A lot of people seem to wonder and ask what are the differences and similarities between JBL LSR 308 and Yamaha HS8.
Both are great monitors if you have room for them. If your room is on the smaller side though I would say you should go for something a bit smaller in size.
That is why in our monitor guide I recommend smaller stuff. But if you have room for 8” monitors, then, by all means, go for it.
So let’s check these two bad boys out and see what they have to offer and if the HS8 are worth the extra bit of money.
As you can see they are very similar in terms of specs with the frequency response going a bit higher on the Yamaha at 30 kHz compared to the 24 kHz on the JBL.
Another difference you’ll notice is the amp configuration, on the HS8 there is a low freq. amp of 75W with a high freq. Amp of 45W whereas on the LSR308 both low and high freq. come at 56W.
It’s hard and pretty useless to describe the sound in writing but some cool guys made a nice sound comparison of our two subjects with a KRK thrown in the mix so I’m just going to add that here.
Bear in mind, all of the monitors here have EQ adjustments so you can fine-tune the sound and also, your room acoustics matter. A lot.
So, take this video purely as a comparison of the way they massage the sound as most likely they’ll sound a bit different once you get them in your room.
This is also the case with pretty much any monitor, so if it’s your first purchase, bare that in mind both on what you see/hear online as well as in a store.
Now, to make a nerdy comparison a bit easier I’ve done some Photoshop magic and overlaid the frequency response graphs. And since we focus on two monitors, I’ve left the KRK out of it.
As you can see, they’re not too terribly different, however, the LSR has a bump around 2K which you might want to be aware of if you are planning to mix on these.
The 2K area can be quite sensitive and if you are not careful you might end up cutting a bit too much making the sound a bit dull.
You’ll also note on the LSR a huge spike in the upper area. That has to do with their tweeter design.
A design that originates in the M2 flagship monitor. The idea is to offer good stereo imagining and a wide sweet spot. I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
In terms of features, they are very similar starting with the cabinet and going into inputs and EQ.
Both cabinets are a bass-reflex type with a rear port, both made of MDF.
Both take balanced XLR and TRS signals and both offer low and high-frequency adjustments.
On both of them, like with many monitors, I dislike the fact that the on/off switch is on the back but shouldn’t be a big problem.
Regarding the backport, I would add, be careful how you position them. You don’t want either of them too close to a wall.
If there is no other option remember to bring down the low end a bit to compensate.
If you are like me and care much about your surroundings and how they look you might have a hard time picking the JBL.
I like the funky waveguide on them but other than that I think they look really bad. I don’t like the glossy ring around the cone, I don’t like the plastic face and all of these make the box 3 different shades of gray and I don’t like drama.
It’s not the most noticeable thing in the world but I know some people really care about looks and I do as well. At the end of the day, you are trying to pull out creativity and the environment you work in certainly has a say in that.
The Yamahas also have a bit of a 3 color drama but I find that they make more sense visually and they feature that iconic white cone. Also, you have the option to get a white version which looks awesome especially if it fits in your current setup.
The LSR308 is very good for the money. I think the HS8 is a bit over-hyped, very good, but a little over-hyped.
There is quite a difference in price between the two so what it boils down to in the end is what can you afford?
Now, just in case it’s your first pair of monitors, you’re just getting into music and such, I want to remind you that you might need other things besides monitors.
Thinks like cables, sound interface, maybe some studio monitor stands, software, etc. Take them into consideration when you think of your budget
Also note mentioning, the monitors, no matter how good or how expensive they are, they are NOT going to mix for you.
You still have to put in the work to learn how to mix, so don’t think that putting more money into monitors will mean less time to learn how to mix.