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JBL intros 2 budget 5.1 speaker systems

JBL has announced two new compact 5.1 speaker systems, one of which, the Cinema 500, is priced at just $500.

JBL Cinema 500

Many people are turned off the home theater experience by big, expensive speaker systems, but that's not the only way to do surround sound. JBL announced two compact 5.1 speaker systems this morning--the Cinema 300 (for $500) and Cinema 500 (for $700)--each featuring a 150-watt subwoofer. The Cinema 300 system is particularly small, with each front/surround speaker measuring just 9.25 inches high. Both speaker systems are available now and you can check our their full specs at their respective product pages (Cinema 300 and Cinema 500).

We can't say we're crazy about the "dynamic JBL Weave" styling from the press photos--especially with plenty of other stylish options in this price range--but we'll be willing to overlook some aesthetic shortcomings if they deliver better-than-expected sound quality.