The JBL L42ms integrated music system is a Hi-Res powerhouse

JBL's new integrated music system promises to be an audio all-in-wonder

JBL L42ms
(Image credit: JBL)

The JBL Classic Series has a new member: the JBL L42ms, a fully integrated music system with wireless streaming. It's designed to deliver the same sound as a pair of luxury JBL speakers without the need for a separate amp. That means Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth is built-in, and there's a 24-bit/96kHz DAC to deliver high quality, hi-res audio. There's HDMI-ARC, Ethernet, RCA line-in, 3.5mm stereo inputs and USB-A media playback to cover all audio bases.

As you can see, it's a pretty thing – particularly in its black walnut option (natural walnut is available too). It uses furniture-grade veneer, a discreet touch panel on top and JBL's black Quadrax grilles to deliver a unit that'll look great in pretty much any environment. But of course what really matters here is how it sounds.

JBL L42ms: key features and specifications

I haven't had the chance to hear this in action yet but the specifications suggest it should sound as good as it looks. Behind the grille you'll find a pair of 4-inch Pure Pulp white cone woofers and a pair of 0.75-inch aluminium dome tweeters with waveguides positioned left and right to deliver a wide sound field. 

Whether you're streaming wirelessly or using a wired source, all your audio goes through JBL's advanced DSP before being sent via the integrated four-channel Class D amp. That puts out 75W RMS to each woofer and 25W RMS to each tweeter, so that's 200W RMS in total. 

There are additional options here to handle the low-end, including a bass contour switch to compensate for room placement and an auto-sensing subwoofer output with an 80Hz high-pass filter. And for movie watching you can use the Sound Field Expansion (SFX) mode to create a wider, more spacious soundstage. 

The L42ms is Roon and SmartThings compatible, has built-in access to Spotify Connect and TIDAL Connect, and you can add additional streaming services via the app. 

The JBL L42ms will be available in the first quarter of 2024 and has a recommended retail price of £999.00 / €999.00 / $1,099.00.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).