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The 5 Best JBL Soundbars Today: Ranked and Reviewed

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The 5 Best JBL Soundbars Today: Ranked and Reviewed

Key Points

  • Our choice for the #1 Best Overall JBL Soundbar is the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar System.
  • A JBL soundbar can quickly elevate your audio experience with improved depth, clarity, and immersive sound.
  • Many JBL soundbars have a slim profile and are perfect for small living spaces where traditional speakers may not work.
  • JBL soundbars support eARC HDMI output to ensure that there is no loss of audio quality when connecting the bar to your TV.
  • Using JBL soundbars is a much more affordable way to experience surround sound in your home theater.

There is no denying the fact that sound quality is essential for any home theater setup. Even though high-quality speakers are a standard purchase, many people ignore the value of a soundbar. You can get highly immersive sound from your TV if you invest in a high-quality soundbar, especially the ones offered by JBL.

JBL soundbars have taken the world by storm and are now the absolute favorites for audiophiles and home entertainment buffs. And that popularity is not without reason; in fact, there are many strings to their bow.

For starters, JBL is now a household name in the audio world. It has built a solid reputation for creating high-quality audio equipment with outstanding sound performance because of its many years of experience in the industry.

In particular, the sound quality of JBL soundbars is unrivaled. They pack a punch with their advanced audio technologies, delivering immersive and dynamic audio experiences that blow you away.   

However, the company offers a range of soundbars, and obviously not all of them are suitable for everyone. Therefore, it is important to know about the available options to compare and choose. So, let’s get started with some popular JBL soundbars to help you find the best one for you:

#1 Best Overall JBL Soundbar: JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar System

Best Overall
JBL Bar 9.1
$699.00
  • Power output: 820W
  • DTS and Dolby Atmos (with X decoding) built-in
  • Surround speakers (detachable and battery-powered) included
  • A 300W, 10-inch powered subwoofer allows you to experience real, deep, bass
  • Supports Dolby Vision with Ultra HD 4K pass-through
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01/17/2024 07:44 am GMT

With a whopping 820W of power and features like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Bluetooth, and Chromecast connectivity, the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar System is our #1 best overall JBl soundbar. With a true 5.1.4 setup, you can enjoy powerful bass and an expansive soundstage.

The design is practical, and the battery-powered, cordless back speakers make it easy to add rear channels without overwhelming the space. We also like the fact that it has an automatic sound calibration feature that makes setup a breeze.  

Connectivity is never an issue as it comes with a single HDMI input and provides an HDMI output with eARC support. This allows for the transmission of audio from a TV without any quality loss. It lacks a specialized mobile app, but wireless options such as Bluetooth, Chromecast, and AirPlay 2 make up for it.

The JBL Bar 9.1’s performance is really cinematic, transporting you into the movie with its crisp audio and lifelike sound effects. It has HDR10 and Dolby Vision transmission capabilities, but you will miss HLG or HDR10+. However, the sound quality is outstanding, with crisp highs, rich midranges, and booming bass from the built-in subwoofer.

ProsCons
It packs a solid power of 820W.It doesn’t come with HLG or HDR10+.
It comes equipped with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
It includes an HDMI output support eARC for easy connectivity.

Check out the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar System on Amazon.

Best 5.1 JBL Soundbar: JBL Bar 5.1 Channel Soundbar

Best 5.1 Soundbar
JBL Bar 5.1
$549.63
  • Power: 510W
  • True 4K connectivity
  • 3 HDMI in/1 HDMI out (ARC)
  • Bluetooth, HDMI connectivity
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01/16/2024 09:49 pm GMT

If you are looking for the best 5.1 soundbar from JBL, we highly recommend JBL Bar 5.1 Channel Soundbar. You will get a genuine 5.1 surround sound system, recreating the cinematic experience in your own house. One of the perks is that it is compatible with not just Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II, but also DTS.

This means you will experience mind-blowingly high-quality audio. That is why highs are crisp, lows are deep, and everything in between is rock solid. And add that wireless subwoofer to the mix and you have an outstanding sound system at your disposal.

What most people truly appreciate is that the soundbar is compatible with your television’s remote control. The setup is simple, which gets better with JBL Soundshift, a nifty addition that lets you choose between the TV’s audio and the audio from your mobile device.

Overall, you will be able to connect everything via HDMI ARC in under 5 minutes. The only thing to consider is that the battery life of the wireless side speakers is roughly 3 hours when completely charged. It is not a deal-breaker, but it may still be something to consider before making a purchase.  

As a whole, the JBL Bar 5.1 is a great soundbar, and it is just slightly inferior to the JBL Bar 9.1. It may not be the flashiest system out there, but it provides excellent surround sound and booming bass for really cinematic viewing experiences.

ProsCons
It delivers an impressive 5.1 surround sound experience.The battery life could be better.
It supports Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, and DTS.
It is easy to setup with JBL Soundshift.

Check out the JBL Bar 5.1 Channel Soundbar on Amazon.

Best Entry-Level JBL Soundbar: JBL Bar 2.0

Best Entry-Level Soundbar
JBL Bar 2.0
$199.95
  • System power: 80W
  • Compact, low-profile design
  • Bluetooth connectivity
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01/16/2024 09:49 pm GMT

The JBL Bar 2.0 may lack some bells and whistles, but it is an outstanding entry-level option for those looking to ditch their TV’s built-in speakers. The JBL Bar 2.0 All-in-One is a steal of a deal that delivers a plug-and-play audio experience. It has a high-quality audio system with 2.0 channels and supports Dolby Digital for crystal-clear sound.

The soundbar has the usual assortment of low-priced device features, such as Bluetooth and USB streaming, HDMI connection, and basic audio controls. Like other JBL products, its design is basic and streamlined to disappear into the background.

The soundbar has 80 watts of power, with 2 x 40 watts going to the main unit. This is an increase over the previous model. The sound is impressive, especially in the highs and mids, but the lack of a built-in or external subwoofer means that it does not do justice to low bass notes.

However, a wireless subwoofer or surround sound speakers can greatly enhance the soundstage when used in conjunction with a soundbar. The remote is quite similar to those found on other JBL products, making it easy to use.

It has simple controls for changing the volume and starting and stopping the music. The fact is that though more high-end soundbars may have more bells and whistles, the Bar 2.0 All-in-One’s ease of use, above-average sound quality, and low price make it a viable option for anyone looking to spruce up their home theater system’s audio.

ProsCons
It is an extremely affordable JBL soundbar to buy.It does not come with a subwoofer.
It delivers 80W of power.It lacks the eARC functionality.
It supports Bluetooth connectivity and USB streaming.

Check out the JBL Bar 2.0 on Amazon.

Best JBL Soundbar for Affordability: JBL Bar 3.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD

Most Affordable Option
JBL Bar 3.1
  • Built-in microphone
  • 450W of power
  • 10-inch subwoofer
  • True 4K connectivity
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The JBL Bar 3.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD is the best option for anyone looking for a 3.1 soundbar system at an affordable price. As far as the sound quality is concerned, you will not regret your decision to buy it. Its maximum power is 450W, and its maximum sound pressure is 103dB.

It delivers a crystal clear and vivid sound performance, making movies more immersive. With a wide frequency range between 35 Hz and 20 kHz, the soundstage and sound quality are also excellent. Moreover, it comes with a wireless 10″ subwoofer and is able to handle 4K Ultra HD channels.

The JBL Bar 3.1 allows you to stream your music wirelessly over Bluetooth. It is simple to enjoy listening to music. With its three HDMI inputs and one HDMI ARC output, it is also easy to connect your 4K devices. For crystal-clear conversations, the center channel has its own amp and speakers.

It has a robust bass response and produces an incredibly loud surround sound. While the soundbar itself is quite compact, the volume it produces is powerful enough to shake the windows. The nicest aspect is that there is no audible distortion even at the highest volume settings.

And another neat feature is that you can operate the soundbar with your TV’s existing remote. Just think of how handy that is. Overall, the JBL Bar 3.1 looks great, sounds great, and does not break the bank.  A great buy, for sure!

ProsCons
It is a loud soundbar packing a power of 450W.The subwoofer frequency is a bit low at ~80hz.
It delivers crisp sound and handles 4K Ultra HD channels.
It comes with an impressive 10″ subwoofer for quality bass.

Check out the JBL Bar 3.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD on Amazon.

Best JBL Soundbar with a Slim Profile: JBL Bar 2.1 Channel Soundbar

Best Soundbar with a Slim Profile
JBL Bar 2.1
$189.95
  • 6.5-inch subwoofer
  • 300W speaker output
  • Bluetooth, HDMI, 1 Analog, 1 Optical, USB connectivity
  • Supports TV remote control
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01/16/2024 09:07 am GMT

JBL Bar 2.1 Channel Soundbar is a top-tier option, producing the brand’s trademark sound with crisp highs, rich midranges, and punchy bass, while maintaining a slim profile. The JBL Bar 2.1 is an excellent choice if you value sound quality but are on a tight budget.

The maximum power of this soundbar system is 300W, and it supports Dolby Digital and JBL surround sound. For its compact size, this sound bar produces surprisingly crisp and lively audio.

Moreover, it also supports DTS audio, making the speech feel natural. If you activate Surround Sound, the sounds will emanate from all directions, giving you a truly three-dimensional audio experience.  

It also includes a wireless 6.5-inch subwoofer, which delivers rich low frequencies and helps create a cinematic listening experience when watching movies. If you wish to play music from your smartphone, you can do it wirelessly over Bluetooth. In addition to an HDMI input, AUX, and USB ports make it simple to connect this soundbar to your TV.

Being able to pair it with your current TV remote is also a nice touch. And, of course, this soundbar boasts pretty convenient JBL Soundshift features that let you easily switch between TV sound and sound from mobile or tablet devices. Overall, it is an outstanding soundbar if you want great sound quality but like a minimalist design.

ProsCons
It looks stunning with its slim profile.The sound turns off if you pause the picture for a couple of minutes.
It is capable of producing 300W of power.
It delivers rich midranges and crisp highs.
It comes with a 6.5″ wireless subwoofer.

Check out the JBL Bar 2.1 Channel Soundbar on Amazon.

How to Pick the Best JBL Soundbars Today: Step by Step

soundbar
Factors such as volume, power, and the size of the subwoofer can affect which soundbar is the best one for you.

JBL offers a wide variety of soundbars, but not all of them are suitable for your situation. Therefore, you need to consider various things before picking the best JBL soundbar.

How High Should the Volume Be?

Considering the size of your room is important here because it helps you decide how loud the system should be. But, do not focus merely on loudness. You should be more concerned about the available number of channels.

When it comes to speaker systems, the number of channels can make or break the sound quality. It is not just about cranking up the volume, but also about hitting all the right notes.

When it comes to stereo sound, the usual options are 2.1 and 3.1. The former boasts of two speakers and a subwoofer, while the latter takes it up a notch with three speakers and a subwoofer.

To get the full shebang of surround sound, you need to have a minimum of five speakers, which is why 5.0 and 5.1 are all the rage. If you want to hear the sweetest tunes, go for a speaker system with more channels than you can shake a stick at.

How Functional Do You Want Your Soundbar to Be?

Soundbars have really stepped up their game since they first hit the scene. Back in the day, these gadgets were all about enhancing audio, but now they can really go above and beyond.

Many that are currently available include cutting-edge connectivity options, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as media reading hardware. Some even help you get cracking with an Alexa assistant. And others have subwoofers included to crank up the bass.

Even though modern soundbars lack the bells and whistles of a dedicated home theater, they still deliver a solid performance, depending on your chosen model. So, be sure to consider the functionality and all extras before making a purchase.

How Powerful Should the Speaker Be?

The power of the soundbar does not always indicate sound quality.

One of the most important factors to think about when picking a sound system is its total power. This is typically measured in watts and shows the system’s full potential for power output. Nevertheless, It is worth emphasizing that raw output does not always indicate audio quality.

There are several aspects that contribute to the overall quality of a sound, including frequency response, distortion, and signal-to-noise ratio. The concept of total power is only indicative of the system’s potential power. Think about the room size and the total wattage of the speakers when deciding on a sound system.

For instance, a sound system with a total power rating of 30 watts would be adequate for a small bedroom, while one with a rating of 200 watts would be adequate for a big living room.   

What Type of Subwoofer Do You Need?

There are two types of subwoofers that rule the roost: external and internal. When it comes to subwoofers, bigger is better and external ones pack a punch.

However, if you do not put them in the right spot, you might be singing the blues with a bass-less beat. However, you should not mindlessly go with the largest subwoofer out there. Instead, pick one that suits your specific situation.

If you are looking to really bring the house down with some earth-shattering bass, then an external subwoofer is definitely the way to go. If you are cramped for room, an internal subwoofer will be a snugger match.  

Room Size

Another factor that affects which JBL soundbar you choose is one that can often be overlooked — the size of the room. In short, the larger the room the more power and speakers you are going to need. However, to explain further, a 2.1 channel soundbar would be suitable for a small room, a 3.1 channel soundbar for a medium-sized room, and a 5.1 channel soundbar for a large room.

What to Know Before Buying the Best JBL Soundbars Today

soundbar speakers
When choosing a soundbar it is important to consider things such as sound clarity and connection method.

It is important to consider various features of available JBL soundbars and then decide what suits you the most.

Sound Clarity

Consider the soundbar’s clarity, depth, and balance when assessing its audio performance. If you want a truly immersive movie-watching experience, look for features like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support.

Size and Design

Before purchasing a soundbar, make sure it will fit in the area you have designated for it and that it will look good with your TV or other home entertainment components.

Multiple Connection Methods

Make sure your TV and other devices are compatible by checking the available connecting choices, such as HDMI, optical, or Bluetooth. This will make it simple for you to hook up your sound bar.

Wattage

Think about how much power and wattage the soundbar can put out. In general, the higher the wattage, the greater the sound quality and the loudness.

Price

Set a budget and look at the many models available within that price range. It is important to remember that soundbars with a higher price tag typically offer more features and a higher quality sound than their cheaper counterparts.

Using the Best JBL Soundbar: What It’s Like

With the best JBL soundbar, you will be on cloud nine with an immersive auditory experience that takes home entertainment to the next level. Its state-of-the-art technology and top-notch audio performance ensure that you will hear music that will blow your mind.

Whether you are watching a movie, listening to music, or playing a video game, the JBL soundbar will fill the room with crystal-clear, fully immersive sound. It is easy to set up and operate because of its intuitive interface and wireless networking options, and its modern style complements any space.

Overall, the best JBL soundbar will take you on an unforgettable aural adventure, whether you are watching a blockbuster, throwing a party, or just kicking back and relaxing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the soundbar work?

When compared to a TV’s internal speakers, soundbars’ wider soundstage and higher-quality audio result from the combination of numerous speakers and audio processing technology. They typically have separate speakers for the music’s left, right, and center channels, and sometimes even more for the surround effects.

Do I need a soundbar for my TV?

In case you think your TV’s internal speakers are not up to snuff, a soundbar is a great accessory to add to your setup. A soundbar is not required but can substantially improve the quality of watching TV by providing crisper dialogues and more immersive sound.

The best soundbar is an excellent investment for anyone who wants to improve their audio experience while watching movies, TV, or playing games.

Do Soundbars Surround Sound?

Although soundbars are not technically surround sound systems, some do include technology or extra speakers to provide the illusion of a more immersive listening experience. These may employ spatialization and motion-in-sound processing techniques to improve the listening experience.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos transforms the way you listen to audio. Dolby Atmos is a proprietary surround sound system by Dolby Laboratories that adds height channels to traditional surround setups, effectively rendering audio as three-dimensional objects.

This results in an enhanced sensation of directionality and localization of sounds, as well as a more engaging and realistic listening experience. Dolby Atmos’ object-oriented audio also frees sounds from physical placements in the stereo field and places them instead anywhere in the three-dimensional listening experience.

What is Dolby Digital?

In order to produce high-quality optical phonograms of synchronized film soundtracks, Dolby Laboratories created the digital multichannel sound technology known as Dolby Digital.

The system employs an in-house algorithm to compress the audio without sacrificing quality. DVD or Blu-ray discs are encoded with the resulting audio tracks. In addition to its widespread use in film soundtracks, Dolby Digital is also a popular choice for television, video game, and music recordings.

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