JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam: a compact soundbar with "Virtual Dolby Atmos" technology

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar
(Image credit: JBL)

There's a new 'bar in AV town, folks. The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar is the latest addition to the company's popular budget Bar Series – and, with its sights set on levelling up your TV sound, it's making bold promises. 

Firstly, JBL says this compact soundbar is capable of an "incredibly spacious 3D surround sound experience", courtesy of a) its four passive radiators, b) 'Virtual Dolby Atmos' technology, and c) JBL's own proprietary beamforming technology called – you guessed it – MultiBeam.

MultiBeam's goal is to provide an immersive listening experience so that owners can "hear and feel surround sound without needing additional speakers". Helping to boost that claim of immersive audio is the soundbar's Virtual Dolby Atmos technology, which in theory should help reproduce the height dimensions of a compatible movie or TV show's soundtrack. We've yet to compare this new psuedo-Atmos technology with actual Dolby Atmos, however.

This all-in-one JBL soundbar works with multi-room ecosystems and music services, too. You can wirelessly stream music via Alexa Multi-Room Music (MRM), Apple Airplay 2, Google Chromecast and Bluetooth.

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam will be available in black from JBL and select retailers in spring, priced at £350 / AU$600. 

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar

(Image credit: JBL Harman)


Read all our JBL Bar reviews

Looking for a budget upgrade? See our best cheap soundbar deals page

Have a larger TV/ want to level up your home cinema? Our best Dolby Atmos soundbars roundup is the place

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.