Customer Reviews

84
4.7 out of 5 stars
JBL ES25CBK 3-Way, Dual 5 1/4" Center Channel Speaker - Black
Price:$149.95 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2008
I could have not been more pleased with this speaker. I first listened to them at a local frys electronics and the range and depth just simply amazed me, thanks amazon! The vocals were very crisp and strong, its like i had the person speaking in front of me. The voice reproduction is pretty much spot on. I was able to find deals on pretty much a complete set of the ES series speakers here on amazon.
I currently have
ES90 - mains
ES25C - center
ES150P - woofer
ES20 - bookshelfs

Together the set provides a complete range of sounds that pretty much covers all ranges of audio from music to HD surround sound formats. I highly recommend any speaker in this series. As always I reccomend that you hear them first as not everyones ears are as finely tuned as some. :)
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2009
I have a full JBL surround as far as speakers, and I've always just used the TV as center. I bought a Harman Kardon receiver last October and the processing delay no longer allowed for that set-up. I borrowed my roommates JVC center speaker to do the job and it sounded decent. It's a nice speaker, but it just didn't blend or match. I did some research and went to the local Fry's and listened to a few and settled on this JBL, came home and ordered it for 1/3 the price off Amazon.
I didn't realize what I was in for till it arrived and I opened it up. Like everything else, it's bigger once you get it home and where it's going to go. I hooked it up and WOW!! The voices got so much more full and rich with their range and filled the room much much better. Add to this, I can no longer sit and close my eyes and pick out where each front speaker is and which one the sound is coming from. It all blends into a seamless wall of sound like it should! I guess I didn't realize how important the center channel was and am very very happy with this one.
If you're looking for a full range and powerful center speaker with excellent sound/detail reproduction, this one will definitely do the job. However, I must express the importance of matching up with your existing speakers for a seamless sound. Not necessarily by brand, but by ability and size. This would be way too much speaker if you just have a couple little satellites or tiny bookshelf speakers for your front. If you have full range speakers for your front channel's, this will compliment extremely well.
I also just want to add how well the directional reproduction in the room is with center and with the JBL Balcony Series that I'm running for the side channels. They were definitely a great addition as well and pair up with the crisp highs this center puts out to really give the room a true 3D sound quality. I've put in and cranked up a couple concert DVD's and watched a few live concerts on the Palladia Channel HD (digital sound feed) at close to full volume, and I must say that it sounds so good that I really feel like I'm at the concert!! (Even waking up with the foggy-head and ear-ringing till noon the next day).
I consider myself an audiophile. I've owned Carver and Bang & Olufsen through the years. (I justified a set of B&O ear buds for $200 without blinking an eye.) I personally will say that this is an awesome center, and for it's price point and sound quality it earns high marks for it's performance within my set-up. I'd say it's totally worth the $400 that Fry's wanted for it, and that the $160 I got it for on Amazon was a steal!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Bought this item as a Christmas gift for use in the living room home theatre. Already have Bose mains, Polk rears, and Sony sub with a Pioneer receiver and Samsung LED TV. Was previously using an old Radio Shack center speaker. So really needed a good center channel speaker to complete the whole set up. Also wanted a really good center channel since most, well all, of the sound from HD TV comes through the center channel. Background on myself, I am a self-proclaimed audiophile with a very good ear. I am also an Engineering student looking to get into audio engineering, so I know a lot about this stuff and had good experience with it. So the speaker itself.

Design: This is JBL. You can expect only the highest quality in build design. When I first got the package, I was surprised at it’s size. I knew it was a 6” woofer and I have 6.5” mains for my hifi so I should’ve been expecting the size, but when you put 2 of them in one enclosure it gets pretty big. It was also pretty heavy which is good. It will be solid and have no resonance because of this. We had to do a little adjusting to accommodate the speaker in the entertainment center and it sits a little lower than I would like, the couch armrest obstructs it ever so slightly and I was worried it would affect the sound, but it doesn’t at all and when I’m actually sitting on the couch, I’m angled far above the armrest so it’s fine. So just be prepared to accommodate a rather large speaker. The enclosure is poly-filled which is a must and definitely a testament to the quality of the speaker since you don’t see that in cheaper items. It comes with 2 woofers like all center speakers, but it also comes with 2 tweeters. It is basically a standard 2-way design with an extra tweeter for high and ultra high frequencies, making it a 3 way design. I would have much preferred to have a dedicated midrange driver instead of an extra tweeter. This is because the midrange of the most critical of all frequencies and where most sounds are. And since vocals are almost exclusively in the midrange and relegated to the center channel, a center speaker would take great advantage from this.

Sound: I though the sound might lack with this extra tweeter and not a midrange driver, but let me tell you, the sound is superb. The highs a re very crisp and detailed, the midrange was clear and concise, and the lows were tight and not over-emphasized. Voices in TV shows and movies are very clear and I can understand every word. Also, the JBLs are nice and loud. The previous center speaker’s sensitivity was significantly lower than the rest of the system and I often had to turn the volume way up for talking parts and way down during action scenes. The JBL’s sensitivity are much more matched and so the dynamics of movie scenes are much more natural and I don’t have to mess with the volume at all. The tweeters are coupled to JBL’s proprietary EOS waveguide. This really does help propagate sound. I notice that the sound from sitting a couple feet in front of it on the couch and being in kitchen some 20 or 30 feet away sounds to be almost the same exact volume. The EOS acts like a horn in this manner by directing sound and giving it a long throw. But since it’s not quite a horn, it doesn’t sound as directional or “in your face” as horns do and offers a wide dispersion. So overall, the sound is really, really good. JBL delivers again with great sound at a great price. The build quality and design is excellent. I don’t foresee having any problems with this speaker for a long time. This thing is a steal for the Black Friday deal I got it at. It’s totally worth the retail price as well. Don’t pass this one up for something else because you will just not find anything better for the price. Rated 4 instead of 5 stars only because the retail price seems a little steep, but get it on sale and it's beyond 5 stars.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 17, 2010
I'd been unhappy with my previous center channel speaker, a small Harman Kardon. Voices were hard to hear, making movies and TV less enjoyable. I finally got tired of it...what's the point in having a big screen (with a Blu Ray DVD player) if you can't enjoy the sound as well?

After much research I settled on this speaker. I couldn't find any professional reviews so I just had to compare features with products that were reviews. I also considered consumer reviews here and elsewhere. It was a little more than I wanted to pay but I figured I could always return it if I was unhappy.

I'm happy to report I won't be returning this speaker...it's made such a huge difference in the quality of sound coming from my system it's like I bought a whole new sound system. I plugged it in, recalibrated the receiver (it has an auto-calibrate feature), and popped in Star Trek (the recent movie) in Blu Ray.

I was impressed...the dialog was crisp and clear even during the action scenes at the beginning of the movie. I've also been watching The Pacific on HBO, a WWII miniseries. I saw the first few episodes with the old speaker and it is much better with the new speaker. While the war rages on I can now hear the dialog too.

The speaker is larger than I thought it would be, or my previous speaker was smaller than most, but it's unobtrusive and even my wife got used to it quickly.

One thing that will give me away as a neophyte speaker shopper...all the pictures I've seen show the individual speakers that make up the speaker. I wasn't sure if it came like that or not. It doesn't...of course there's a cover for the speakers. I'll have to upload a picture to Amazon to show what it looks like.

I might not be a speaker expert but I know what sounds good and this speaker sounds great. Crisp and clear dialog, sound that blends perfectly with the other speakers. I realize the receiver plays a big part but I've noticed a big difference just by adding this speaker.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2013
This review is for the cherry color version of this speaker, the ES25CCH, but other than the color it is identical to the ES25CBK.

The ES25CCH center speaker will make your surround system come to life. It is large, measuring 18 ¾" wide, 7" high, and 11" from front to back. It is wedge-shaped, so the rear is only 5" high. But it sits straight because JBL has installed tapered feet on the bottom of it - a really nice touch. This center speaker has two 5" woofers and two tweeters for awesome lifelike sounds for your movies in any Dolby surround mode.

This center channel speaker is part of my JBL speaker system, described here.

I have 2 pairs of JBL ES30CH speakers and this ES25CCH center channel speaker. I bought these to replace a set of JBL LX300's that I have had for 20 years. (The old ones will still be in use on another system.) JBL's quality and value for the dollar is well known, so I will try to give you information to help you decide if these speakers are for you.

The matching ES30CH bookshelf speakers are wider in front than in back. They measure 15 1/4" high, 13 1/4" from front to back, and 9" wide in the front, tapering to 6" wide in the back (they are wedge-shaped). The wedge-shape may seem strange at first, but they look really nice in my living room, and look great positioned straight on or at an angle. I have 2 pair - the front set is positioned straight-on facing the sofa, and the back pair is set at a 30-degree angle on each side of the sofa. They look great, especially the cherry wood color.

I have mine set on speaker stands, but if you have room you can place them on a shelf or on large end tables. They are heavy - about 20 pounds each, so plan accordingly. If you use speaker stands, be sure they are 15" tall or shorter, as taller ones would put your speakers in danger of toppling over. All 4 of mine are on 15" speaker stands, and they are actually quite stable standing right beside the TV stand (front pair) and end tables (rear pair).

As for performance - they are great! I had considered full tower speakers, but these put out such full sound that towers are not needed. If you have a really large room, JBL's ES series does include tower speakers. These ES30CH's have one 6 ½" woofer and two tweeters each for awesome sound across the whole spectrum. If you buy just one pair you will not be disappointed. I played several rock and jazz CDs using just the front pair and they filled the room with sound - I would have been more than happy with 1 pair. I turn on the 2nd pair when I watch concert DVDs or listen to live music CDs. It is quite an experience.

These speakers are 8 ohm impedance. I am driving mine with a 20 year old Pioneer VX502 and they sound fantastic. Be sure to connect the (+) speaker wire to red and the (-) to black, and do the same on your receiver (this is true for any speaker set).

I am very happy with these JBL speakers. JBL is known for quality speakers at a reasonable price, and you are not paying for heavy marketing costs. These are a great value, and an even better value if you catch a sale at Amazon. Highly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2008
The first one I received had a broken woofer in it that sounded terrible. A quick replacement from Amazon, though (thanks Amazon!) resolved the issue. Although the woofers are smaller than those found in the rest of the ES series, there are two of them and together, they produce enough volume that voices end up on the screen rather than to the sides.

Although it's wedge shaped, legs on it are adjustable to the top can be flattened for placing items on it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
I got this for a great price as a Deal of the Day. I needed a center channel speaker and subwoofer to complete my 5.1 system. The front speakers are a pair of old JBL 4412 Studio Monitors (I redid the surrounds a few years ago in order to keep them because they are extraordinary speakers). When comparing the sound quality coming out of this with the sound quality coming out of the 4412s it's night and day. The 4412s are notoriously clean, clear, and flat very full-range speakers - exactly what you want when mixing an album or - in my opinion - when listening to one! The ES25 seems to lack low-end and have a peak that colors the sound in the vocal range. Ultimately it sounds a bit tinny, not what I would expect from a wide-range JBL speaker.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2010
I bought this speaker as a replacement for a center speaker that I had blown out. I'm a big JBL fan from way back and always liked their sound. This speaker is performing pretty much as was advertised and as I expected. It seems to handle the additional power that my new surround sound receiver has that the old speaker could not.

This speaker does have a rear port and it would probably sound a little better if I didn't have it above my TV in a cabinet. The item description did mention this but in my case I didn't have a lot of placement choices. This is the only real negative in that the speaker is a bit on the heavy side at 22 lbs so it might be hard to place on top or bottom of any TV without a reinforced shelf.

All in all I am very pleased. There are speakers out there costing 2 and 3 times as much as this one but it would be hard for me to imagine them providing that much better sound. A great value here if you like the JBL sound.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2013
I purchased this Daily special center speaker for a secondary surround system and have found it to be an exceptional value with performance worthy of a much higher price. It would certainly be a very good speaker for most family surround systems. I have a much more sophisticated and expensive system in my primary theater room for watching movies and big events but the secondary system made up of my older AV gear is more than adequate for everyday viewing and exceptional for music.
I would not hesitate to recommend this speaker to anyone with the exception of those who categorize themselves as audiophiles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2010
I am very pleased to have gone ahead and purchased this center channel. I finally have a complete JBL theater speaker set, and it ROCKS!!! I have everything hooked up optical, and it sounds great! I actually have to turn it down sometimes on HD channels with 5.1 surround. Before, it was difficult to hear voices in movies and then the explosions and sound effects would be so loud! I finally have a great balanace of sound throughout. I would recommend this to anyone. JBL speakers are awesome and affordable high quality products. They make it easy to afford a kick ass theater experience! I am very happy.
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