JBL Bar 5.1 Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

Be it a tiny earbud, a portable party speaker, or a big home theater soundbar, JBL never fails to impress its customers. It has a history of consistently delivering products with incredible JBL signature audio quality, smart and modern-day designs, and extensive durability. Perfect for audio enthusiasts or movie lovers, JBL soundbar 5.1 is what the company calls “Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar with True Wireless Surround Speakers”. Before we dive into the JBL Soundbar 5.1 Review, it would help you out to take a look at JBL flip 3 review too, A wonderful portable option to the soundbar.

What Is a JBL Soundbar and What Does It Do?

JBL Bar 5.1 is a  wireless Bluetooth speaker that comes in combination with a subwoofer and can prove to be a great transformation for your home’s audio system by offering a high definition sound whether you watch a movie or listen to your favorite tracks. This speaker is a complete package, interfacing attractive features, price, and performance. 

The best thing about JBL Bar 5.1 is that it comes with two detachable battery-powered speakers that can be installed anywhere in the room to achieve a room-filling surround sound system with rich bass. The soundbar is compatible with Dolby Pro Logic II and Dolby Digital DTS and is 4K compatible. This means that the soundbar can be connected to your TV through the main media device without losing the actual high-definition sound quality, giving you a pleasing listening experience. 

What Are the Major Attributes of This Product?

Several JBL bar 5.1 soundbar reviews have talked positively of the JBL Bar 5.1 stating that the speaker provides a deep bassy effect and gives a theatre-like feeling when you watch a movie.  We will do a JBL bar 5.1 review in detail in the next part of the article to see if this product is worth an investment or not.

Positive Points of the JBL Soundbar:

Let’s take a look at the market positioning points that JBL has attached to this soundbar: 

  • JBL bar 5.1 is integrated with 4K connectivity with 3 HDMI inputs/outputs that allow you to pair with your 4K devices like television without any hassle and upgrade your home systems to Ultra HD. 
  • Wireless Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect the soundbar with any mobile device or tablet and stream music wirelessly without having to deal with cables and cords. 
  • The soundbar is engineered to work with the TV remotes, so you can operate and use the equipment with your TV’s remote. This means that you do not have to deal with multiple controlling devices and get confused. You can use one remote control for both your TV and the soundbar, a feature that the JBL bar 5.1 reviews speaks highly of.  
  • JBL bar 5.1 features JBL SoundShift technology that enables a seamless and prompt shift of the sound between the media devices and the TV, so there is no waiting time in between. 

Now that you have a decent idea about what JBL bar 5.1 brings to the table, let’s move on to the details of it, while at the same time, touching a few JBL bar 5.1 reviews also, and to be honest the JBL Xtreme Bluetooth speaker review. The JBL bar 5.1 soundbar review in the next section will give you a breakdown of the design, performance, significant features, pricing, and more. This will give you an idea of what this product entails and whether this is something that you should go for if you are looking for a wireless option in a home theater. 

JBL Bar 5.1 Review: JBL 5.1 Soundbar Specs

If you want to create a hi-fi sound system for a fun movie experience with magnificent sound, then JBL bar 5.1 is sure to thrill you with its state-of-the-art features. With a not-so-expensive wireless soundbar, you get a revolutionary home theater experience. 

JBL Soundbar 5.1

What Comes in the Package When You Buy a JBL Bar 5.1?

When you pick up JBL bar 5.1, here’s what you expect to see: 

  • Soundbar
  • Two wireless surround sound speakers
  • A wireless subwoofer
  • Remote control
  • Calibration Microphone 
  • Power cables, HDMI cable, optical cable, AUX cable, 
  • JBL 5.1 soundbar manual
  • Wall mount support kit
  • Warranty card and safety sheet

JBL 5.1 Soundbar Specs at a Glance:

RMS or Maximum power rating: 510 watts
Max SPL: 104 dB
Frequency response: 35 Hz to 20 kHz
Dolby Digital sound 
Bluetooth audio streaming with sound shift technology
Price: $499.99

Design and Looks:

The design of the JBL bar 5.1 is quite appealing and unique at the same time. The wireless speaker comes in the long bar form, which is one of the most convenient shapes a speaker can have. It not only elevates the aesthetics of your room but also is very easy to handle, mount or install. The bar has two removable speakers on either side of it that are clutched to the soundbar with magnets. The speakers are small but have the same design and look like that of the main bar so when they are attached to the bar, it looks like a single piece. However, the whole idea of the detachable audio pieces is to remove them and place them across the room for a 360-degree room-filling sound. 

The soundbar is 58 mm tall and has a plastic-like finish which is a bit inferior to look at considering the price. The users in their JBL bar 5.1 reviews mentioned that the overall build is quite sturdy. The body of the bar is covered with mesh and has a small display screen placed underneath the mesh layer. The display shows what and where you are navigating, making it easy for you to operate.

Control Buttons:

The main soundbar has four control buttons arranged along the top of it. You will find the power, volume control, and source input button. There are different input ports at the back of the soundbar like the USB port, three different HDMI ports, one Aux, and one optical jack. When you are using it for the first time you may find it a bit tricky, so see carefully which port is allotted for which cable, with an exception to the USB port of course. 

The bar has a perfect size, so it can be accommodated in front of the TV on the table, or otherwise, it is engineered in a way that it can be mounted on the wall under the television. The battery-operated speakers can be hung on the wall brackets provided in the kit. 

The subwoofer that comes in the set is decently large and bulky. It is a black box with a matte finish. The wireless subwoofer is around 17 inches long and 12 inches wide. The sub has a power button at the back that is used to wirelessly connect to the soundbar. 

You also get a remote control with JBL 5.1 which is extremely lightweight and quite user-friendly. You can easily achieve what you want with its simple user interface. 

The customers in their JBL bar 5.1 soundbar reviews mentioned that the overall look and the design of the soundbar are very attractive, and it is easy to install and use. The JBL surround sound setup in the latter part of this article will take you through the process of how to set it up and get started with it. 

Significant Features: 

One of the most prominent features and the unique selling point of JBL 5.1 is its ability to get converted from a 2.1 audio system to a 5.1 one, an admirable feature concerning the JBL bar 5.1 reviews. When the battery-operated speakers are detached from the soundbar and placed on the other (rear) end of the room it instantly transforms into a 5.1 mode meaning a 5 channel speaker that can fill the room with stereo sound effects. 

JBL Bar 5.1 review

The soundbar together with the subwoofer is good enough to enhance the audio system for your home with rich sound. But if you want a room-filling sound all around the room, then the JBL bar 5.1 reviews suggest that you can detach the speakers from the soundbar and fix them on the other end of the room for high-level acoustics.

Calibration Mic:

You will get a calibration mic in the pack. This enables auto-calibration of the speakers with the soundbar. It is a super easy process. All you need to do is separate the rear speaker from the bar and install them where you want to. You need to then plug in the microphone to the main speaker bar, and it starts calibrating automatically to set up the sound system within seconds. Now, if you decide to keep the rear speakers where you have placed them for good, then you only need to go through this process once. But if you plug the speakers back to the soundbar, you will have to go through this process again. We will discuss more on the JBL surround sound setup in detail a bit later.

Once the speakers get into the 5.1 modes, they deliver an impressively, well-balanced sound with good bass and decent trebles. You will find a lot of JBL bars 5.1 soundbar reviews that talk positively about how well the audio experience of the users has been. 

SoundShift Technology:

The Soundshift technology is yet another feature that makes JBL Bar 5.1 a versatile product. This technology allows you to swiftly switch between the music from a wirelessly connected mobile, tablet, or other devices connected to the soundbar inputs and the TV. This means that when there is an ad or a break in the movie on your TV, you can promptly switch to your mobile phone for music to skip the ad and get back to your movie once done without any disruption. The JBL bar 5.1 reviews by customers extol this feature as it makes this audio equipment stand out.

Battery Life:

The rear speakers have a battery life of about 10 hours, which may be a bit off. To charge them, you need to plug them back to the soundbar. But honestly, you are going to use the 5.1 modes of the JBL bar only when you want to get that theatre-like feel while watching a movie that you want to thoroughly enjoy with that 360-degree surround sound and that dramatic effect. When you do not require the surround sound effect, you need to plug them into the soundbar, so they get charged. 

The audio system is programmed with different sound presets that you can choose from based on your preference and what you are watching. You can select between standard, movie, sports, voice, and music. This will automatically adjust the sound as per the situation, giving you the optimum sound for a better experience. There is also an option to set up the surround sound or the Bass. So basically there is the right kind of sound option for whatever you plan to watch.

One of the best things that the users liked and stated in their JBL bar 5.1 reviews is the surround sound setup that brings their favorite shows to life. 

Sound Quality:

The most important factor that drives you to purchase a good sound system is to improve and upgrade the sound of the existing audio system of your devices. When it is JBL, the company is famed for its hi-fi sound quality. With JBL bar 5.1, you will undoubtedly experience a powerful audio output surrounding the whole room thanks to the 510-watt power. The sound performance factor has driven most customers to purchase this product, as mentioned in the JBL bar 5.1 reviews. This is much higher than some other similar products from different brands that compete.

JBL bar 5.1 is primarily focused on that segment of the population who love to watch movies and shows. Therefore, the soundbar and the subwoofer are engineered to deliver prominent and booming bass and a clear three-dimensional sound. This gives you a pleasant experience while listening to the music and allows you to enjoy the satisfyingly clear and crisp voices through the dialogues. 


While there is no issue with the amplified sound delivered by the bar, some JBL bar 5.1 reviews had mixed opinions about the mids. Some users thought that when it comes to the mids, the audio quality weakens a bit or loses the warmth when played at a loud volume. However, the soundbar does add to richness at low frequencies. So simply put together, the sound effects and the voices in a movie are balanced and do not try to overpower the other when played at an optimal volume. But when the volume is turned up or turned too low you may get the sound effect associated with the movie, but the dialogue may be unclear and inaudible at times. 

To solve this issue, you may want to switch to the ‘voice mode’ for certain movies where you notice this issue. However, one thing to note here is that in the movies that have more dominating sound effects than the voice, the ‘voice mode’ may not do a lot of justice in balancing out the sound for you. 

Now, if you feel that the satellite speakers are not producing ample surround sound, then there is a provision in the remote that lets you turn up the volume of the speaker sound. This will allow your rear speakers to have a higher volume. 

The soundbar is a great idea to have an overall improvement in your current setup, but what lacks in here is the JBL 5.1 soundbar equalizer settings. This may not be a critical issue unless you’re an audiophile and need that extra balance and perfection in the sound produced. 

Pros and Cons Based on the JBL Bar 5.1 Reviews:

Pros Cons
1. Elegant look. 
2. Innovative design with detachable and wireless battery operated  speakers for added versatility
3. Deep-toned bass.
4. Easy transformation of 2.1 to 5.1 surround sound.
5. Extremely easy installation and setup. The subwoofer and the speakers can smoothly sync with the main bar without hassle.
6. A great option for movie lovers who can just place the speakers behind the bed or couch and get an incredible surround sound.
8. Great value for money.
9. Single-button calibration system 
10. Three HDMI ports to connect to multiple devices.
1. Does not have equalizer settings.
2. The voice can at times be overpowered by the music of the sound effects when played at too high or too low volume (not always the case though).
3. Some feel the material of the soundbar to be of slightly inferior quality for its price

Now, if you already purchased this soundbar from JBL and are wondering how to go about the installation and setup, then do not worry. The JBL 5.1 soundbar manual has a step-by-step process of how you can set it up. Other than that, the section below will give you a quick rundown on the process for your convenience.

Soundbar mounting

JBL Bar 5.1 Soundbar Review: a Quick Overview About the JBL Surround Sound Setup

 According to the JBL bar 5.1 reviews, one of the greatest things about this audio equipment is that it can be very easily installed and set up. It is one of the most user-friendly audio equipment for a home theater when compared with some other similar devices are available in the market. 

Here’s the link to the JBL 5.1 soundbar manual for detailed instruction on JBL surround sound setup, troubleshooting of the system, Bluetooth pairing, remote control functionalities, and more. 

When it comes to the installation, you can either place it on the table in front of your TV or mount it on the wall under the TV. Either way, there will be no disruption in the performance. You will need a screwdriver to punch in the screw on the wall. 

Two brackets are provided to mount the battery-operated speakers to the wall, but this is optional. You can place them anywhere. Once you have installed your soundbar and the other accessories, you are ready to use it. There are multiple cable ports and HDMI ports which you need to go through the JBL 5.1 soundbar manual carefully and connect to your TV and other media devices you wish to stream from. Once the connection is set up, turn the power of the sound system on. 

Pair Your Subwoofer and the Soundbar:

You need to pair your soundbar with the subwoofer at this stage. Now, as soon as you power both the subwoofer and the soundbar, it already starts pairing. The LED light color indicates whether the subwoofer is connected. You will see a white light continuously. 

Now for some reason, you do not hear any sound coming from the sub, you have the option to pair it manually. There are a few easy steps mentioned in the JBL 5.1 soundbar manual (link provided below) that you need to follow. 

Connecting the Wireless Speakers:

It is pretty easy to connect the wireless speakers with the soundbar. You just need to separate them from the soundbar. As soon as you unplug them from the main soundbar, the speakers enter the 5.1 modes. It is important to place them in the correct position for the maximized effect. The sound comes out from the side with less width, so you need to place that side facing the main area where people will sit and listen. 

The “Wireless surround” control buttons in the remote control are used to adjust the volume of the speakers at your convenience. One of the unique features of the speakers is that you can adjust the sound of the speaker as per your room orientation and how the speaker is placed for the best listening experience.  

The Calibration Process:

Plugin the microphone into the connector provided to the right side of the bar. Make sure that there is no furniture or any other obstacle between the mic and the speaker. The microphone should be placed at the level of the ear at which you will sit and listen to the audio. 

Long press the calibration button for about 3 seconds. The speakers will start getting calibrated automatically. An important point to remember here is, during the calibration process, you need to remain silent and avoid any background noise as this may interfere with the calibration process, and you may not get an accurate result. Once it is done, detach the microphone and keep it safe to use later when needed. 

Also, remember that the calibration takes place only at one particular location where the speaker is placed. This means that if you place the speakers somewhere else, then you will have to recalibrate with the new orientation. 

A Few Alternatives of JBL Bar 5.1

While JBL bar 5.1 is a good choice to go for, if you want to take a look at some other options then, listed below are a few alternatives that are working taking a look at: 

Sonos Arc Soundbar:

Although an expensive option when compared with JBL bar 5.1, Sonos is a great audio solution for people who need perfection in audio setup and sound quality. One of the key features of this speaker is that you can sync it to multiple other Sonos speakers or subwoofers placed in other rooms to get a centralized audio system in the house delivering smooth music flow. This premium smart soundbar features Dolby Atmos with hi-fi audio output and a sophisticated look. The integrated Voice Assistant feature gives you hands-free access to some main functionality. The product has a price tag of $799. 

Yamaha YAS 109 Soundbar:

This is a great option for people who are on a tight budget but do not want to miss out on the entertainment or spend a big chunk of money on the audio equipment. Yamaha YAS 109 comes with a built-in subwoofer, Alexa voice assistant, and Bluetooth for wireless streaming. With a clear voice preset and three-dimensional surround sound, what more can you ask for from this minimalist yet multifunctional soundbar. This soundbar has a price tag of $199.95, perfect to upgrade the audio system in a small to medium size room. 

Vizio M-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar:

If you want to experience a home theater setup within an affordable budget for a relatively small-sized room, then this soundbar can be an ideal choice. You can experience cinematic sound powered by Dolby Atmos and Dolby DTS:X. While this may not be as immersive as the higher-end soundbars it does work well giving you ample good listening experience with its multi-dimensional sound system. Vizio M-Series 5.1 bar features different kinds of audio modes like dual sound mode or the front surround mode along with voice assistant feature. You will get this on Amazon at $329.99. 

All this might be great but you might be in the mood for some headphones. If you are looking to do some research before you move ahead, We do suggest that you take a look at some other types of wireless headphones.


JBL bar 5.1 has some solid surround sound capabilities and can prove to be a great step up to your regular audio experience if you want a soundbar with a minimalistic approach. Following the JBL bar 5.1 review, the soundbar delivers booming bass with fully immersive acoustics. It is a versatile option in a way that it can be used as a single bar in a room with lesser space and as for a bigger room, you can install its detachable speakers and place them across the room for a 3-dimensional stereo sound effect. So, if you love to watch movies and skip the ads by shifting to your mobile, and you are not particular about having a perfectly balanced audio profile, then this is something worth investing in. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)

What are the dimensions of the JBL 5.1 soundbar?

The JBL 5.1 soundbar is about 40 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 2.25 inches thick. The size is perfect to place it on the table in front of the TV if you do not want to go through the steps of wall mounting. 

How can I control the volume of the soundbar?

JBL 5.1 soundbar controls are pretty easy to use. You can control the volume through the soundbar’s remote control or the TV remote. The bar also has volume buttons on top of it, so you can directly increase or decrease the sound from there if the remote isn’t around you. 

Is JBL bar 5.1 and JBL bar 5.1 surround two different products? 

Yes, JBL 5.1 and JBL bar 5.1 surrounds are two different products. While Bar 5.1 comes with detachable speakers, the 5.1 Surround is a single bar and does not have detachable speakers. 

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