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The JBL soundbars are available in three different setups: all-in-one systems with just a single soundbar unit, soundbars with subwoofers, and soundbars with back speakers for surround sound. The first type is best for those who want the simplest setup possible. The second type is perfect for big sounds on a budget, and the third type is best for those who want a true home theater experience. We have options for each of the three types that should suit your needs.
More expensive soundbars will have extra capabilities like wireless connectivity for multi-room speaker setups. In contrast, less-priced soundbars will only be concerned with the audio coming from your TV. Also, consider connectivity when making your decision. Our recommended soundbars connect by HDMI ARC, meaning they automatically get all of your TV’s audio and can be operated using the remote control included with your TV. After extensive testing of a wide range of products, from expensive Dolby Atmos soundbars to affordable and straightforward TV sound enhancements, we have found the best JBL Soundbars of 2023. These are the best ones described below.
List of 5 Best JBL Soundbars of 2023
Here’s a quick guide to our top picks: – Make sure to read the list of our top selections below if you’re seeking the best JBL soundbars for in-home entertainment.
- Dolby Atmos drivers and main acoustic drivers for multi-channel surround sound.
- A dedicated wireless subwoofer.
- Compatibility of wireless Bluetooth streaming.
- Strong audio with deep, booming bass.
- Easy setup process.
Why It is Best / Benefits:
The JBL Bar 9.1 is an excellent soundbar with a dedicated wireless subwoofer. It has 4 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X drivers and 5 main acoustic drivers for multi-channel surround sound. Having Bluetooth, HDMI-in, Chromecast, DTS:X, and wireless rear subwoofers makes this a truly integrated sound system. This audio system also features detachable, battery-powered surround sound speakers for rear sound and a powerful 820W power output. It also features optical cables for direct connectivity and enables ultra-HD 4K pass-through with Dolby Vision.
The Bar’s powerful sound performance comes from its 820-watt total system power. The soundbar’s 10″ subwoofer produces low bass and crisp, precise highs. For music lovers, it supports Chromecast and AirPlay audio streaming. You can hear movie sound effects that you might not have experienced before. Watching movies with it gives you an entirely unique experience. Despite not being a genuine 9.1 sound system, this one produces excellent surround sound with incredible volume and overall presence. It’s the kind of setup that gives you the impression that you’re seeing a movie in real life.
The Bar’s adaptable and powerful characteristics were very appealing to us. Additionally, the JBL Bar 9.1 offers wireless Bluetooth streaming directly from a tablet or smartphone. The JBL soundbar’s rear speakers have good battery life, so you can watch a lot of TV shows and movies without having to charge them.
We noticed a few auto-calibration problems on the JBL Bar 9.1 channel soundbar, and it needs two stages to be calibrated. The soundbar has a decent remote control, but we wanted more smart or night settings buttons.
Furthermore, the bar doesn’t come with Built-In Voice Assistant support, which can sometimes be annoying. It is large in size and costs more than similar products, which can be a great concern.
Comparison With Bose Smart Soundbar 900
The JBL Bar 9.1 is better than the standalone Bose Smart Soundbar 900 in every way. The JBL includes satellites and a dedicated subwoofer, and it performs better in the surroundings and reproduces a deeper low bass. However, the Bose is constructed better and has a built-in voice assistant. You may also update it with a Bose Bass Module and Surround Speakers for even better performance.
Overall, the JBL Bar 9.1 truly is a surround-sound home theater system. It’s one of the best JBL soundbars you can get with a built-in wireless subwoofer and has a ton of connectivity options, including Chromecast, so that you can connect to numerous devices.
JBL Bar 5.1: Best JBL Soundbar Overall
- A completely wireless 5.1 surround sound system.
- Three HDMI connections are available for 4K devices connection.
- It has DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic II support for a full cinematic sound experience.
- Incredibly powerful bass performance.
- Amazing vocal clarity.
Why It is Best / Benefits:
The JBL Bar 5.1 is one of the top JBL soundbars that gives a genuine 5.1 surround sound experience in our tests. For a rich movie listening experience, this soundbar can be converted into a 5.1 home theater with surround sound speakers. This JBL soundbar produces a whopping 510W of system power and comes with two wireless surround speakers that are detachable and battery-operated. Additionally, it has a 10-inch wireless subwoofer and three HDMI connections for 4K devices. The Bar 5.1 is a great addition to any home theater system and can be a great gift for the holidays.
One of the most appreciated features of the JBL Bar 5.1 is that it supports DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic II for a full cinematic sound experience with movies and video games. The JBL bar offers an amazing level of soundstage and separation, with high frequencies that are crystal clear, detailed dialogue and midranges, and strong bass performance. The 10-inch subwoofer is completely wireless and offers versatile placement options with incredibly powerful bass output. Ultra-HD with this soundbar also supports 4K devices.
The JBL soundbar connects to your TV remote to operate both the TV and the soundbar. It also has JBL Soundshift, which enables you to switch between the sound coming from your TV and the sound coming from your tablet and smartphone. To connect the JBL bar to the TV, just open the box and plug in the HDMI ARC cable. It only takes 5 minutes.
The JBL Bar 5.1 soundbar doesn’t have a Cinema or Music mode, so you set your movie settings yourself. For music, you want softer bass and volume. For movies, you want more volume and bass. It’s easy to adjust the EQ settings manually, but the fact that there are only three basic EQ settings—all of which are for the bass—is somewhat frustrating.
Another flaw in particular of this bar is that the side wireless speakers need to be charged, and it takes them around 3 hours to charge fully.
Comparison With Sony HT-G700
You might choose the Sony HT-G700 or the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. The JBL 5.1 system is more robustly constructed and offers additional wireless playback choices. It gives a superior surround performance and reproduces a longer low bass. Additionally, unlike the Sony, it has a room adjustment capability. However, some movie fans may choose the Sony HT-G700 3.1 channel soundbar because it supports Dolby Atmos material.
The JBL Bar 5.1 is among the best-selling and most popular JBL soundbars. It’s not a high-end system, but it provides excellent surround sound and powerful bass for a very theatrical viewing experience.
JBL BAR 5.0 5: Most Powerful JBL Soundbar
- Dolby Atmos support.
- Auto-calibration option is available.
- HDMI input and an HDMI ARC connector are available.
- Exceptional bass without a subwoofer.
- It comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
Why It is Best / Benefits:
The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam soundbar is a must-have addition to any home theater setup if you want to experience the immersive sound of Dolby Atmos without using a lot of speakers or spending a bundle of cash. The compact design of the all-in-one Bar 5.0 MultiBeam makes it simple to integrate into any setup while yet producing a powerful sound. It also has a feature that only a select few inexpensive Atmos soundbars can claim: auto-calibration, which adjusts the driver distances and levels for the finest surround sound in your environment.
The simple and sleek design of MultiBeam extends to its controls. There are buttons for power, volume up and down, and input on top of the soundbar. The LED display on the front right turns on. The level is displayed when you adjust the volume, and the input is displayed when you alter the input. Always-on soundbar displays can distract you from what is on the TV, especially in dimly lit scenarios.
The device features one HDMI input and an HDMI ARC connector on the back for connecting to your TV. You can also use optical digital audio to connect to your TV. You can play audio files or update the firmware via the USB port. The soundbar has Wi-Fi built-in, or you may use an Ethernet connection to connect wired. However, you can connect wirelessly over Wi-Fi with AirPlay, Chromecast, or Alexa Multi-Room Music. Another option is Bluetooth.
Given its diminutive size and lack of a subwoofer, the Bar 5.0 Multibeam impresses with its unparalleled sound and deep bass. In particular, for this price, it handles Atmos (and simulated Atmos) better than most standalone soundbars once calibrated. However, the Bar 5.0 Multibeam is still a great choice for smaller rooms and budget-conscious consumers.
The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam is a good compact soundbar. But I wish I could change the center channel level because dialogue can get lost in the mix when there is a lot of action or music coming from the left or right.
Also, the bar’s bass is limited due to the lack of a subwoofer. Furthermore, it doesn’t come with DTS support, which is another downside of this good-looking compact soundbar.
Comparison With Bose Soundbar
The JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam performs significantly better than the Bose TV Speaker. The JBL system is a 5.0 configuration that can play Dolby Atmos media. Additionally, it gets louder and performs better in the soundstage, middle, and surround channels. Even more, wireless playback capability and additional sound enhancement functions, such as room correction, are included. It features a Full HDMI In port as well. Having said that, some customers might prefer the 2.0 Bose’s more neutral sound profile as it comes out of the box.
The Bar 5.0 Multibeam is definitely worth hearing if you’re looking for an all-in-one Atmos soundbar. It might also make a terrific addition to your home theater or be a perfect match for your current setup.
JBL Bar 2.1 (2019): Best JBL Soundbar on a Budget
- Dolby Digital and JBL surround sound.
- Cinematic audio that is dynamic and precise.
- Direct Bluetooth wireless music streaming support.
- A big subwoofer produces deep bass.
- The easy setup process, in addition to dual HDMI ports, provides flexibility.
Why It is Best / Benefits:
One of the best JBL soundbars that offer great value for the money is the JBL Bar 2.1. This JBL soundbar features a wireless 6.5″ subwoofer for powerful bass response and an astonishing 300W system power. We also like that the Bar 2.1 supports direct Bluetooth wireless music streaming from smartphones and tablets. It also delivers JBL’s hallmark sound quality from your TV without using additional speakers or wires. A simple to-set-up and use HDMI, or optical cable connection is also included with the soundbar.
This bar’s sound system provided excellent audio quality. It produces powerful audio with a minimum amount of distortion, and the bass is snappy and deep. The punch and depth of the bass feel wonderfully increased, which makes listening to music and watching movies very enjoyable. Thanks to the loud and crystal-clear dialogue and vocal performances, you can hear the movie lines clearly and without any problems from the TV. There were no lags when we used optical to connect the soundbar to the TV system, and the setup and installation of the system were simple.
Bar 2.1 offers Dolby Digital and JBL surround sound for a genuine cinematic surround experience and sound quality. Moreover, it produces 300 watts of JBL’s trademark sound, which is extremely powerful and can fill a full room with clear, crisp music. The soundbar offers a respectable frequency range of 40 Hz to 20kHz, which is ideal for movie soundtracks and other audio sources.
The JBL Bar 2.1 soundbar is disappointing because it doesn’t have virtual:X or authentic surround sound. The device isn’t Dolby Atmos-capable. Also, the 3D Dolby information from a connected 4K Blu-ray player or 4K gaming console won’t be passed through, and the audio has been downmixed to 2.1.
Another minor letdown is that it lacks a built-in voice assistant, which can annoy some individuals.
Comparison With Sony HT-S100F
The JBL Bar 2.1 deep bass soundbar is a superior choice for those looking for a soundbar that offers greater bass and improved audio reproduction. In addition to this, it has a substantially larger stereo soundstage and more inputs so that you may use it as a hub for your devices. On the other hand, the Sony HT-S100F compresses less at maximum volume and has better phantom center performance.
Overall, the JBL Bar 2.1 is among the best-value soundbars on the market and offers an excellent blend of performance and price.
JBL Bar 2.1 (2017): Best JBL Soundbar for Design
- It comes with Dolby Digital and JBL surround sound.
- There are many sound options, including virtual surround.
- Strong adjustable bass and brilliant highs can create a powerful audio performance.
- Streaming through Bluetooth is possible.
- A 300W maximum operating power output.
Why It is Best / Benefits:
In order to improve the room’s aesthetics and overall ambiance, the JBL Bar 2.1 channel soundbar with wireless subwoofer has a smaller profile and a more elegant aesthetic. One of the greatest JBL soundbars, it reproduces the brand’s distinctive sound with crisp highs, nuanced midranges, and strong bass response. This soundbar system has Dolby Digital, JBL surround sound, and a maximum system power output of 300W. To deliver balanced sound and powerful bass performance for dramatic movies, it also includes a wireless 6.5″ subwoofer. This soundbar has a very simple setup process and has an HDMI input with AUX and USB ports for TV communication. Pairing it with your existing TV remote control is also quite easy.
This is a great choice if you care about sound quality and want a low-cost option. This soundbar offers clear sound with bright highs and deep, tight, rich bass. The small wireless subwoofer can produce deep bass with lots of depth and punch. The 6.5″ subwoofer can produce low frequencies as deep as a 12″ subwoofer. You can also turn on surround sound to make the sound effects bounce around the room.
We liked how easy it was to set up the JBL Bar 2.1. It has HDMI inputs, AUX inputs, USB-connected connections, and AUX outputs so you can connect it to your TV and other home entertainment systems. If you want to stream music directly from your smartphone device, it is also Bluetooth-enabled.
The JBL Bar 2.1 channel is a great compact soundbar with some flaws. The first one, in particular, is that it doesn’t support Wi-Fi connectivity; online streaming is therefore not a possibility, which is pretty disheartening. Also, the built quality is not as sturdy as you want and comes with no extra features.
Furthermore, it doesn’t support customized EQ settings and an auto-sound calibration system, which is a major concern.
Both the JBL and Samsung models have 2.1 channels and are exceptional at creating sounds. But when compared, the JBL is superior because it uses more power and has superior features, such as a built-in mic and remote.
Lastly, the JBL Soundshift features on this soundbar, which is very cool, let you rapidly switch between the sound coming from your TV and the sound coming from your phone or tablet.
The JBL Bar 2.1 is an excellent soundbar if you’re looking for one with a slim profile and good design.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best JBL Soundbars
What should you check before buying the best JBL soundbar for yourself?
Number of Channels
The number of channels in a speaker system affects the volume and audio quality. 2.1, which uses two speakers and a subwoofer, and 3.1, which uses three speakers and a subwoofer, are the two stereo sound standards that are most frequently used. 5.0 and 5.1 are the most common surround sound standards. However, you’ll need even more channels if you want truly immersive sound. 7.1 or 9.1 channel systems are becoming more and more common since they offer a completely realistic experience.
Soundbars have gotten a lot better since they started. They originally only had sound quality benefits, but now they can do more. Some soundbars now have memory cards, disk reading capabilities, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Some also have built-in subwoofers. Even though they don’t have full home theater features, modern soundbars may be good enough. You only need to look at the features each soundbar offers to decide which one is best for you.
Total Speaker Power
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a sound system is total power. This usually represents the maximum power the system can produce in watts. Power does not always equal sound quality. Sound quality is influenced by a range of factors, including frequency response, distortion, and signal-to-noise ratio. Total power serves as a measure of the system’s potential power. It’s crucial to take the size of the room and the speakers into account when picking a sound system. For instance, a sound system with a 200-watt total power rating would be adequate for a large room, whereas a 30-watt total power sound system would be adequate for a tiny bedroom. In the end, it is up to the user to determine how much power they actually require.
Type of Subwoofer
The two primary types of subwoofers are exterior and internal. External subwoofers are larger and more powerful, but if they’re not installed correctly, they can lose bass. Internal subwoofers are more compact and can work well if your space is limited. The best subwoofer for your needs must be chosen because both types have advantages and disadvantages. The best option for the most powerful bass is an external subwoofer. An internal subwoofer will work better if your space is limited. Whatever type you select, be sure to arrange it precisely for the optimum sound.
Hopefully, this article has given you helpful information regarding choosing the best JBL soundbar to purchase. If you’re not sure, think about why you’re making the purchase in the first place.