JBL Vs. BOSE Speaker Comparison

Listen up as we compare two well known brands in the bookshelf speaker category. The JBL Vs. BOSE comparison gives some sound insight on these rival companies.

JBL Arena 6 Inch 2Way Speakers

JBL Arena 6 Inch 2Way Speakers

Speaker Features:

  • Handles up to 280 watts peak power and 70 watts RMS (continuous) power @ 8 ohms
  • Each speaker features a 3/4" titanium-laminate dome tweeter and a 6" PolyPlas woofer
  • EOS waveguide ensures high frequencies throughout the listening room
  • 5-way binding posts 
  • Black wood-grain finish with elegant silver grilles 
  • Frequency response: 50Hz - 20kHz 
  • Sensitivity: 88dB 
  • Impedance: 8 ohms 
  • Warranty Terms: 5 years parts and labor
  • Maximum Power Handling: 280W
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz - 20kHz
  • Tweeter: 3/4" Titanium laminate
  • Woofer: 6" PolyPlas
  • Magnetically Shielded
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Impedance: 8 ohms

Avg. Price: $149 - $280

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Bose 201v 6.5 Inch 2-Ways
The Editor Pick Editor's Pick

Bose 201v 6.5 Inch 2-Ways

Speaker Features:

  • Direct/Reflecting technology
  • Long-excursion 6-1/2" woofer 
  • High-sensitivity, magnetic fluid-cooled 2" Stereo Targeting tweeter 
  • Spatial Dispersion lens for even distribution of high frequencies for a wide, stable stereo image
  • Advanced flare-port geometry for smooth, robust bass response without audible port noise
  • Compatible with amplifiers rated from 10 to 120 watts/channel, 4 to 8 ohms (60 watts IEC rating)
  • Engineered for stereo use or as a rear-channel solution for home theater
  • Voice-matched for seamless integration with other Bose speakers in home theater applications
  • Check out our Series V speakers guide to learn more about bookshelf speakers from Bose.
  • Warranty Terms: 5 years transferable parts and labor
  • Maximum Power Handling: 120W
  • Frequency Response: Not rated
  • Crossover Type: 2-way
  • Tweeter Size: 2"
  • Woofer: 6-1/2"
  • Connector Type: Clip
  • NOT Magnetically Shielded

Avg. Price: $150 - $220

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What research says

Bose is well known for making great products with a high build quality and great sound. The research that has gone into the Bose 201v is apparent at first listen. Bose borrows technology from their higher ranking 501-series and this speaker sees the benefits of Bose's Direct/Reflect design technology which allows your sound to be adjusted in very dynamic ways by re-orienting the speaker instead of moving it somewhere else in the room.

The design also has a feature that nearly eliminates "port noise", which is often easy to hear in small and bookshelf speakers when excessive bass or high volumes are played through ported speakers. Bose also uses a bigger stereo dispersion tweeter at 2-inches compared with JBL's 3/4-inch tweeter. This allows the Bose 201v to more accurately recreate the midrange in medium to loud levels at the tweeter level instead of at the woofer level, which means that you'll get more bass and depth at medium to loud volumes than the JBL will.

The JBL ARENA is a great monitor and addition to reinforce sound that is already in place. Some excellent uses are as a nearfield computer, studio, or home theater monitor. JBL's ARENA, unlike the Bose 201v is magnetically shielded which allows for more positioning options and can reduce the "signal clutter" of a room by reducing interference caused by the magnet in the speaker. The JBL ARENA also sports more power handling ability than the Bose 201v with 10 more watts of continuous power handling and a peak rating that is 160-watts higher, which is significant for home theater owners since those systems are more likely to encounter sound passages that can go from quiet to extremely loud very quickly.

In selecting a speaker, the primary consideration is it's intended use. The Bose 201v is a great sounding all purpose speaker with a nice and functional design and great build quality; it has multi-purpose use and can be used as the main speakers in a small to medium room and in a home theater room (as long as the speakers are not close to a monitor, TV or any other sensitive electronic items). The JBL ARENA offers more flexibility in its use and placement, but comes as a trade for sound quality at medium-high and high volume levels. The better function for the JBL ARENA is for close reference listening and surround support.

In the end BOSE is the Editor's Pick because when paying this much for speakers, and selecting the best of the best, sound quality is typically more important than anything else. For high-quality sound - and a lot of it - in a small package, you just can't beat BOSE.

Average Rating

JBL Vs. BOSE Speaker Comparison
Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.

William Partel said:

I've never tried the Bose bookshelf speaker line, although I have heard them before when window shopping places like Sharper Image. So although I can't really say which speakers should when in Bose VS JBL, I CAN say that I have a pair of JBL 2-way speakers and they ROCK THE HOUSE! Of course, if the Bose speakers are $60 cheaper and just as loud...

Everett said:

I have one of the BOSE Soundlink bluetooth speakers and have never loved a speaker so much in my life! It has a rechargeable batter so I can move it around the house, or even take it outside as long as it doesn't get rained or snowed on. And it is LOUD!

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