Computer speakers have had a pretty bad reputation for years now. This comes at no surprise to anyone that has had the misfortune of listening to some of the early models out there. Little bone-colored boxes emitting spurts of muffled and boxy-sounding audio; this is no way to listen to music! However, with the proliferation of MP3 sharing, the computer has become a serious entertainment tool and computer audio has made great strides in recent years. The JBL invader is a perfect example.
Ripping open the orange/silver box was a great thrill. Each of the four sleek silver satellites (or speakers) sit in a molded tray carefully protected in plastic. The first thing you notice is how light the satellites are. You begin to wonder if something this light can produce the full sound you are craving. The subwoofer doubles as an amp for the satellites and takes up most of the weight, but it is still compact enough to hide away almost anywhere. The satellites plug into the subwoofer, which features bass and treble controls, and the another cable plugs the subwoofer to your stereo surround sound audio card (not included). I plugged everything in as quickly as I could and blasted some Live.
Now I think I should mention that I am and have been an audio engineer since ’92. I have recorded and produced numerous albums including 3 of my own. I have a set of Event 20/20’s connected to my computer as my standard setup. So as I sat there it took a few minutes for my brain to process what I was listening to. At first I thought that I had made a mistake configuring the speakers and that I was still listening to my Event monitors. To my total surprise, I was wrong.