Massdrop x JBL LSR30X Review

We’ve had a chance to spend a few weeks with Massdrop’s x JBL LSR30X and we like them a lot. Gaming, music or movies, these neat speakers do it all.

The LSR30X is based on the JBL LSR305, a well-regarded monitor. Massdrop claims that all speakers are factory measured and matched to within 1dB, which is rare for the price. They are equipped with magnetically shielded 5-inch drivers for the mids and bass and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter.

The speakers are powered by two 41-watt class D amplifiers. The have a low- and high-frequency trim switches on the back, enabling you to fine-tune the amount of bass and treble, just like some popular JBLs of old. You can use the switches to bring the sound to your liking, or to compensate for bad room acoustics.

Also at the back, you’ll find a balanced XLR and a TRS input, through which you connect the speakers to a signal source. You’ll also find in the box a set of 4 isolation feet and a power cable for each speaker.

Looks and Design

All image rights belong to Massdrop

They look great to me. In fact, much better in person than on the pics, where they kind of look plasticky and shiny. The finish looks more like the one on the new JBL LSR305P MKII than the old 305s. JBL says that “the LSR305 enclosure is made of dense MDF wood fiber covered with a vinyl finish for durability”. The baffle looks slightly textured and JBL notes its “painted with a satin black paint, rather than a vinyl finish to give it a special glossy black painted furniture-finish”.

In fact, this speaker differs from the 305s in a number of ways, as Peter from JBL notes:

“In producing the LSR30X, our goal is to celebrate the popular LSR305, producing a limited quantity with an extra level of performance and refinement”. While they use the same drivers, the LSR30X is sold in matched pairs. “Postproduction, measurements of all LSR30X speakers are carefully reviewed to identify pairs of speakers that have a performance variation of less than 1dB. The LSR30X speakers offered by MassDrop have a guaranteed speaker to speaker variation of no more than +/- 0.5 dB, which is total of only 1dB across the bandwidth.” (SBAF)

Besides a better finish and a matching pairs, you also get isolation feet, which are absent from the regular 305s.

Sound & Fostex PM0.5d Comparison

While we didn’t measure them, they sounded very neutral and balanced. Compared to our office’s Fostex PM0.5d, they go a bit lower in the bass and are just as smooth (with a slight advantage for the Fostex). We’ve measured the Fostex and they drop significantly after 50Hz, while I would say the JBLs were still audible down to around 45Hz or so.

The imaging was very neat, I would say slightly better than the Fostex PM0.5d, though on nice stands the differences were slight. Dynamics and details in abundance, these little speakers are a great package. Nothing to complain, really.

In direct comparison to the PM0.5ds, that horn-like fascia on the tweeter did help with dispersion and image stability, which bettered the Fostex pair, however, the tweeter on the Fostex units was a bit more organic sounding and had a better connection with the mid/bass driver.

On the other hand, the Fostex needs a good stand, or it will sound boxy, while the isolation feet on the JBLs are doing a good job (just raise the speakers on a platform, don’t leave them on the desk).

Gaming on the JBL LSR30X

All image rights belong to Massdrop

Gaming on the LSR30X was a joy. We tried Counter Strike: GO, Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Warhammer 2: Total War, FIFA 2018 and more. The great soundstage and imaging proved their value with first person shooters and the balanced frequency response recreated the gloomy atmosphere of the Witcher and Warhammer worlds perfectly. Compared to our Fostex speakers, these did seem better suited for competitive gaming, their amazing imaging reflecting positional audio effects slightly better.

With a proper DAC and a preamp (for the volume pot) these are good enough to keep around for casual and competitive gaming, music and movies, too. In fact, while I can see how someone might use them as monitors, I think general desktop use (media consumption) may be their forte.

Remember, you’ll still need a good DAC to hear them at their best.

Value and Conclusion

The Massdrop price of the LSR30X is $279.99. Honestly, at that price these speakers are an amazing deal. Incredibly, during the last holiday season, they were offered at $179.99, which made them a steal.

That deal is gone though and these are back at their $279.99 for the next drop (if there is one). However, JBL did release a new model, the 305P MkII and you can get them at $298, anytime. While not factory matched, these should bring a further refinement and are not that much more.


  • neutral and balanced
  • good frequency response
  • great imaging
  • Massdrop price


  • Can’t think of anything at this price

If headphones fit your needs better, please check out our Massdrop gaming headphones buying guide!

Gaming Guide Score

Performance - 9
Build - 9
Value - 10



The Massdrop x JBL LSR30X is a great little speaker that will do justice to your games, movies and music. In fact, so are the original 305s and the new MkIIs. Just connect them to a DAC and enjoy!

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About Robert Nakagawa

Robert was born in Akihabara, Tokyo, which of course meant he can never escape his geekiness. He spends his time installing mods for Skyrim, getting zeroed on GoT: Conquest and running the Editorial staff at Gaming Guide. He loves RPGs and strategy games.

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