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JBL ES 250P Review

Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Home Subwoofers here.

Our Verdict

The subwoofer is missing a few extras such as speaker-level inputs, but its powerful amplifier drives strong bass tones that emphasize the low bass effects in movies.

For

  • This 12-inch woofer boasts 400 watts of RMS continuous power – making it one of the most powerful subwoofers in our lineup.

Against

  • The subwoofer is missing an auto on/off switch that detects audio signal to activate/deactivate the subwoofer automatically.
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JBL ES250P image: The speaker is taller than it is wide and stands on four legs.

JBL ES250P image: The speaker is taller than it is wide and stands on four legs.
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JBL ES250P image: The speaker boasts a 10-inch woofer.

JBL ES250P image: The speaker boasts a 10-inch woofer.
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JBL ES250P image: When the speaker is on, the light illuminates on the top of the subwoofer.

JBL ES250P image: When the speaker is on, the light illuminates on the top of the subwoofer.
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JBL ES250P image: The power switch is located on the back of the speaker.

JBL ES250P image: The power switch is located on the back of the speaker.
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JBL ES250P image: This subwoofer features a port on the bottom of the enclosure.

JBL ES250P image: This subwoofer features a port on the bottom of the enclosure.
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JBL ES250P image: There is an adjustable crossover dial located on the back of the subwoofer.

JBL ES250P image: There is an adjustable crossover dial located on the back of the subwoofer.
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JBL ES250P image: You can adjust the subwoofer's phase by flipping the switch.

JBL ES250P image: You can adjust the subwoofer's phase by flipping the switch.
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JBL ES250P image: You connect the subwoofer using the RCA connectors.

JBL ES250P image: You connect the subwoofer using the RCA connectors.

Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Home Subwoofers here.

The JBL ES250P is one of the best-performing – and most fairly priced – subwoofers we reviewed. This subwoofer is powerful, provides warm, punchy bass tones and goes easy on your wallet. 

The JBL ES250P was one of the best-sounding speakers in our subwoofer testing. It displayed outstanding results in both our listening and frequency tests. Our panel enjoyed the impactful bass while listening to music. All of our panelists described the subwoofer as strong with tight and profound bass. The large booms of the musical score were quick and precise like a small shove to your chest when the bass would hit. This was one of only two active subwoofers that received an A grade from our listening panel.

The manufacturer's frequency rating of 25Hz – 150Hz was close to the results we recorded in our frequency testing. We found that the sweet spot for this subwoofer is roughly 32Hz – 110Hz. According to our tests, it's best to set the adjustable crossover frequency around 100Hz to maximize your home theater's performance with this subwoofer.

The JBL ES250P is the second most powerful subwoofer speaker that we reviewed. It has impressive power with 400 RMS watts of continuous power and up to 700 watts of peak power. This power was evident in our tests.

This subwoofer is uniquely taller than it is wide, with a tapered body that is wider at the front. It measures 18 x 13.27 x 17.25 inches (H x W x D) and weighs 39 pounds, which is an average weight for the subwoofers in our comparison. The speaker is available in black, cherry and beech finishes. It is one of the few in our lineup that provides more options than black.

This JBL home subwoofer has fewer features than other powered subwoofers. It does have rotary dials to control the volume level and crossover frequency, which you can set anywhere between 50Hz and 150Hz. The sub only has one set of terminals to connect it to your sound system. You can either run a single line from an LFE sub out on your audio/video receiver to the left-channel LFE input or connect it to the AV receiver with a stereo line out to the left RCA inputs on the sub. If you use the LFE input, make sure the LFE switch is enabled on the back of the subwoofer or the sub will lack performance. The speaker doesn't feature an auto on/off switch that automatically shuts the subwoofer off when it's not in use and activates the sub when it detects an audio signal. It is also missing speaker-level inputs (non-RCA inputs) that many others in our review have.

The JBL ES250P home theater subwoofer is covered by a five-year warranty for the speaker and a one-year warranty for the electronic components. The JBL website has a FAQs page and downloadable PDF product manuals. You can contact technical support by phone and email. JBL representatives responded quickly to our email and answered most of our questions.

The JBL ES250P is one of the most powerful and best-sounding subwoofers in our comparison. It lacks some of the extra features such as non-RCA speaker-level inputs and auto on/off power capabilities you'll find in some subwoofers we compared. The subwoofer boasts the power and performance to push bass throughout a large entertainment room, and it comes in multiple finishes to match your home décor.