What We Like
- Bass boost switch.
- Expertly tuned woofer.
- Highly efficient amp with a lot of headroom.
What We Don’t Like
- Not the the most attractive subwoofer.
JBL has quite a name in the world of audio, meddling in both extremely accessible and extremely exclusive offerings. The Sub 260P strikes a balance between these two realms, delivering excellent performance and a rich feature set, making it one of the best subwoofers under $500.
The design and overall look of this subwoofer, while pleasant, isn’t anything to write home about. Upon first glance, it just looks like a plain black box, standing a bit taller than most subwoofers. Removing the front cloth grille reveals a beautiful silver woofer and some JBL branding on bottom, really tying the look of the speaker together. The rest of the box, when looking closely, is finished in a faux wood grain that, while subtle, is a nice touch.
I really didn’t care for the look of the Sub 260P when I first looked at it. However, removing the grill and taking a closer look at the finish really made me appreciate it more. While the overall look isn’t the best, it certainly isn’t offensive, and hiding the port and all the necessities around back make this speaker fit into almost any setup with being offensive. I wouldn’t say this subwoofer will enhance a setup aesthetically, but it gets the job done.
Feature-wise, this subwoofer is all about compromises. There are a lot of features present, but not as many as some other offerings in this price bracket. Of course, tunable crossover, phase, and signal sensing are present. However, this subwoofer goes further, including a bass boost switch to add some subharmonic enhancement for bass junkies. To handle all of that is JBL’s 300W RMS and 600W dynamic Class D amplifier that can push out some serious low-end with ease.
What this combines to is a very competent set of features while, not extensive, hits in every place that matters. The high-efficiency amplifier pairs beautifully with the 12’s PolyPlas transducer to create a fantastic low-end experience. The addition of a bass boost switch is also a welcome bonus because sometimes it’s nice to show off just how far a sub can be pushed. At this price, the only thing I would’ve liked to see is remote functionality. However, if this would have come at compromises in other areas, then it’s a feature that’s easily forgotten.
JBL is an authority in the world of audio, obviously. This subwoofer shows why that’s the case. The experterty tuned woofer combined with a rear Slipstream port to create a low-end that is tight and consistent, but just as powerful as you would hope.
The sub reaches very deep at a rated 29 Hz, not dipping too much before that end point. What this delivers is earth shattering low-end that can easily shake a house only enhanced by the bass boost functionality. That is, if you can handle it.
Thankfully, this can be dialed back with the tunable crossover, granting a pretty steep 24dB/octave slope starting at 50 Hz.
While at first glance the Sub 260P isn’t flooring, the performance speaks for itself. A competent feature set combines with expert design and an excellent woofer to create a fantastic subwoofer. While it doesn’t on every front, it sure sounds amazing.
AR Rating 84/100
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