JBL has launched its Pint-size A170 speakers, both of the speakers share the same 1-inch aluminum tweeter set into a waveguide that focuses the high-frequency dispersion. The A170 has two 5.25-inch polycellulose woofers while the A130 has just only one. The speaker stands 12.5 inches high, and its impedance is rated at 6 ohms.
The speaker’s vinyl wrap is a no-frills basic black, but if we look at the overall build quality without any doubt it is good. A170 tower speakers are nicely finished black cloth grilles are included, and the rear baffle hosts a flared bass port and sturdy speaker cable connectors. JBL’s Web site sells the A130 direct for $250 a pair, but they’re $200 on Amazon.
Coming to the JBL stage lineup that features three towers, first of all, the aforementioned A170 priced at $250 each, other is for A180 ($280 each) and A190 ($360 each), along with a smaller bookshelf, the A120 ($160 a pair). If you’re interested in a home-theater multichannel setup, you can also add one of the Stage center-channel speakers, the A135C ($250 each) or A125C ($200 each), and a powered sub, either the A120P ($450) or A100P ($350).
A130 is a full-blooded JBL that the sound was not the lightweight. These speakers handled high-volume listening sessions with grace and poise. The quality of sound can prove a hurdle for any small speaker, also, A130 were not up to the standards set by the A170 towers. The pint-size A170 sounded bigger, with fuller bass, and more powerful dynamics and punch. However, the A130s stereo imaging depth was just average, but they produced a clearly defined center image.
If you can double your budget and have enough space for larger speakers, then the A170s are definitely worth it. On the contrary, A130 has a decent sound and you can easily place it anywhere because they are small. The A130 is capable of demonstrating the improvements in electronics, digital converters or turntables can deliver. Which in turn, makes it a terrific “starter” speaker for young audiophiles who may soon be ready to explore upgrade options for better sound.
There is another factor in A130 which is hard to miss that’s the A130’s sound, which has more heft to it than some other small bookshelf speakers. Nowadays, most of the speakers come with built-in Google Assistant or Alexa support. Previously, Sonos has brought Google Assistant support to its smart speakers. The confirmation follows the extensive beta testing by the company, which originally claimed to add Assistant support month ago. Later, the company admitted that its goal is to incorporate Assistant support in its devices.