When choosing a soundbar for your home theater, there are many options on the market. Two of the most popular brands are JBL and Sonos. Both companies offer high-quality speakers that are designed to deliver an immersive audio experience.
Which one is the better choice? This article will compare the JBL Bar 9.1 vs. the Sonos Arc to help you determine the perfect soundbar for your needs.
JBL Bar 9.1 vs. Sonos Arc: Side-by-Side Comparison
|JBL Bar 9.1
|62 x 884 x 120 mm
|87 x 1142 x 116 mm
|8.0 lb (3.64 kg)
|13.78 lb (6.25 kg)
JBL Bar 9.1 vs. Sonos Arc: What Are the Differences?
Regarding sound quality, both Sonos Arc and JBL Bar 9.1 are definitely up there with the best. But which one is right for you? Here are some key differences:
As to features, the JBL Bar 9.1 and the Sonos Arc have a lot in common. Both soundbars support Dolby Atmos. This makes them great choices for anyone looking for a soundbar that can deliver an immersive audio experience. Dolby Atmos is a technology that creates a three-dimensional soundscape. This technology provides an immersive experience by making it feel like you’re in the middle of the action.
Both the Sonos Arc and JBL Bar 9.1 support AirPlay 2, which allows users to wirelessly stream audio from their Apple devices straight to the soundbar. This is a great feature for those who want to listen to music or other audio content from their iPhone or iPad without having to fiddle with wires or connect their device directly to the soundbar. The AirPlay 2 support also allows users to easily control the volume and playback of their audio content using Siri, making it a convenient hands-free option.
However, there are some key differences in the features of both soundbars that are worth mentioning.
A major difference in their features is that the JBL Bar 9.1 supports DTS: X. Digital Theatre Sound (DTS) is a sound technology used in soundbars to create a more realistic and immersive sound experience. The technology uses multiple speakers to create a surround sound effect, making it ideal for movies and television shows. DTS-equipped soundbars also have the ability to produce deep, rich bass tones that can add another level of immersion to your audio experience.
The Sonos Arc was released in 2020 without DTS support. However, an update was rolled out in 2021 which includes several firmware upgrades including Digital Theater Sound (DTS) support. You will need to upgrade your Sonos Arc’s firmware to be able to enjoy DTS.
- Features Dolby Atmos
- Enhanced Trueplay tuning technology
- Support for AirPlay 2 as well as many favorite music streaming services
- Blends in beautiful underneath a TV
Another difference between the features of these soundbars is that the JBL Bar 9.1 has Bluetooth connectivity, while the Sonos Arc does not. This means that you can pair the JBL Bar 9.1 Surround with your smartphone or tablet to stream music wirelessly. The Sonos Arc, on the other hand, must be connected to your Wi-Fi network in order to stream music.
Finally, the JBL Bar 9.1 Surround includes a remote control, while the Sonos Arc does not. This means that you can control all of the bar’s functions — including volume, input selection, and sound mode — with the remote control. The Sonos Arc can be controlled using the Sonos app on your smartphone. You can also sync the Sonos Arc with your TV remote and use it to control your soundbar.
With its Dolby Atmos technology, JBL Bar 9.1 delivers a powerful theater experience with theater-like sound depth and 360-degree audio imaging for all nine channels of the speaker system, for lifelike clarity and accuracy.
The Sonos Arc is also a superb speaker that produces an immersive audio experience with its Dolby Atmos feature. However, it lacks the powerful bass of the JBL Bar 9.1 which gives the JBL a slight advantage.
JBL Bar 9.1 includes a wireless subwoofer and two rechargeable wireless surround speakers that allow it to play immersive surround sounds. This system is designed to create a realistic and lifelike soundscape, providing an excellent audio experience for movies, TV shows, and video games. The wireless surround speakers add an extra layer of immersion, making it feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.
Sonos Arc is a standalone soundbar without any extra surround speakers. You’ll need to purchase additional speakers for the Sonos Arc to be able to create immersive surround sounds like the JBL Bar 9.1.
Hence, the JBL Bar 9.1 with its powerful bass, DTS:X support, and wireless surround speakers creates a better audio experience than the Sonos Arc.
- 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
When comparing the Sonos Arc and JBL Bar 9.1, there are a few key differences in their design. For starters, the Sonos Arc is a standalone soundbar that functions perfectly by itself. In contrast, the JBL Bar 9.1 comes with one main soundbar, two detachable wireless surround speakers, and a wireless subwoofer.
Another difference between the soundbars is their size and weight. The JBL Bar 9.1’s main soundbar is a bit slimmer and more streamlined than the Sonos Arc. It weighs 8.0 lb while the Sonos Arc weighs 13.78 lb, which is almost twice the weight of the JBL Bar 9.1.
Both soundbars also have touch-sensitive controls on top of them. With the touch-sensitive controls, you can turn on/off your soundbar, reduce or increase volume, and skip playback.
The Sonos Arc comes in two different colors — black and white, while the JBL Bar 9.1 is only available in black.
Despite the differences in their designs, both soundbars can blend into your home decor perfectly while providing an immersive audio experience for you.
Sonos Arc is considerably cheaper than JBL Bar 9.1. Sonos Arc is currently listed at $899, while JBL Bar 9.1 is listed at $999.95. The difference between the cost of both soundbars is $100 which might be a lot if you are on a tight budget. However, both soundbars offer great features, which means you can’t go wrong with either of them.
If you’re looking for a soundbar that comes with a built-in voice assistant such as Alexa, then the Sonos Arc is the way to go. With Alexa or Google Assistant built-in, you can control your soundbar hands-free by using just your voice.
Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the other features that these voice assistants offer, like playing music, checking the weather, and more. On the other hand, the JBL Bar 9.1, does not come with a built-in Alexa. However, it works with the Google Home app.
JBL Bar 9.1 vs. Sonos Arc: 7 Must-Know Facts
- Both the Sonos Arc and JBL Bar 9.1 were released in 2020.
- Sonos Arc does not support Bluetooth connectivity, unlike the JBL Bar 9.1.
- JBL Bar 9.1 comes with one main soundbar, two wireless surround speakers, and a wireless subwoofer, while the Sonos Arc is a standalone soundbar.
- JBL Bar 9.1 costs $100 more than the Sonos Arc.
- Sonos Arc is available in two colors — black and white, while the JBL Bar 9.1 is only available in black.
- Both soundbars support Apple AirPlay 2.
- Sonos Arc and JBL Bar 9.1 have Dolby Atmos technology which allows them to play 3D immersive sounds.
JBL Bar 9.1 vs. Sonos Arc: Which One Should You Buy?
If you’re searching for a high-end, immersive soundbar experience, then the JBL Bar 9.1 is the way to go. With its built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology, the JBL Bar 9.1 can create a truly 3D soundscape that will make your movies and TV shows come to life. Plus, with its wireless subwoofer and surround sound speakers, you can easily create a surround sound system.
On the other hand, if you want a more affordable option that still delivers great sound quality, then the Sonos Arc is a great choice. With its Dolby Atmos technology and recent DTS upgrade, it offers an immersive audio experience. Plus, with its built-in Amazon Alexa voice control, the Sonos Arc is a great choice for those who want an easy way to control their soundbar experience.
We recommend the JBL Bar 9.1 because of its audio quality and extra speakers (the wireless surround speakers and subwoofer) which will help you create a theater-like experience in your home. Even though it costs $100 more than the Sonos Arc, its impressive features are worth the extra cost.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Max Heidelmann/Flickr.