The JBL L100 Classic loudspeaker brings retro cool to modern audiophiles

JBL L100 Classic loudspeaker
(Image credit: JBL)

The JBL L100 is perhaps one of the most iconic loudspeakers ever to be released, and it's the best-selling speaker in the brand's long history. Now, the 70s stereo speakers have been reimagined for 2021, with an all-new limited edition to celebrate JBL's 75th anniversary, bringing the speaker's retro stylings into the homes of modern audiophiles.

In 2019, the L100 Classic was relaunched with a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, 5-inch mid-range driver, and a 12-inch cast-frame cone woofer in a bass-reflex enclosure for room-filling sound.

The latest iteration of the L100 should provide an impressive audio performance too, with an improved woofer suspension design and bi-wire capabilities thanks to gold-plated binding posts.

Iconic design

The new L100 Classic 75 features the same 1970s-style design as 2019's JBL L100 Classic, with the iconic Quadrex foam grille, and new teak wood veneer cabinets, which bring a luxurious look to the loudspeaker. Each pair comes with a set of JS-120 floor stands, and the entire system ships inside a specially-crafted wooden crate with limited edition artwork on the side panels.

With only 750 pairs available, the L100 Classic 75 comes with a signed rear-badge and certificate of authenticity, so you'll know that it's legit – if you can get your hands on one of course.

If you are keen on buying the limited edition loudspeakers, you'll need to save up; when they become available in May 2021, they'll cost you $5,500. Though global pricing is to be confirmed, that works out at around £4,000 / AU$7,100.

Still, if you're a dedicated audiophile, it will be hard to not lust over these retro speakers, which achieved notoriety after featuring in the iconic ‘Blown Away’ Maxell cassette tape advert that aired in the 1980s:

The full package

Alongside the limited edition L100 Classic 75, JBL has launched a new integrated amplifier with a matching wooden veneer.

Inspired by the brand's classic amps from the 60s and 70s, the JBL SA750 Integrated Amplifier comes with an aluminum face panel with volume, balance, and input dials to control your music, as well as power, mute, direct, MC/MM phono switches. 

There's also a 3.5mm AUX input and a 3.5mm headphones output if you wish to listen to your music in private.

Support for Dirac Live room calibration means that your music should be optimized to the space you're in, while Class G and Class A amplifiers work together to create "incredible detail and accuracy at low levels, low crossover distortion, and high-current capability for extreme power demand", according to JBL.

Bringing the retro-inspired amp into 2021 is Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to hook it up to your home network, as well as a USB input so you can play music from your own memory drive. There's also two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, six pairs of analog RCA inputs, two pairs of binding-post speaker connectors, and one stereo RCA preamp output. You'll also find a 3.5mm AUX input and a 3.5mm headphones output if you wish to listen to your music in private.

Like the new L100 Classic, the JBL SA750 doesn't come cheap, and will cost $3,000 (about £2,200 / AU$3,800) when it becomes available to buy in May 2021.

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Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.