The JBL LSR305 are studio monitors made for professionals and will also be an ideal choice for listeners who want affordable and high-quality active speakers for their desktop sound system. They have an integrated power amplifier and you’ll just need to plug it into a power source to start using them. As you can see the value of having a powered monitor as your desktop speaker, not to mention, the JBL LSR305 is well-known for its accurate sound quality.
You can use your onboard soundcard but we suggest going with a DAC instead, as it will help to bring the best sound quality out of the JBL LSR305 powered studio monitor. Furthermore, some D/A converters are able to decode high-res audio files and this will allow you to enjoy a high-resolution music presentation of your favorite tunes. It will be ideal to match the JBL LSR305 professional monitors with a matching DAC. Since we don’t need to get an additional power amplifier to drive these active speakers, we can just focus on the sonic traits of the D/A converter to complement the LSR305.
They are very neutral and transparent studio monitors where we can hear plenty of music details. It is flat and uncolored which will be great for professionals who need accuracy to complete their audio mixing and mastering. The neutrality of the JBL LSR305 is really impressive for a studio monitor at this price point but this also means it won’t be musical enough for casual music listeners as it may sound sterile. Vocals and musical instruments sound accurate and natural, still, it does lack the energy and enthusiasm for an engaging music listening experience. If you don’t mind such sonic characteristics then it wouldn’t be an issue though.
The level of sonic performance you can get from the JBL LSR305 at this price point is really worth every penny invested. It does have limitations and the bass performance is one of them. Trying to push for more impact will result in less detailed and bloated bass frequencies. All in all, the bass output of the LSR305 monitors is slightly more abundant than we have expected and is good enough for casual music listening. Matching a DAC based on its sonic traits and how well it complements the JBL LSR305 monitors is one thing, it also needs to suit your DAC requirements. Let us go through a list of potential DAC requirements together.
JBL LSR305 Specifications
- Type: 2-Way (Rear-firing bass port)
- Frequency Response: 43Hz-24kHz
- Drivers: 1″ (25mm) HF Driver, 5″ (127mm) LF Driver
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 298mm x 185mm x 251mm | 11.8″ x 7.3″ x 9.9″
- Weight: 4.6kg (10.1lbs)
If you are using the JBL LSR305 studio monitors for work, we will suggest sticking with a DAC which is neutral and accurate so as to provide you with a faithful presentation of your works. For listeners who require more musicality and warmth when playing back their favorite music should aim for DACs with such sonic traits. There are also D/A converters that are expressive and energetic, capable of delivering an engaging music listening experience to its users. If you are using the JBL LSR305 for both scenarios, you probably need to weigh which usage is more important to you.
The budget you have prepared and are willing to use to purchase a DAC will be crucial in determining how many choices you can go for. Usually, the higher your budget, the better quality of the DAC you can acquire. If you have a tight budget, it can be a good idea to patiently save up even more unless you do not wish to invest too much in a D/A converter. The type of connections you need will be a worthy requirement to consider and the more connectivities the DAC has, the bigger it will be. And so if you have limited space, you might want to go for a compact size DAC with lesser connections.
How high you need the sampling rates to be, can be a requirement and you should jot it down into the checklist just like the rest of the requirements. Try to get as many requirements as possible as this will give you a clearer picture of what you need from a digital-to-analog converter. You can talk to someone who owns the same pair of JBL LSR305 active monitors and uses a DAC so as to get more ideas of what you should consider. When you are really confident of what kind of D/A converter you require, please check out the list of the best DACs to partner up with your JBL LSR305 powered studio monitors.
Best DACs to match with JBL LSR305
The Loxjie D30 is a highly-rated DAC with a plethora of features and will pair well with the JBL LSR305 powered monitors. It has a high-quality DAC chip supporting up to 32-bit/768kHz (PCM) and decodes up to DSD512. The D30 DAC even supports MQA and Bluetooth connection (aptX HD), providing even more value to its users. Loxjie D30 is a neutral sounding D/A converter with smooth music delivery which gives its listeners a relaxing and pleasing sound quality without adding more harshness to the overall sound reproduction. This also makes it a well-matched DAC for the JBL LSR305.
Topping E30 will be another DAC that supports 32-bit/768kHz (PCM) and could decode up to DSD512 high-res audio files. When compared to the Loxjie D30, the Topping E30 is more affordable but lacks MQA and Bluetooth features. It has most of the connections which you need to kick-start your digital high fidelity music journey. The clean music presentation of the E30 D/A converter will be a suitable match with the JBL LSR305. Its overall sound reproduction has very low colorations and will be great for professional work. The Topping E30 also has a polished background allowing us to hear more of our music.
Schiit Audio Modi 3+ is one of the best entry-level DACs to match with the JBL LSR305 studio monitors. It is a very affordable DAC with high sonic performance that is worth every penny invested. This is an ideal choice for listeners who just want to enjoy listening to their favorite music. The music presentation is smoothly delivered and has natural sounding characteristics. The Schiit Audio Modi 3+ sound quality is easy on the ears as well. The JBL LSR305 studio monitors’ detailed sound reproduction and clarity will help to provide a clearer and richer music presentation.
The iFi Zen DAC V2 is a musical sounding D/A converter and has plenty of features to boot, it will be a good match with your JBL LSR305 active monitors. The latest iteration is now capable of decoding MQA on top of supporting up to 24-bit/384kHz PCM and also decodes up to DSD256 audio files. The iFi Zen DAC V2 also sounds better than its predecessor which is neat. The tighter bass performance of the DAC will complement the JBL LSR305 studio monitors really well. Its level of clarity will be a good fit with the active monitors as well and does not sound overly harsh when pushed.
The sonic traits of the FiiO K5 Pro will fit nicely with the JBL LSR305 and come with an integrated headphone amplifier which is fantastic for listeners who need one. The FiiO K5 Pro is compact in size and doesn’t take up much space on your desktop. It has a clean sound reproduction with a hint of warmth, delivering a smooth music presentation without sounding cringe and this will match well with the LSR305 monitors. The JBL LSR305 brings insights and transparency to the table. Overall, giving us a detailed music delivery with a bit more punch and at this price point, the FiiO K5 Pro is certainly worth your consideration.
SMSL M300 Mk II is also one of the best DACs to go for and pair with the JBL LSR305 studio monitors. This is the latest version of the series and has plenty of new features, the Bluetooth 5.0 connection is one of the more notable ones. The SMSL M300 Mk II is a modestly priced DAC that supports up to 32bit/768 PCM and DSD512. It is well-balanced and is rather enthusiastic when it comes to music presentation but never loses its clarity and coherence. The JBL LSR305 studio monitors were able to bring out the spaciousness and open sound quality of the SMSL M300 Mk II DAC, especially when you turn on the Pure DAC Mode.
To Sum It Up
If you have a higher budget and want to go for higher-end DAC models, we will suggest checking out Schiit Audio, starting with their Bifrost 2 DAC. The digital-to-analog converters listed here are all quite closely match with the JBL LSR305, in terms of pricing that is. They are also highly regarded by many audiophiles and will be worth your while to seriously consider one of them as a DAC partner for your LSR305 studio monitors.