- Bowers & Wilkins and JBL are both leading manufacturers of high-quality audio equipment.
- Although both brands produce quality soundbars, there are some notable differences, including price, multi-room capability, and sound quality.
- Bowers & Wilkins soundbars also have integrated subwoofers, while JBL soundbars come with external subwoofers.
There is no doubt that sound quality is important for home theater entertainment. If you’re an audiophile with one goal in mind — finding the best-sounding soundbar — you’re in the right place.
JBL is a well-known name that is known for producing high-quality audio equipment. Bowers & Wilkins, on the other hand, has specialized in manufacturing high-end professional audio equipment for nearly five decades.
Let’s compare the differences between important differences between Bowers & Wilkins and JBL soundbars to help you decide which brand may be best for your needs.
Bowers & Wilkins vs. JBL Soundbars: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Bowers & Wilkins
|Rich and warm sound
|Powerful and quality bass sound
|Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant
|Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
- Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD
- HDMI eARC input
- 24-bit hi-res quality
- Built-in Amazon Alexa, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth aptX Adaptive, and Spotify Connect
- 2.1 channel
- With wireless subwoofer
- 300W of total system power
- Built-in Dolby Digital
Bowers & Wilkins vs. JBL Soundbars: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between these two legendary brands lies in craftsmanship and audio quality, among other minor differences. Below are the top 5 differences between these two brands’ soundbars that may make you prefer one over the other.
Let’s break them down!
The biggest difference between Bowers & Wilkins and JBL soundbars is the sound quality. Of course, it’s clear from the start that Bowers & Wilkins has an advantage when you listen to the sound of both brands.
Bowers & Wilkins installs a variety of speakers in its soundbars, which together can achieve a frequency response of up to 48kHz. The audio sounds much more natural and precise, and high-frequency sounds like glass shattering always sound like they’re happening in the room you’re in.
On the other hand, JBL is known as an audio brand that can produce deep and high-quality bass that is thunderous, and the combination with incredible highs makes JBL a much better choice for bass lovers.
Bowers & Wilkins has much better sound quality (which is also reflected in the price), but JBL can match it in some aspects, making it a much cheaper yet good choice.
Brand History and Audio Goals
Bowers & Wilkins is a brand that specializes exclusively in audio equipment, producing high-quality and luxurious audio equipment that is always ahead of its time. Having made some of the best audio equipment on the market for nearly five decades, Bowers & Wilkins has a strong reputation and a very loyal customer base. Even today, Bowers & Wilkins continues to reinvent itself and stay at the forefront of the industry. That’s why Bowers & Wilkins soundbars are designed to provide a home theater experience that can be transformed into multi-room, multi-channel systems.
JBL, on the other hand, is an American audio equipment manufacturer owned by Harman International, which in turn has ties to Samsung Electronics. It’s also a company that has specialized only in audio equipment for almost six decades. The company was founded by a sound engineer and has since been known as an audio company that can capture and produce powerful bass without compromising sound quality. Now, you can buy a variety of JBL audio products like headphones, speakers, soundbars, car speakers, and more.
Subwoofers and Multi-Room Capability
JBL’s soundbars always come with separate subwoofers that you need to add to your TV setup. Bowers & Wilkins soundbars always come with integrated subwoofers, which adds to the elegant and sleek design of the soundbars.
Both brands offer the ability to set up multiple rooms. JBL has its own multi-room feature that lets you pair up to 100 JBL speakers in multiple rooms. Bowers & Wilkins offers direct compatibility with TVs but is also very good at offering multi-room capabilities.
So, the main difference is in the components, as Bowers & Wilkins offers a home theater powerhouse in just one component that’s slim and compact enough to fit right under your TV.
Bowers & Wilkins’ multi-room capability is effortless, and you can connect any Bluetooth speaker to the soundbar via the app in just a few minutes. Not only does the soundbar look sleek and stylish enough to be a part of your living room decor, it offers top-of-the-line performance.
Bowers & Wilkins and JBL don’t offer built-in assistants in their soundbars, but they do support voice control from voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also good to know that Bowers & Wilkins offers an app that lets you use the soundbar without having to turn on the TV. With the Bowers & Wilkins app, you can connect speakers in a multi-room setup via Bluetooth and choose to play the same or different content on selected speakers.
In addition to the two voice assistants mentioned earlier, the app is also compatible with Siri, so Apple users can use JBL soundbars directly from their Apple devices. Furthermore, both brands offer Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2, as well as a couple of other smart and advanced features.
While both brands offer advanced features, JBL offers a bit more that can balance out the sound. Bowers & Wilkins follows tech trends and offers just enough advanced and smart features, but other brands like JBL or LG are just a bit better in this regard.
The audio difference between Bowers & Wilkins and JBL is very large, but so is the price. We think that Bowers & Wilkins soundbars are worth the price, offering both excellent sound and a first-class build.
JBL, on the other hand, produces very good, affordable soundbars and is a good choice if you’re on a budget or just don’t need the best of the best when it comes to sound.
The entry-level price for Bowers & Wilkins soundbars is close to $1,000, and sometimes discounts are offered that take off a few hundred dollars. JBL’s soundbars start at $179. Yes, JBL also includes a subwoofer in the price, but that shouldn’t be considered a difference since Bowers & Wilkins has integrated its components into a soundbar.
Bowers & Wilkins vs. JBL Soundbars: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Bowers & Wilkins offers high-end, luxury soundbars that deliver some of the best high-frequency sounds on the market.
- JBL’s soundbars are good quality are much more affordable than Bowers & Wilkins soundbars.
- JBL offers a separate subwoofer, while Bowers & Wilkins integrates its subwoofer and all other components into the soundbar.
- Both brands are multi-room capable and offer advanced and smart features.
- JBL is much cheaper, but Bowers & Wilkins offers much better sound.
- 3 channel soundbar
- Crisp, clear dialogue fills the entire room
- App and voice control available
- Dolby Digital Audio supported
- 96 kHz sound resolution
- 5-channel Multibeam soundbar
- Enjoy immersive and exciting 3D sound experience
- Delivers a deep, punchy bass
- Wireless music streaming via Bluetooth
- AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music and Chromecast built-in
Bowers & Wilkins vs. JBL Soundbars: Which One Wins?
It’s hard to compete with Bowers & Wilkins when it comes to audio equipment. JBL does a really good job of offering decent soundbars at an affordable price, but they just can’t compete with the quality of Bowers & Wilkins.
Bowers & Wilkins is clearly the winner here. If your budget isn’t a problem, we recommend you go for a Bowers & Wilkins soundbar, because you can’t go wrong with it. However, if you’re on a smaller budget and don’t necessarily need the best soundbar on the market, JBL is still a very good choice.
Bowers & Wilkins may be the better choice and the winner of this comparison test, but the choice depends on your preferences and budget.
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