Gadget Review: JBL SP8II 2-way, 8-Inch In-Wall Speaker with Swivel Mount Tweeter

As a new homeowner, I am slowly putting personal touches on my new home. My attention has recently been focused on my sunroom which I call the “land of lost media.” Despite having music in every room of the house, this is the only room in the house where you would find a turntable, CD player and believe it or not a cassette deck.

Wanting to keep a clean and uncluttered look in the land of lost media I decided to go with an in-wall speaker. There are a lot of options on the market for inwall speakers. From budget speakers to speakers boasting the most exquisite fidelity with over-inflated pricing the options are mindnumbing. I decide to start my search where I usually end up, with JBL Audio.

JBL sits in the middle of the price pack while sitting at the top of the performance rankings with most products. The JBL SP8II 2-way, 8-Inch In-Wall Speakers, are no different.

Let’s start with the look. The JBL SP8II’s have a very clean discreet look that will adapt to any decor style. The frames of the speaker are shipped in a subtle white finish that is ready for paint for those of you who would like them to blend deeper with your decor.

Installation of the speakers is effortless and straightforward. Dog-ear brackets make it possible to mount the speakers directly to drywall eliminating the need to search out wall studs or build frames into the walls. Mounting my speakers and running my speaker wire was a couple of hour-long weekend project. The payoff of this project was massive.

I gave the speakers their first run with a vinyl copy of Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America.” Knowing this album was produced and engineered by Ken Scott I felt it would give me a broad spectrum of frequencies and tones to judge the new speakers.

For those of you familiar with the track you know it starts with electric piano. The piano shimmer through the tweeters with sound so realistic it almost seemed to be coming from my keyboard sitting in the corner of the room. As the song builds I was hearing thundering bass and drums thumping through the speakers. The sound quality of these backless in-wall speakers was on par with my JBL reference monitors in my home studio. I pushed these speakers hard and a volume levels I would never venture to listen to music the JBL SP8II’s stayed clean and balanced. Never was there distortion present, my lows remained clear and tight never getting muddy.

At first, I wondered how these speakers sans-cabinets sounded so good. Then the obvious hit me. The engineers at JBL dialed these speakers in perfectly for their application. These are not “speakers with wall mounts” these are genuinely in-wall speakers designed for the purpose and use the consumer wants and needs. | JBL on Twitter| JBL on Facebook | JBL on YouTube