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on December 26, 2014
(Update: 6/4/2015) I've now had these over 6 months which is longer than I've kept any set of computer speakers before buying replacements. I'm happy to say I'm not buying replacements. These speakers added another positive recently. I bought a new PC that has a sound software on it. After fiddling with the software it has brought out much more balance and fullness in these speakers. This will probably be my last update on these since they've been very dependable, I use them everyday for at least 3 hours, most of the time it's for 6 hours. And they sound very good on all types of music. I can't see anything that could change my review at this point.

(Update: 1/25/2015) Last week while working late at night, the auto-shutoff feature kicked in while music was playing. It was starting to do what others have said, "turning off, turning on, turning off, turning on". While this seems like something that people wouldn't look over this problem was easily fixed. The shutoff feature takes its cue to shutoff when the volume coming to the speaker isn't high enough. So the volume you have the actual speaker volume turned to has very little to do with the shutoff feature kicking in. What had happened with mine, I had dusted them off and during this process, had accidentally turned the volume dial up some. When I sat down to listen to music it was too loud. I turned the master volume in my laptop down and that caused the shutoff. What I am doing and would recommend is to barely turn the speaker dial volume up. Use the master volume (over near the time/date on your bottom taskbar) to up the volume to at least 40. With it on 40, the dial can nearly be turned completely off without the shutoff feature kicking in. Just needed a little thinking there to realize it's the volume being sent into the speaker that controls this feature, not the volume the speaker is putting out. Other than that speakers are still working perfectly for my needs which are explained in the review.

I haven't had much success with finding a set of laptop speakers that I like. I have tried each of these:
Bose Companion II
Bose Companion III
Klipsch Groove P20
Creative Gigaworks T20
Logitech 323 2.1
And wasn't satisfied with any of them. Good news is: If you live with me you end up getting a set of speakers every time I buy a new set. My complaints with the above speakers range from, too tall (Gigaworks T20), takes up too much space for average sound (Logitech 323), feel like I'm paying more than I should for the sound reproduced (Both Bose), way too much bass (Klipsch Groove).

So, I saw these speakers in that electronics store that claims to have the "best buy". Listened to them in the store and thought they sounded very good. I rarely buy something like speakers without coming to Amazon reviews first. That night I read through the reviews talking about this power-saving feature. I didn't really understand the complaint since I constantly play music on my laptop. That store mentioned earlier really did have the best buy on these speakers, under thirty-five dollars. So I took a chance on the speakers.

I have to say I'm not experiencing any problems with the power-saving feature, but I do have music playing constantly when using my laptop. I even tested it out by turning the music off. Sure enough, about 3 minutes later, the speakers went to sleep. I started the music again, maybe 3 seconds passed and they came back on. Outside of me triggering the power-saving feature, these speakers have yet to stop playing or turn off. I will continue to update that part as time passes since I've only had the speakers for 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks, I've listened to them 5-7 hours a day everyday without a problem.

Sound quality isn't going to blow you away with these, but I think depending on the type of music you listen to and if you have equalizer software, you'll find these speakers are fairly well balanced. There's not a lot of bass, but I only use the speakers for me to hear music while sitting directly in front of the speakers and laptop, maybe 2-3 foot away. I can give you a few comparisons on how loud they are at lower levels. I reach the same sound level at these settings:
PC volume 40, volume dial 25% as I do with the Bose Companions, the Klipsch at those settings have more bass, but the highs and vocals are not as clear as these or the Bose. The Logitech is similar to the Klipsch at those settings. The Gigaworks to my ears, sound a little fuller than the Bose or these JBL's at those settings, but I kept knocking the Gigaworks over due to my tight computer space and their unusual height/width ratio that caused them to tip over with the slightest touch.

I will say I think these JBL are the nicest set of all of those for space and design. These speakers aren't in the way at all and have opened up quite a bit of space on my computer stand. The twisting volume top of the right speaker is unique and works well. One complaint on the design, the LED light on the front is a glowing whitish/blue color, it's annoying. I put a piece of black electrical tape over it.

I would compare them similarly to the Bose Companions and the Creative Gigaworks T20, but again, height issue with the Gigaworks pushed the JBL's ahead for me. Price difference pushes them ahead of the Bose for me. I don't consider myself an audiophile, but I do listen to mostly progressive rock and metal, both of which are technical genres. Rush, Tool, Iron Maiden, even Smashing Pumpkins and the occasional rap album sounds good on these at a lower level than I would guess the average person listens to their music. Turning these speakers up doesn't cause distortion, but I do a lot of work online at night. My wife sleeps maybe 10 ft away and can barely hear it if that tells you how low I listen to the speakers.

I still will say I don't think any of those I listed sound much better at the louder volumes. The Companions impressed me enough to end up with two sets, but I ended up letting our daughter have a set for her room and my wife to have a set for her work computer. These JBL's are plenty good enough replacements for those and while the Companions are not very big, they actually take up quite a bit more room than these do. If you're looking for a set of computer speakers to play music through at a low to moderate level and would like to save some space then I would recommend these very much. I wouldn't recommend them to people who are looking to use them just as computer speakers since I can see how that power-saving feature would be very annoying. Also if you still need more opinions on these speakers look at Crutchfield. I did and assumed the majority of their customers were buying the speakers to listen to music not to use as basic sound computer speakers. The reviews are much more favorable over there. Again, I will update if problems come up with the speakers turning off even with sound playing, but for the time being, especially if you can find them at a sale price (and don't need them very loud), I think these are the best 2.0 speakers (music) you can buy for your computer. Your desk will thank you too. Nice, sleek, small speakers that put out very good sound.
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on May 1, 2012
These are great looking speakers, compact, glossy and elegant. The volume is adjusted by spinning a disc on the top of the unit. It's hidden from view and works very well. Other than that, just plug it in and go. The sound quality is good - comparable to the JBL Duet although the Duet seems, to me, to be more powerful. The Jembe may have better base and depth. Either way, for a set of computer speakers, the sound is above average. JBL makes consistently good speakers.

The Jembe's party trick is its auto on/off switch. Instead of leaving your speakers turned on all of the time, the Jembe will detect a signal on the audio jack and turn itself on. This saves electricity. In practice, this feature is kind of annoying because it takes 5 to 10 seconds to turn on.
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on December 8, 2013
Cons: These speakers are extremely poor. They have a defective power-saving feature that turns the speakers off after only 30 seconds or so of use. The speakers must then be manually turned off then back on to get another 30 seconds of sound. I tried to contact JBL about this, but they have not responded in over a week so I suppose I'm stuck with them.

Pros: Since they are almost always turned off, the speakers use very little power and there is never any "hiss." In fact, they work almost as well when unplugged and stuffed into a drawer, so there is no need to have ugly wires or speakers taking up space on your desk!
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on July 31, 2013
The sound is great ... when it actually plays. It has an auto-off feature that kicks in only after a few minutes but requires a manual adjustment every time. After only a month this has now turned into a short in the speakers and only plays for a few seconds at a time. Extremely disappointed since the price is higher than direct competitors. Stick with Logitech or something cheaper than this.
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on March 16, 2014
Who cares how good they sound since the idiotic auto shut down feature keeps kicking in and I can't listen to them anyway. What kind of morons have they got working at this company that they should think this is a useful 'feature'. These speakers are useless. They're going back. Save your money.
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on December 13, 2013
Defective product, period. It's "power saving" feature means the speakers simply don't come on. It takes a loud signal, playing for at least five seconds, before they power themselves up. That's right - you miss the first five seconds of every song, every video, every sound you play on your computer. Every notification noise, everything. If the video is somewhat quiet, it won't play sound at all - they just stay in sleep mode. Utterly useless, DO NOT BUY.
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on July 11, 2016
Prompt delivery by the seller. Excellent JBL Jembe speakers. I really like them. Sound is crisp and clear, unlike many other PC speakers producing loud but muffled sounds. Bass is fine, too. I don't have any issue about the automatic turn-off feature that so many other users have complained about. It does turn itself off when the music stops for some minutes, but it turns back on once it senses audio signal. I use the suggestion as some users have made. Turn audio level up at the source (i.e. your tablet, MP3 or cell phone), and turn down the volume on the speakers. I can play music for hours. Never have had any issues, period.
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on October 16, 2015
Look great and sound great...When they decide to power on! The power-saving mode which powers off the speakers when they sit idle for a while is infuriatingly ineffective. They're supposed to power on as soon as they detect an audio source but in reality it takes 30 or so seconds before they decide to start working. Additionally, they often gradually power down WHILE PLAYING! Love the compact design and as I said, when they're on they sound great but with so many viable options available for under $25, you should expect solid performance for the $60 that these cost.
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on September 21, 2015
Remember reading about the auto on/off feature as being less than consistent. Just not true, these speakers have performed flawlessly since I plugged them in. Great sound in a modest sized package. Look and feel expensive. I had to use an extension cable to put one on each side of a queen size bed for use with my iPod at night.
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on November 10, 2015
Absolute waste of money for the same reason everybody else who has given them a poor rating - the auto power save feature which turns them off even when you are listening to something. I tried the suggestion of turning the volume all the way up on the computer, but this still did not solve the problem though it did help some. But it begs the question, why should you need to do that to get a pair of speakers to work on your laptop. I eventually bought new speakers.
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