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The K2: JBL's new $30,000 speaker

JBL's ultimate speaker, the K2 S9900, advances the state-of-the-art in loudspeaker design.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
JBL's best speaker, the K2 S9900. JBL

Most of you probably think of JBL as a manufacturer of affordable high-performance speakers, but the company offers a truly vast range of consumer and professional models.

The K2 S9900 ($15,000 each) is the best consumer speaker JBL makes. It's a massive thing, weighing in at 182 pounds, and it's armed with a 15-inch woofer, 4-inch magnesium, horn-loaded midrange, and 1-inch magnesium horn-loaded tweeter. It can handle amplifiers as large as 500 watts a channel.

The JBL K2 S9900 will be equally at home in ultra-high-end music and home theater systems.

The K2 was originally developed for the seriously finicky Japanese audiophile market. There it has already achieved legendary status, and it was years before JBL brought it home. American hi-fi at its best.

I haven't heard this latest version of the K2, but I'm somewhat familiar with the previous K2 S9800. That one's sound was huge, incredibly effortless, and capable of delivering truly lifelike dynamic range. That last quality alone goes a long way to making reproduced sound sound realistic.

If you can afford the best, make it your business to hear the K2.