How to Date Jbl Speakers

By Maxwell Payne

JBL makes a wide range of speakers for everything from car stereos to computers.
i speaker image by gajatz from

JBL is short for James Bullough Lansing, who founded the company. JBL makes a wide range of speakers and subwoofers both under the JBL name and also under the Altec Lansing and Harman Kardon names. Per manufacturing regulations, the makers of electronics must include a minimum amount of production date information on their products. Depending on when the speakers were made this information may simply include a year and week or may be more specific, down to the day or hour.

Disconnect the speakers from the power supply and connections before proceeding. If the speakers are in a vehicle, disconnect the negative terminal of the car battery before removing any speakers.

Carefully turn the speakers around so that the back of the speaker is facing you. Inspect the back of the speaker for a sticker that has digits or letters on it. If you do not see a sticker look for engraved numbers on the back surface of the speaker or turn the speaker over and inspect for numbers.

Find the manufacturer date code. The first three digits indicate the maker of the speakers. Depending on when the speakers were made, the maker may be Altec Lansing or Harman Kardon, both of which have owned JBL at one point. The number 371 indicates Altec Lansing and 794 represents Harman Kardon.

Look at the remaining digits. The first two digits after the manufacturer three digit code indicate the year. Speakers made before the 1970s only have one digit representing the year which is misleading. The remaining digits indicate the week of that year. For example, a code of 7949422 indicates that the speakers were made in the 22nd week of 1994 by Harman Kardon.

Look at the digits after the week to see the day and possibly the hour the speakers were made. While this is not a requirement for manufacturers, some include this information. Note that sometimes a hyphen appears between the three digit manufacturer code and the date code.