JBL ES900 Cinepack
Stunning sound quality from an impressive 5.1 speaker package
- Incredible sound quality, ability to adjust subwoofer
- Audiophile price tag
JBL's ES900 Cinepack offers amazing quality and depth of sound, even if it's at a price not many can afford.
Price$ 3,496.00 (AUD)
The ES900 Cinepack, which joins the ES800 and ES1000 in JBL's new line of home theatre surround sound packages, delivers great sound. Its only flaw is the audiophile-grade price.
The ES900 Cinepack, comprising two floorstanding speakers, two bookshelf speakers, a centre speaker and a subwoofer, is a very large and imposing setup. Delivered in five separate boxes, it's not light — weighing almost 83 kilograms in total. This weight is justified though: the units have an impressive build quality and are finished in a black ash veneer. JBL has not bundled a surround sound receiver or amplifier with the system. This might be a failing for a cheaper unit, but the market for the ES900 Cinepack is audio enthusiasts who already have dedicated amplifiers and sources.
The package's focus is understandably on the two floor-standing speakers, which serve the front left and right stereo channels. (They are available separately as JBL's ES90 speakers.) They are quadruple driver speakers: they have individual elements dedicated to different ranges (bass, treble, and mid-range). This allows for a better and more unified balance of sounds. The centre speaker and the two surround bookshelf speakers play a secondary role. The centre speaker is more than capable for movies, with a focus on mid-range, which means it is well suited to vocals and movie dialogue. The surround speakers are equally capable and do a good job of adding separation to positional audio.
The five speakers of the system are complemented by JBL's ES150 subwoofer. It's a 10in driver. This may seem small by home theatre standards, but it has a massive amount of power. It runs off its own built-in amplifier, which allows for the volume and frequency cut-off of the subwoofer to be set manually. We found this useful when setting the ES900 Cinepack up: it allows you to adjust the subwoofer to the room size. The subwoofer can handle incredibly loud volumes without any evident distortion. Bass was consistently punchy at all volumes, with a reasonably quick decay.
Even without the subwoofer turned on, the front speakers do a fantastic job for stereo music. Bass is well covered by the dual 8in woofers. The high-quality tweeters used in the floorstanders give a beautifully sharp edge to high-range notes, without sounding harsh or fatiguing.
The system is wonderfully balanced. In either stereo or surround mode there is no obvious focus on any part of the aural spectrum; the speakers perform excellently for any musical style.
It is when used for surround sound that the ES900 Cinepack really excels. We connected the speakers to a dedicated Onkyo receiver and DVD player and threw on The Matrix. During the well-known lobby scene, we were blown away by the sound quality. Individual gunshots, footsteps and other noises could be clearly distinguished without any confusion; positional audio was exceptionally good. We then switched to a Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player and The Fifth Element. The speakers performed flawlessly, with a deep, rich musical sound accentuated by crisp, clean highs.
Whether you're listening to stereo music or surround sound movies, the ES900 Cinepack from JBL is a package that is exceptionally capable. If you're not put off by the price, this system is a great choice.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTTest ManagerWA
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior IOS DeveloperNSW
- FTDWH Developer - Hyperion / DatastageNSW
- CCSenior Network Architect l CCIE R&S l Cisco ACINSW
- CCService Desk ConsultantACT
- TPMedia AssistantNSW
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCPega TesterVIC
- FTMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- FTAssociate Consultant - IT Project ServicesVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst- Data GovernanceNSW
- FTSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTETL Informatica DeveloperNSW
- FTProgram Manager-SAP Transition, SAP FICO ImplementationNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTProduct Manager / Business Analyst Clinical Solutions (Lorenzo)QLD
- TPBusiness Implementation ManagerNSW
- FTSCOM Monitoring and Alerting SpecialistNSW
- FTWeb BA LeadQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW