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The Sonic Alchemy Behind HARMAN’s JBL Speakers – A Musical Journey through Cutting-Edge Sound Engineering

HARMAN’s Global Center of Acoustic Excellence in Northridge, California, is where some of the finest audio engineers and product managers in the world conduct research, development, and design for future JBL speakers. In the dozens of labs and listening rooms throughout the campus, voicing, and tuning techniques are used to create the perfect audio experience for our customers.

What music do we use at HARMAN to tune or demonstrate loudspeakers and headphones? We had our engineer and product teams from HARMAN Luxury Audio and HARMAN Professional share with us a few of their audiophile test tracks. We’ve compiled some of them for you.

Products tested with these tracks include Luxury Audio’s JBL 4349, 4329P, L82, L52, and our legendary L100 Classic loudspeakers. Our Professional Solutions group has used some of these tracks to test and demo our large format JBL SRX900 and JBL VTX A-Series line array systems that are sound-supporting live concerts around the world, in addition to our JBL Professional 700- and 300-Series studio monitors found in recording studios. If you’re not listening to the tracks on these products, you might on the JBL Tour Pro M2 or Mark Levinson No. 5909 headphones, which were also developed with cuts from this playlist.

While different genres and styles, what all these tracks have in common is that their foundational recording techniques and playback quality contain, among many things, a wide and dense spectrum that makes it possible to hear any resonances, bandwidth limitations, spectral imbalances in the device. This allows the listener to appreciate nuances of our loudspeakers and headphones best.

If you’re interested in why Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car made this playlist and has been a staple in testing speakers for 35 years, HARMAN’S Senior Fellow and Past President of the Audio Engineering Society, Dr. Sean Olive explains in this SoundStage! Access article.

Brand Products Title Artist
JBL 4349  
Rise Dominique Fils-Aimé
Trouble’s What You’re In Fink (live version)
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You Led Zeppelin
Saeed (Paranormal Attack & Skazi remix)  

Infected Mushroom

JBL L100 Classic/ L82, L52 Title Artist
Mariage D’amour Jonas Kvarnström
Billie Bossa Nova Billie Eilish
Thanks to You Boz Scaggs
My Bass Brian Bromberg
More of Just the Same Infected Mushroom
JBL 700/300 Studio Monitors Title Artist
Human Nature Michael Jackson
Like A Stone Audioslave[MT3] [DG4]
Oh, Please We Are King
Light Em Up James Taylor
Welcome to Jurassic Park John Willams
JBL Loudspeaker and headphones Title Artist
Don’t Believe in Love Dido
The Firebird (L’oiseau de feu) Stravinsky, Mariinky Orchestra
Roxbury Park Ola Gjeilo
Magnetic Lies Malia, Boris Blank
Fast Car Tracy Chapman
JBL Line Arrays Title Artist
Roadhouses & Automobiles Chris Jones
Saint James Infirmary Blues Jon Batiste
Tin Pan Alley (AKA Roughest Place in Town) Stevie Ray Vaughan
Grace’s Amazing Hands Dave Barnes
When I’m Gone Bernard Allison
Money Pink Floyd
Los Rammstein
Trance Party Infected Mushroom
Fragments of Time Daft Punk, Todd Edwards
JBL 4329P Title Artist
Honey Party Madeleine Peyroux
Yesterday When I was Young Willy Nelson
Concerto for 2 chellos in G Minor, RV 531 I. Allegro, Vivaldi Pulcinella Orchestra
Steer Your Way Leonard Cohen
Balcoon Bachar Mar-Khalife
Chicken Teriyaki Rosalia
Heartaches Dexter Gordon



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