The JBL Control 2P compact powered reference monitors are a very good desktop companion for video and audio editing. The transducers are housed in a rugged package that includes some great ergonomic touches, such as a volume control and headphone jack on the right side of the master speaker.

The master speaker also includes balanced and unbalanced inputs, a high pass filter control, dedicated on/off switch and provides 35 watts of power to each monitor. Only one power connection is required as the second monitor is completely driven and controlled by the master. This makes it convenient for connecting unbalanced RCA cords to one speaker, common in computer editing environments where the built in sound on the computer is used versus a professional card with balanced ins and outs.

The sound of the Control 2P is crisp and clean but a tad underwhelming, particularly in the low end. They sound a bit muddy and boxy.  This is not surprising given the small size of the transducers.  We were able to use these monitors for long periods of time without any air fatigue which is great when editing video for long periods of time.  In a pinch, these will work for down and dirty audio work too but we weren’t overly impressed with the sound. Don’t get us wrong, the Control 2Ps sound fine but it’s really about the small footprint and price tag.

When it comes to JBL you usually get what you pay for. A pair of Control 2Ps is a very good value at $200. We love the design and ergonomics and just wished they sounded a bit better.  We’d recommend them for any situation where size and ruggedness are important and critical listening is not. And once your ears get to the know them it’s easy to make mixes that translate well to more familiar gear.  In short, fine for the desktop but keep them out of the studio.

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