I fell in love with these speakers when I saw them announced at IFA in Berlin just a few months ago. JBL re-entering the home speaker market with some retro styled highly specced speakers bringing back the name Authentics. I’ve had them all to listen to, and they don’t disappoint.

In the simplest of terms, there are three speakers. The Authentics 200, Authentics 300 and the JBL Authentics 500. Why they jump from 300 to 500 isn’t clear, other than to say there is a noticeable size jump from the 300 to the 500 – more-so than from the 200 to 300, so it makes sense.

JBL has dominated the portable Bluetooth speaker market for a little while now, with speakers ranging in size from pocket to party there’s literally something for every budget and every use case. But – for those who enjoy their music at home, in the home, there is a gap in the market for a sense of style.

That’s not to say a cylindrical Bluetooth speaker can’t and doesn’t already fit well within a home to bring the music to where you want it, but – My wife wouldn’t let a speaker like that sit in the lounge room on the entertainment unit, or in a shelf. Those speakers are packed away and brought out when needed.

Enter the JBL Authentics range, made to be seen, made to look like they form part of your home’s style and decor. And they do.

A mix of the iconic Quadrex speaker pattern on the front, along with leather like finishes and shiny metal surfaces really bring this thing to life. All three of them have the same design cues and it’s all a big win in my book.

The sound they produce is sensational. JBL’s Authentics 300 would be my pick of the bunch for a booming but clear sound really pushing what a “room” speaker is needed for. The 200 does a sensational job, but I think if you plan to push the device hard, you opt for the 300 every day.

The Authentics 300 is also the only one of the three that is portable, featuring 8 hours of playtime on battery alone, perfect for that afternoon gathering at your place.

All three have dials to adjust Treble and Bass which is fantastic, as well as a really smooth to turn Volume dial.

And each also have a “heart” button which is programmed in the JBL One app, and allows you to fire off a linked playlist directly on the speaker without ever needing to open your smartphone.

Great sound, Great design, ease of use – ticking all the boxes.

But – I’ve buried the lede folks.

These are also Smart Speakers. And smart like nothing else on the market.

While there are speakers that are a dime a dozen an allow you to setup your Google or Amazon smart assistant, the JBL Authentics range allows both to run at the same time.

Check the video at the top of this page, I demonstrate it.

I can’t reiterate how big of a deal this is. So many people, families, homes have a mix of voice assistants, so for one speaker to do them both is one hell of an acheivement.

Pair with that the stunning design, and the outstanding sound – these are a winner.

I felt a rich, full sound from the speakers, and from the smallest room to the largest they all work perfectly well.

I’d say the 500 is massive overkill if you don’t firstly have a large room, and secondly often entertain, that size would be needed to really cut through a room of people.

But importantly, the speakers can work well as a multi-room system too. Controlled using AirPlay or Chromecast individually or grouped, you can bring the sound to your whole home.

While I could easily make the reference to Sonos here, I don’t think that’s JBL’s target – yet.

I think then JBL One app proves that setup is a breeze – very “apple like”, and that you can pair your music services, but really rely on the native music apps to do your speaker and room selection.

Top Marks JBL – not just on design, but on innovation – that Google and Alexa stuff is magic.