JBL Wireless Surround Speakers 5.1 Review

About the Product

JBL Bar 5.1 transforms from a soundbar to a true wireless 5.1 home theater system for an epic movie and music-listening experience. The soundbar has two detachable battery-powered wireless surround speakers with a 10-hour battery life and a total system power of 510W.

Performance

JBL Bar 5.1 is clearly designed for a specific audience of movie fans. Because of the bass capabilities and sharp trebles, you get both satisfying room-rattling sound and crystal-clear dialogue. This strength is also a weakness, as it means it has weak mids, and the 'gap' that some systems have between mids and bass is very noticeable when listening to music on the soundbar.

Pros

JBL Bar 5.1 is incredibly simple to set up. It's as simple as plugging it in and going, which cannot be said for most surround sound systems. The speakers can produce room-shaking volume without losing clarity, and the dedicated voice driver ensures that dialogue is never overpowered, which is something of a holy grail in TV audio. It has excellent wireless connectivity options and room correction.

Cons

There is no Atmos support. There are only two EQ settings. At maximum volume, thumping and compression artifacts are present.

Conclusions

The JBL Bar 5.1 Surround system is powerful and works well for both film and music. However, the lack of user-adjustable parameters beyond three bass settings makes it difficult to find the best sound signature for a particular movie or track.