JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor

2-way monitor system with custom high-output, ultra-low distortion transducers and intelligent room tuning and integration capabilities



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JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor is a freestanding, world-class 2-way monitor system with custom high-output, ultra-low distortion transducers, 20Hz-40kHz frequency range, 123dB max SPL, and intelligent room tuning and integration capabilities

The JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor provides an elegant solution for the needs of professionals in the face of a changing industry. Real estate is becoming less and less affordable while equipment gets less expensive. As a result, studios are being packed into smaller rooms that often don’t have the space for passive absorption and have to make compromises to control certain frequencies. Responding to the call for greater accuracy and dynamic range in less than optimal post-production work spaces, JBL engineers developed the new M2 Master Reference Monitor. The M2 incorporates numerous patented innovations to overcome the limitations of such spaces to deliver the response you require and expect from purpose-built control rooms. To achieve unprecedented performance and a truly remarkable listening experience, JBL has introduced a new generation of high-output, ultra-low distortion transducers with an in-room frequency response of 20Hz to 40kHz, and an extraordinary 123dB maximum SPL. The M2 also incorporates JBL’s patented image control waveguide, which enables neutral frequency response, not just on-axis, but also off-axis in the vertical and horizontal planes. With its compact form-factor, the M2’s exceptional low-frequency response eliminates the need for a subwoofer, plus, it integrates easily with JBL’s compact 7-Series monitors to create an immersive post-production environment. The JBL M2 brings world-class monitoring with a new level of accuracy to a wide range of production spaces.

JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor in one take:

  • Cutting-edge, JBL designed and built dual-diaphragm, dual voice-coil HF compression driver for critical reference monitoring, extended HF reproduction to 40kHz, smooth response, high power handling, measurably lower distortion, reduced power compression and increased
dynamic headroom
  • Exceptional low-frequency extension, high output, very low power compression, and very low distortion
  • Patent-pending design provides impressive imaging and sound stage, exceptional high frequency detail, and uniform directivity for smooth in-room response
  • LSR linear spatial reference design
  • Small footprint, extended bass performance, and patented low frequency port design
  • Sophisticated and comprehensive system integration

INSIDE THE BOX—JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor

It’s said that if you’re not designing and building your own drivers and transducers, then you’re simply in the business of putting speakers in a boxes. JBL not only designs and manufacturers speakers with proprietary technology and multiple patents, they pay meticulous attention to every detail of system design. If the wire needed for a new voice coil isn’t available, JBL develops it. If a tool or technology doesn’t exist, JBL invents it.

The M2 Master Reference Monitor is a product of such innovation, comprising three key multi-patented JBL technologies to achieve its stunning sound and unprecedented performance, including JBL’s patented high- and low-frequency drivers, and image control waveguide.

D2 dual-diaphragm, dual voice-coil driver

In order to achieve their design objective to deliver superior high-frequency response, JBL had to overcome apparently conflicting objectives: extended high frequencies, very low distortion, and very high output. The patented D2 dual driver solves this dilemma with two innovations, comprising an annular diaphragm, which is not subject to the breakup modes of conventional dome diaphragms, and by merging two drivers into one compact transducer with a single acoustical output.

The D2 uses two annular low-mass polymer diaphragms, which provides the same radiating area as a conventional dome, but without the added size and mass of metal diaphragms, which means less inertia to overcome, thus facilitating transient response. To increase power handling and output, the D2 comprises two separate 3″ voice coils by their own magnet structures in order to share the burden of heat transfer. Increase in heat causes power compression, which can reduce output by half. The efficient heat dispersion of the D2 dramatically increases output and power handling.

The result is a high-frequency transducer that produces smooth, extended high-frequency response to 40kHz and significantly lower levels of nonlinear distortion. The extended frequency range reduces phase shift in the audible spectrum, providing more realism and harmonic blend between instruments while maintaining their spatial integrity. Along with impressive performance specs, the D2’s superior sound quality has also been verified by the worlds most sensitive and highly accurate test devices available; the ears of leading industry experts.

Differential drive technology

 In order to provide exceptional low-frequency response to match the M2’s high-frequency performance, JBL’s 2216Nd LF driver employs no less than five patented technologies. It mirrors the dual-driver design of the D2 with two neodymium magnets and two voice coils. In order to achieve the desired design goals, JBL engineers won another patent with the creation of special wire for the voice coils featuring a low thermal coefficient of resistance. This voice coil design allows the woofer to remain more stable at high output levels, while reducing power compression.

Power compression is the result of heat in the voice coil. Uncontrolled, it can reduce output by as much as 3dB-6dB, effectively cutting your system in half. The reduced power compression of the 2216, resulting from its dual driver design, yields lower distortion at high output with no power loss from excessive heat.

In addition, the 2216Nd’s cone, compliance and spider are engineered to allow greater excursion at the woofer’s lowest frequencies. The 2216Nd produces impressive low frequency output down to 20Hz. Also like the thinking behind the D2, the 2216’s linear response down to 20Hz, the limit of the audible range, provides greater phase coherence resulting in a solid, deep bass, rich in low-frequency information which maintaining low-end clarity. Regardless of the M2’s minimal footprint, its exceptional low frequency response eliminates the need for a subwoofer.

Image-control waveguide

The third component of the JBL M2 that’s responsible for it’s exceptional sound and performance is the unique image control waveguide. Designed specifically for the M2 and an acoustic marvel in its own right, the image control waveguide allows an imperceptible seamless transition between the woofer and high-frequency driver. The patent-pending waveguide enables neutral frequency response, not just on-axis, but off-axis in the vertical and horizontal planes, all the way down to the M2’s 800Hz crossover point.
The unique geometry of this waveguide allows the M2 to deliver remarkable high frequency detail, imaging, and natural balance at nearly any listening position in a wide range of acoustic environments.

JBL linear spatial reference (LSR) design

As JBL engineers are well aware, what we can measure in an anechoic chamber cannot predict a speaker’s performance in real-world environments. To predict loudspeaker performance across a variety of acoustic environments, JBL devised proprietary measurement criteria known as linear spatial reference, or LSR. While other manufacturers use a single on-axis frequency response measurement taken at one point in space, LSR design protocol requires 72 measurements that encompass all power radiated into the listening room, in every direction. This data reflects 1,296 times the information of a single on-axis response curve. The entire sound field heard by the listener is correlated and studied to optimize the speaker’s response at the listening position. LSR Design Protocol exposes resonance, directivity anomalies, and the cause of off-axis coloration. This allows intelligent system design that ensures a wide, accurate sweet spot, and neutral timbre in a broad range of listening environments. The M2 is the ultimate expression of the LSR design protocol.

M2 Enclosure

Extended low-frequency performance and high SPL can cause unwanted resonances in the bass extending up into the midrange. The M2 enclosure is constructed of rigid 1″ MDF and with the aid of JBL’s interferometer, extensively braced for rock-solid stability at the system’s full rated power. The enclosure incorporates a JBL patented Slip Stream port design with internal flares that ensure low-frequency efficiency while eliminating noise caused by port turbulence. In poorly designed ports, excessive air exiting the port can exaggerate certain frequencies up into the midrange, which negatively affects mix decisions in the midrange. However, the Slip Stream port is precisely engineered to combat the problems associated with LF ports, providing greater low-frequency extension without exaggerating the midrange. Architecturally elegant, the relatively small footprint of the M2 enclosure enables it to be transported to various working environments.

OUTSIDE THE BOX—JBL M2 System Integration

 Crown I-Tech 5000HD

Crown I-Tech power amplifiers complete
the M2 system, providing more than 1,000 watts of clean power to the M2’s woofer, and more than enough power for the D2 driver. Working in tandem with the M2’s revolutionary image control waveguide, the BSS digital signal processing in the Crown I-Tech allows the implementation of an ideal crossover, while providing storage of EQ presets.

BSS Soundweb London Processing

For large system configurations, BSS Soundweb London signal processors provide centralized processing of multiple M2 systems and are controlled using supplied London Architect software. The BSS Soundweb London processor adds system capabilities, including down-mix monitoring in a range of configurations, flexible I/O options, such as AES/EBU, Dante networking, AVB Audio Video Bridging) Ethernet, and analog with line or mic inputs. The use of BSS Soundweb processors, in combination with Crown Macro-Tech® power amps, provide a powerful, flexible, and cost effective system.

Tuning and Room Integration

Room acoustics play a big part in what you hear
at the mix position, particularly in the low-frequency bands, where resonance caused by room modes can give a false impression of bass in the mix. While offering exceptional accuracy out-of-the-box, the intelligent in-room tuning and integration capabilities of the M2, ensures optimal performance in your listening environment. Room optimization is achieved via floating-point digital signal processing integrated into Crown iTech HD power amplifiers and BSS Soundweb London processors. The included Harman System Architect software provides external control of system EQ and tuning capabilities. Used in conjunction with external measurement hardware and software, the M2’s tuning and room integration system addresses non-linearity in the room, ensuring a
high degree of accuracy whether the monitors are freestanding, soffit-mounted, or placed adjacent to a wall.

While offering exceptional accuracy out of the box, the power of the M2 is fully realized with its intelligent room tuning and integration capabilities, ensuring optimum performance in your listening environment.

JBL M2 Sample System Configurations

Professional Project Studios

The use of nearfield and small single point-source monitors in project studios is to take as much of the room characteristics out of the mix position as possible. Of course, you can take the speakers out of the room, but in reality, you can’t take the room out of the speakers. With its compact form factor, flexible placement options, tune-ability, and its integrated system approach, the M2 system eliminates the impediments that have prevented personal-use studios from having the dynamic range and accuracy of a large format monitor system. The M2 system enables project studio owners to make the leap from small near-field monitors to a big, world-class monitoring experience.

Music Production Control Rooms

The soffit-mount ready M2’s solid MDF enclosure, front ports, and outboard electronics eliminate the need for outboard equalization. The Crown-powered M2 system includes all the EQ needed for detailed room-tuning, and offers the ability to store multiple EQ curves.

Post Production Control Rooms

Due to its small footprint, the M2 can be used as screen channels in smaller rooms. The central control capabilities of the M2 enable it to integrate perfectly into a system with JBL 3-Series and 7-Series cinema surrounds, subwoofers, and overhead surround speakers found in burgeoning theatrical release formats. Select models in the BSS Soundweb London processor line can be fitted with digital inputs and externally synchronized to house word-clock
for an all-digital signal path. Centralized management of EQ presets allows storage and easy recall of curves such as the X-Curve for specialized applications.

For production studios built into existing and less than optimal spaces, the JBL M2 makes both the mixer and acoustician’s job easy. For more information, call or chat with your Westlake Pro audio sales consultant today.


JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor Specifications:

  • System format: 2-way floor standing or soffit mountable
  • High-frequency model: D2430K dual diaphragm, dual voice coil compression driver
  • Low-frequency-model: 2216Nd 15 in (381 mm) differential drive woofer
  • Crossover frequency: 800Hz
  • Frequency range: 20Hz – 40kHz
  • Image control waveguide dispersion: 120° H x 100° V
  • Sensitivity 1W/1m SPL: 92dB
  • Continuous/Peak SPL@ 1m: 117dB /123dB; 108dB peak SPL @ 8m

JBL M2 System Requirements:

  • Amplifiers: one Crown iTech 5000HD power amp for each speaker, or BSS Soundweb London Processor with Crown Macro-Tech® MA-5000i
  • Recommended amplifier power: 1,200 watts into 8 ohm
  • Input connectors: Spring terminals
  • Enclosure construction: 25 mm (1 in) MDF
  • Finish: satin black lacquer
  • Included: removable ABS grille with black UL compliant fabric
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 20″ x 49-1/2″ x 14″ (508mm x 1256mm x 355.6mm)
  • Weight: 129 lb. (58.5 kg)

Additional information

Weight 129 lbs
Dimensions 14 × 20 × 50 in

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