency genres. It also won when we compared the sounds. But, as it’s better at high-end reproduction, it works well for mixers and engineers working on non-bass-heavy genres.
- Lack space. This model takes up far less space than its competitor, but it’s on the heavier side, so make sure to get a study platform.
Buy the JBL LSR305 if you:
- Are looking for a pair of studio monitors for mixing.
- Want to work in low-frequency genres. This model has a great low end and will suit engineers and sound producers who work on bass-heavy music.
- Have a bedroom setup.
- Aren’t lacking space.
- Are on a budget. This model is far cheaper than the Yamaha HS5 despite being a close competitor in terms of features.
After considering all of these, if I had a gun to my head and in a bind to pick a winner, I’d opt for the JBL LSR305. It may not be as technically competent as the Yamaha HS5, but the price difference between the two is substantial and could make it a better investment.
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June 3, 2022 – updated images
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