Audio enthusiasts have long sought to extend the sonic capabilities of their television without adding too much clutter. This is where the jbl 5. 1 soundbar comes in.
It provides a relatively unobtrusive alternative for discreetly playing up audio while also offering some nifty features for more discerning listeners. The jbl 5. 1 soundbar has an excellent audio profile, outperforming competitors by leaps and bounds.
This JBL 5.1 soundbar review has been conducted to help you make an informed decision whether the jbl 5. 1 soundbar is worth buying or not.
Pros & Cons
- Amazing wireless connectivity options
- Room correction available.
- There are only two EQ presets.
- No Atmos support.
- At max volume, there is no compression or thumps.
The JBL is a great option for movie buffs who have limited space. It offers wireless surround sound from a soundbar. Although the sound quality isn’t quite as extensive as those provided by its rivals, its transformable surround sound capabilities are remarkable.
Although the JBL 5.1 may be a few decades old, it is still an extraordinary audio device. The soundbar is often available for sale, so it’s worth looking into if you are in the market to buy a basic 5.1 system.
How does it work? You can attach the soundbar to one or both ends of a central bar. Alternatively, you can put the soundbar behind your couch and create wireless surround sound.
The subwoofer is also included. It’s wired to power but wirelessly connects to the soundbar. The satellite speakers have 10-hour battery life and can be charged by plugging into the soundbar.
This is a unique proposition that makes the JBL Bar5.1 stand out. It begs the question: Do you get the best of both soundbar and surround sound systems? Or is it a device that doesn’t have either?
Price and Release Date
In 2017, the JBL Bar 5.1 was sold for $699 (about AU$850, PS500) and has since fallen slightly in price. It’s worth keeping an eye out for the bar during major sales events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday, when it may drop in price.
For its high price, the JBL Bar 5.1 is quite affordable. The JBL Bar 5.1 is mainly made of plastic. While it feels sturdy, the buttons aren’t as smooth as those on the Bose SoundTouch 300.
The soundbar’s main body is covered in perforated mesh. This hides a small display underneath, right next to a small JBL logo.
There are four buttons on the top for volume, power, and input source. There are three HDMI ports on the back, one USB port, one AUX, and one optical.
Satellite speakers are designed to plug into the end of the soundbar and make a strong magnetic connection. The whole unit appears convincingly like a traditional soundbar when they are plugged in.
The soundbar is 58mm high so that it will fit comfortably in front of most TVs. However, it was designed to attach to a wall under a screen. Everything you need to connect the JBL Bar 5.1 to the wall is included in the box.
You can attach the satellite speakers to the wall with brackets. However, this is not the main selling point of the unit.
The JBL Bar 5.1 is 1148mm wide when connected. This is a large soundbar.
The dimensions of the subwoofer are 440x305x305mm. It has the same ‘black box’ appearance that we have come to expect from subwoofers. Just above the power input is a button that wirelessly syncs the subwoofer with the soundbar.
The JBL Bar 5.1’s wireless surround sound capabilities are without doubt its most significant selling point. The system is straightforward to set up:
- Unplug the satellite speaker.
- Place them in your room.
- Plug a tiny microphone into the main soundbar.
- After that, auto-calibration will run, which will give you short bursts of loud, unpleasant white noises for a brief time.
Although we didn’t expect much from such a low-fi approach, we were surprised. It was tested with films known for their surround sound systems, including Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Mad Max was able to hear the various soundtrack elements and whispered voices with great clarity. The sound was balanced and instantly immersive. This is precisely what a surround sound system should do.
The sound quality was more treble- and bass-oriented (and we’ll get to this later). This made the echoing chamber that Rey created in Star Wars feel significant but not fundamental, which was a shame.
The sound stage was optimized for movie and TV viewing. This is especially helpful in large action sequences where you can hear dialogue over the heavy scoring and gunfire.
For wireless music play, the JBL Bar 5.1 can be paired with a Bluetooth device to act as a Bluetooth speaker. The remote has a button that allows you to switch between a Bluetooth and wired connection.
This feature was a bit redundant for us. The bar’s intelligent switching when we used the phone while watching a movie meant that sound would often be cut to favor the telephone even though nothing was playing.
The JBL Bar5.1 is specifically designed for movie lovers. You get both a satisfying room-rattling sound and clear dialogue thanks to the JBL Bar 5.1’s sharp trebles and bass capabilities.
However, this strength can also be a weakness as it has weak mids. This gap between mids and basses is quite noticeable when trying to listen to music on the soundbar.
This means that the music is loud and clear but lacks warmth. We tried listening to several tracks. The bar handled alt-pop tracks like Maggie Rogers’ Alaska with great success, but it could not hold songs that relied on warm mids such as James Taylor’s You Can Close Your Eyes which is achingly beautiful.
A system such as the Samsung HW–MS650 is better if audio quality is essential to your needs. Although it doesn’t offer surround sound like the Bar 5.1 system, the HW-MS650 has a remarkable dynamic range.
The JBL Bar 5.1 is an appealing option if you are looking for an alternative to wired-in surround sound systems. You don’t have enough space or want the flexibility of having satellite speakers behind you.
Soundbars should be easy to set up. The Bar 5.1 Surround is not that simple.
HDMI cables can be used to connect your TV’s HDMI port to HDMI ARC. It should work if your TV’s sound settings are set to HDMI ARC. You can also connect an external set-top box to the soundbar using your TV’s optical digital audio output.
The Bar 5.1 Surround uses Google Home to connect to wifi. To understand this, you will need to go online and read the manual. Although the quick start guide suggests that you download Google Home, it doesn’t explain why or what to do next.
You can set it up in wifi setup mode by holding down the power button until you see the LED display Setup wifi. This didn’t appear on my unit, but I was able to connect to wifi. Select the soundbar from your phone’s wifi settings screen.
Launch Google Home, then add the speaker to your account. Once you’ve done this, you can start audio streaming via Chromecast and AirPlay 2. Bluetooth pairing is also possible.
To get the best surround sound effect, you’ll want to use the soundbar’s automated calibration. You can do this by pressing the HDMI button on your remote until Calibrate appears on the LED display. The soundbar will emit a series of sounds to help it measure and optimize sound.
Other adjustments are not possible with the Bar 5.1 Surround. The remote has a Bass button that allows you to adjust the bass level from 1 to 5.
You can also change to Smart mode, which enhances sound effects. This is a more difficult task than it should be. To do this, hold the mute button down for three seconds and then press the + button.
It is straightforward to set up the JBL Bar 5.1. The JBL Bar 5.1 is straight to set up. Both the satellite and sub-woofer wireless speakers work seamlessly with the main soundbar. Calibrating the system was as simple as pressing one button.
The speakers can produce a loud, booming volume without losing clarity. Additionally, the dedicated driver for voice ensures that dialogue is not overpowered. This is a rare feat in TV audio.
The best thing about the Bar5.1 is the ability to immerse oneself in the audio world of a movie with just a few rechargeable speakers.
It is not able to reproduce the full range of music and has weak mids. There is also a noticeable gap between the mids produced by the subwoofer and the mids. The design is also not very attractive, and it costs significantly less than you would expect given its price.
How many speakers does the JBL 5.1 soundbar contain?
Two wireless surround speakers transform the JBL Bar 5.1 soundbar into a complete 5.1 surround sound experience. The soundbar system recreates the cinema experience and creates an immersive music experience.
Is JBL 5.1 compatible with Alexa?
Before you mount the soundbar on a wall, ensure that it is not plugged into power.
What is the wattage of JBL 5.1 soundbars?
The JBL Bar5.1 Surround provides the ultimate home cinematic experience. With 550 Watts of power, a 10″ subwoofer, and the ability to bring everything to life, you can make any movie come alive.
Do you want to know more? Check our article what wattage soundbar do I need
Is JBL 5.1 capable of supporting DTS?
All supported formats are DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby ProLogic II. The wireless speakers can be fully charged in three hours. They can then be used for a maximum of ten hours. The soundbar supports Bluetooth 2.0, hdcp2.2 and can receive 4k signals via the three HDMI ports.
The JBL 5.1 soundbar is a marvel of technology and sound quality for its compact size and affordable price. This soundbar makes a great addition to any home cinema room and is a fantastic option for those looking to enhance their TV viewing experience without sacrificing audio quality.
It’s a good buy at its current price, which only further helps to increase the purchased score for this soundbar. If you’re looking for a smaller model without compromising sound quality, this is an excellent choice.
Hooke Audio hope you enjoyed this JBL 5.1 review and were able to find some helpful information for your purchase. Would you consider buying it?