JBL launches three new streaming and HDMI-toting soundbars

JBL launches trio of new streaming and HDMI-toting soundbars
(Image credit: JBL)

Ahead of the official start of IFA 2019, JBL has taken the wraps off not one, but three new soundbars. There's a compact offering, the JBL Bar 2.0, the beefier JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass, and a more tech-heavy JBL Bar 5.1 Surround.

Each soundbar offers Dolby Digital decoding as standard, an optical digital input, plus one HDMI ARC-supporting output.

At the top of the line is the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. Priced at £549 (€599) and sitting over 101cm wide, it's a soundbar more suited to large 4K TVs.

The soundbar features five full range drivers and two side-firing tweeters and works hand-in-hand with JBL's MultiBeam sound technology in an attempt to deliver 'panoramic surround sound'. It comes with a 25cm wireless subwoofer and an HDMI input, too.

Being the top model, the Bar 5.1 Surround also gets added streaming capability in the shape of Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2, in addition to Bluetooth. Its HDMI input has the bonus of being 4K HDR compatible, which includes support for Dolby Vision.

Step down a level and the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass (£299/€329, pictured top) produces 300W of power and includes a 16cm wireless subwoofer to help with bass duties. This model also has an HDMI input, but loses the 4K HDR support and streaming options are limited to Bluetooth. Like the Bar 5.1, this model has a front display.

Those looking for a fun, affordable soundbar to use with a small flatscreen, might be swayed by the £150 (€179) JBL Bar 2.0. It's a stripped-back affair with no subwoofer, and at just 61cm long, it's sure to appeal to those tight on space. You lose the HDMI input but retain the Bluetooth connectivity found in its siblings.

All three of JBL's new soundbars are available to order now.


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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.