JBL always builds quality products, and this soundbar is no exception. It’s perfect for those who are looking for an upgrade in sound without the complete theater system.
The 2.1 Wireless soundbar has a sleek design that seamlessly blends into most rooms. It has a built-in subwoofer to give your favorite shows the bump in audio they deserve. Does this soundbar sound like it’s right for you? Read on JBL 2.1 soundbar review to find out!
Pros & Cons
- Affordable price
- High-quality audio performance with powerful, adjustable bass and bright highs.
- Remote use.
- There are many sound modes available, including virtual surround.
- Bluetooth streaming
- Accessories are light.
- The optical cable won’t stay in its place.
The JBL adds more drama to your TV viewing than any of its sub-$300 competitors I’ve recently reviewed, the Polk Signa S3 or the Vizio V21.
The JBL’s more giant sub provides a wide dynamic range that is especially helpful for blockbuster movies. This soundbar lacks atmosphere and refinement, but it makes up for it with its pure brawn.
Although the JBL Bar 2 Deep Bass is not as cheap as the Vizio V21, it kicks more butt. This soundbar is an excellent option if you no longer have the money to go to the movie or music and still want that cinema thump.
- Brand: JBL
- Name: JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer
- Rated power total: 300 watts
- Soundbar dimensions: 96.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 centimeters (38 x 2.28 x 3.35-inches)
- Soundbar speakers: Four race-track drivers measuring 5.7 mm (2.25 inches) and two tweeters measuring 2.5 cm (1 inch).
- Soundbar source: 2×50 watts
- Subwoofer dimensions: 22.6 x 22.6 x 37 centimeters (8.9 x 8.9 x 14.6-inches)
- Subwoofer speaker: 6.5-inch down-firing
- Subwoofer source: 200 Watts
- Inputs: Optical and HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, and USB
- Dolby decoding:
- DTS decoding: No
- Features: Volume, bright, and bass controls
- WiFi capable: No
- Bluetooth: Version 4.2
- Frequency Response: 40Hz20KHz
- Remote: Yes
Design, Inputs, and Features
Bar 2.1 is very similar to the black soundbar image that you have probably imagined. The bar measures 2.3x38x2.7 inches (HWD) and weighs in at 4.2 pounds. The soundbar can be mounted to the wall or laid flat on an extended surface. Rubber feet prevent it from moving. The top panel contains controls for volume, power, and switching between audio sources.
A metallic grille covers the rest of the front panel and the top. Below the grilles are four racetrack-style, 2.25-inch drivers and two tweeters of 1.25 inches. Together, they produce 100 watts. A white LED indicator shows you which mode you are in beneath the grille.
The black subwoofer weighs 11.5 pounds and is mounted on rubber feet. It measures 14.6 inches by 8.9 inches by 8.9 inches. The subwoofer houses a 6.5-inch down-firing driver that produces 200 watts of maximum power.
This makes the total system’s max power 300W. It has a frequency range from 40Hz to 20kHz. The power cable to the sub connects to a panel at the back.
There’s also an optional wireless pairing button that will link the sub and soundbar. The sub pairs automatically with the soundbar after powering up. However, you can also use the manual pairing button in case of a disconnect.
The soundbar’s rear panel contains connections for output (HDMI in, HDMI out), a 3.5mm aux in (cable included), a USB port to audio in (no cable included), as well the connection for the power cable.
It uses two AAA batteries (included) and is much larger than a typical credit card-sized remote. The remote control also includes many controls: Power, Source, Playback, and Volume.
It can also adjust the audio synchronization of your system by changing the volume. The remote can adjust many parameters, which means it is more valuable than a function.
What’s missing? It is a shame that the brackets for mounting wall brackets do not include screws to attach to the soundbar. You will need to purchase your screws to stick them on the wall at your room.
The optical cable included in the wall mount brackets is nice, but it doesn’t seem to stay in place well. The line pops out of its port easily. An aux cable is an excellent addition, but it’s borderline unnecessary considering Bluetooth’s capabilities. An HDMI cable would be a better option.
How Does It Sound?
The laws of Physics limit speakers’ ability to reproduce all audio frequencies. They fill this gap in the bottom midrange by plugging it in many ways.
The JBL compensates for this by adding some presence sparkle and a hefty bass response to enhance the understanding of dialog and the impression of detail.
The Vizio V21 is a cheaper option to buy that has a larger soundstage due to DTS virtual surround processing. However, it’s smaller and doesn’t have the same muscularity as the JBL.
Although the Vizio V21 can deliver the sound effect that whizzes around your home theater, the JBL is better for home theater thrills. This is due to the large subwoofer.
The JBL Deep Bass 2.1 was the most exciting sounding compared to the Polk and the Vizio. I heard it when I saw the Thanator chase in Avatar. The sub with a larger size captured more low-frequency effects, from the pads of the creatures’ footfalls to gentle roars of the waterfall.
The jungle became alive with insects and running waters. Virtual:X enabled the Vizio to create a three-dimensional jungle, but it could not match the JBL for the frenetic scenes.
Because of the giant sub, the setup was more complex than with the Polk and Vizio soundbar. There are three levels to the single bass button.
I found it more difficult than the Polk and Vizio soundbar because it has more buttons. It’s not an issue in movies, but it became apparent when I listened to music, video games at my room.
I couldn’t get the right mix between the sub-bass and the ‘bar on the Yeah Yeahs’ hit Maps. The midrange sounded dull and drab in the medium setting. This issue was also different for each track.
The same problem was evident when I switched from Karen O’s soprano and Nick Cave’s Tenor. However, the JBL handled Cave’s Red Right Hand better. It sounded both balanced and evocative. Some soundbars might muddle the bass and make it challenging to distinguish Cave’s vocals from the rest.
You can show the JBL what it can do with music by getting a copy of Dead Can Dance’s Yulunga (Spirit Dancer) book. The song was delivered by the soundbar’s stereo effects, excellent dynamics, and deep, rich bass on the large drums.
Extra Features and Service
This unit is designed to be as easy as possible, so extra features aren’t necessary.
Let’s start with the audio support. JBL bar has been secretive about the audio formats that their soundbars can playback. You can search that they can play Dolby Digital content on their website if you read carefully. It is not even mentioned in the manual.
It is sufficient in most cases, but we regret not seeing DTS. This should be standard today. However, keep in mind that Dolby Digital must be downmixed to 2.1 channels for the units to work.
It’s easy to set up an audio setting. You can only really fiddle with two locations. One is the Bass Level, which has three stages. The other is Audio Sync.
It’s as simple as that. We would prefer to have three steps for the bass levels. Three seem very small. Sometimes the medium setting was too low, but the High location made the bass sound much better.
The Smart Audio mode, enabled automatically, allows you to enjoy sound on TV programs. You can disable the Smart Audio mode to reduce audio effects for TV programs like news and weather forecasts or home theater movies.
For rich sound, the Smart method applies JBL Surround Sound and EQ settings to create sound effects. Standard mode uses the preset EQ to produce classic audio effects.
Although the new soundbar does not have an auto sound calibration system, this should not be a problem since there aren’t many sound settings to choose from. There was no reason to add one.
You can also stream audio from your mobile phone device using the Bluetooth function included in the soundbar. Although USB streaming is available, it has been limited to the US models.
This function is limited and only WAV, and MP3 files are supported. Although many of their new models only support USB playback in the US, it is unavailable elsewhere. We are not able to determine why but this feature seems to be standard across their full range.
The unit does not have WiFi functionality, so there is no option for streaming online. This unit does not support local streaming via Bluetooth, so you will be disappointed if you’re interested in Chromecast and Airplay. You will need to buy the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround for online streaming, music for your home theater.
Its feature list will not impress anyone. Although it does offer full essential functions, JBL decided to keep the soundbar as straightforward as possible. This meant that additional features would be kept to a minimum.
The Deep Bass is an excellent choice if simplicity is your top priority. We first connected the 4K UHD player via the HDMI connection. Then, we joined the HDMI output to our test TV. After powering on the soundbar, the subwoofer, and the soundbar, they will connect almost instantly, and everything is ready to go.
You don’t even have to do much because everything is already done for you. You only need to adjust the bass depending on the action. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to set up EQ management or auto calibrators.
It is easy to set up and use, but not for everyone. There are many options for audio management, but the JBL Bar 2 2.1 Deep Bass is the best soundbar you can buy.
Is JBL Bar 2.1 compatible with Dolby Atmos?
The speaker does not have Dolby Atmos processing. There are, however, no ceiling-pointing height drivers.
Is JBL 2.1 deep bass good?
2.0 stars. Disappointing sound. It has subwoofer bass and highs, but not the middle. Although the soundbar and subwoofer appear to be well built, the sound quality is poor. The soundbar is equipped with tiny speakers that produce highs but not lows.
How can I connect my JBL bar 2.1 deep basses to my television?
The supplied HDMI cable, or an optical (sold separately), can be used to connect the soundbar to your TV. An HDMI connection allows audio and video to be associated with one link. HDMI connectivity is the best choice for your soundbar.
The JBL 2.1 soundbar is one of the best sounding soundbars available on the market today. It’s great for those who want a minor upgrade in sound without going all-in on a complete theater system at this price.
If you’re looking for a new soundbar that fits nicely in your budget and doesn’t compromise on audio quality, you can’t go wrong with the JBL 2.1. Please like and share reviews to help Hooke Audio improve our news and community!