JBL Pebbles: Affordable PC speakers with a rockin' design

Due out soon, JBL's $60 Pebbles offer a unique take on media speakers with a circular, snail-like design.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
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The JBL Pebbles will come in multiple color options. JBL

Harman Kardon has made some pretty interesting-looking computer speakers over the years (remember the SoundSticks?) and its JBL division will soon begin serving up this set of "plug-and-play" Pebbles speaker, which actually seem to remind people more of snails than rocks.

No matter. They feature 50mm drivers, built-in cable management, an aux-in audio port for smartphones and MP3 players, and simple USB connectivity. And that disc on the side? That's actually a rotating volume control.

Editor Matthew Moskovciak had a quick listen at a Harman Kardon preview event and was fairly impressed with what he heard, particularly considering the Pebbles' modest price tag of $59. No word yet on exactly when the speakers, which will come in multiple color options, will be available in the US, but they're scheduled to ship sometime this month (September).

We'll update this First Take when we have a firmer release date and will post a full review of the product once we get a review sample.

Close up of the speaker, which features cord management in its base (click to enlarge). Matthew Moskovciak/CNET