The JBL 306P MkII Powered 6.5" Two-Way Studio Monitor is a bi-amplified reference monitor that packs good sound at a very low price point. We've seen these on special regularly under $250 for a pair, which is competitive for this level of sound.
It's like the JBL product managers were given a challenge to make a really good sounding monitor that looked and felt cheap. It's odd. The 306P MkII monitors have this glossy look and cheap feeling lightweight design. When you consider the price, the cheap looking design is not unexpected. However, when you connect them to a clean quality source they sound pretty darn good and fairly transparent. We wouldn't call the sound tight and we would not use these for critical mixing. So, yes it's a case of you get what you pay for.
We played a wide variety of music and instruments at all volume levels and could generally push these as hard as we needed to. There's enough low end and they get plenty loud, far exceeding what you would expect for their size and weight.
The 306p MkII include balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS inputs, a +4dBu/–10dBV input-sensitivity switch, and volume control. JBL uses class D amps for efficiency and also includes an auto off feature so the monitors will power down automatically after 20 minutes of no signal. This feature can be toggled on and off too.
The JBL 306p MkII monitors do generate an ever so slight hiss while powered on. You have to put your ear in the vicinity of the tweeter to hear it, but it's certainly there and louder than hissing we've heard form other powered monitors with class D amps. In a room with any kind of white noise or while mixing it's not noticeable. We still found this a bummer and it would likely irritate us into returning these just knowing it's there.
That said, let's get back to price. If your budget is tight and your sound requirements are large, and you favor output level versus accuracy, the JBL 306p MkIIs offer a reasonable value if you find them on sale under $250/pair. They're a decent starter set of monitors for aspiring musicians and video editors on a tight budget. The trick with these monitors will be learning how they translate to playback on other systems. Once you do that you've got yourself a true bargain in studio monitors.
Nov 23, 2022 Production and Creative