When it comes to powerful soundbars that work perfectly for film, music, and gaming, JBL is one of the market players that you won’t go wrong with. Despite having a good number of intriguing models to its credit already, the company keeps expanding its soundbar lineup to include new models that employ the latest audio technology.
In this post, we’d be looking at some of the best soundbars ever released by JBL.
Best JBL Soundbars with Subwoofers: Our Top 6 Picks
While there are JBL soundbar-only models, our focus here would be on those that come with subwoofers. To us, soundbars with subwoofers are the real deal when it comes to enjoying an immersive audio experience. And if you’re already a sucker for JBL products, we recommend that you go for a JBL soundbar with standalone subwoofers.
We compared all the JBL soundbar models that come with subwoofers in terms of design, features, performance, versatility, buyer reviews, and price. And here are our top 5 picks…
1. JBL 5.1
The JBL Bar 5.1 is an excellent choice for those that want to upgrade their TV’s sound quality without breaking the bank. It scores high on design and knocks out powerful sounds to make your movie nights and music moments better.
The JBL Bar 5.1 is simply elegant but not so distracting to draw attention away from the TV. The main unit is wrapped in a perforated mesh with gray/silver coloring while the curved edges round off its low profile.
At 58mm tall, this soundbar will sit comfortably beneath most TVs without blocking any part of the screen. Basic controls are located at the top of the bar and they include buttons for power, volume, and source input.
For connectivity, you get three HDMI ports, one USB, one UAX, and one optical port. The soundbar also has separate tweeters, which you can remove from the main body of the soundbar. Accompanying the soundbar is a 10-inch subwoofer and a remote control with minimal buttons.
Without doubt, the headline feature of the JBL 5.1 is the wireless surround sound capability. As a soundbar with a subwoofer, this system delivers enveloping sounds while keeping the setup super-minimal. It comes with a calibration microphone that makes it easy to set up the system in seconds.
Also, the system comes with battery-powered speakers that can go into 5.1 mode when you detach them. When you are through with watching your favorite TV show or movie, just pop them back into the soundbar and they charge automatically. Keep in mind that the speakers can last for as long as 10 hours when detached.
Another notable feature is the SoundShift feature, which makes it possible to swap between a wired and Bluetooth connection by pressing a remote on the button. In addition, the bar comes with different sound modes so you can get customized sounds for any type of content.
When it comes to pumping your room full of sounds, the JBL Bar 5.1 doesn’t hold back, thanks to its 510W of power.
While the bar is suitable for different applications, it is particularly great for watching movie fans. The bass capabilities and sharp treble settings help make the dramatic sounds crystal clear and room-shaking.
Its only seeming weakness is that it struggles to gain some balance at lower levels but you can fix this by switching to the voice mode settings.
- Elegant design
- True surround capabilities
- Powerful bass
- Multi-beam audio
- Wireless battery powered speakers
- Music feels flat when settings aren’t well adjusted.
2. JBL 3.1
An inexpensive soundbar and a wireless subwoofer duo, the JBL 3.1 is a sound system that offers a seriously appealing prospect over its rivals. It delivers a modest design, superb sound clarity, and thumping action audio, thus offering real value for money.
A sleek and gorgeous design isn’t something to expect from the JBL 3.1 as it comes in a shade of grey, which makes it easy for it to be unnoticed. To be apt, it is aesthetically unobtrusive like you would expect of a soundbar.
Positioned at the top of the bar are buttons for power, volume controls, and sound source. An LED shines through the metallic grille on the front, displaying the current status of the bar while the entire body is made of good quality plastic.
On the rear, you will get a number of input ports for three HDMI inputs and an HDMI ARC output, USB optical, and Aux. It has only Bluetooth connectivity to enable you to go wireless.
JBL SoundShift is one of the top features that come with this bar, and it allows you to instantly switch back and forth between sounds from your TV and sounds from your mobile devices. It also has Dolby Atmos support so you can immerse yourself in best-in-class surround sound.
As expected, this bar comes with a range of sound modes to optimize your listening experience and they include Standard, Movie, Music, Voice, and Sports. Additionally, you can further tailor the sound to your preference by tweaking the bass levels and surround sound effect.
A bonus feature is the compatibility of this soundbar with all remotes. In other words, you never have to worry about losing your remote as you can control this unit using your existing remote.
JBL is a reputable sound equipment manufacturer and it comes as no surprise that the sound quality of this bar is top-notch. When used for movie playback, it provides a sense of home cinema as the dialogue is clear through the mids and highs.
Bass lovers will not be disappointed as this bar offers great bass output plus you get the freedom to adjust the settings to your preference. Nonetheless, the default sound output for music is sharp, detailed, and powerful. Overall, the JBL 3.1 sounds fantastic irrespective of the mode you select.
- 4K HDR sound output
- Dolby Atmos compatibility
- Adjustable bass levels
- Sounds can get coarse at very high volumes
3. JBL 9.1
The JBL 9.1 is an expensive soundbar but it offers a fully wireless design with powerful thunderous audio. It provides proper surround sounds, thanks to its detachable speakers.
JBL has managed to keep the physical presence of this soundbar to a minimum. Its dark grey plastic housing has only the slightest sheen while the rest of the body is all clean lines and plain black finish,
Measuring 24 x 48.4 x 4.7 inches, this soundbar is on the large side but not too high to block any part of the screen. The top of the panel houses the buttons for power, volume, and sound source while the microphone at the extreme right is for the audio calibration. Just beneath the front-facing grille, an LED display replaces the arcane set of lights that was on previous models. It is completely invisible when not in use.
The back panel houses connections for HDMI out, HDMI in, eARC, Optical out, USB, and input for the included power cable. For wireless connectivity, you get both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The foremost attraction to the JBL 9.1 is its ability to deliver Dolby Atmos and DTS:X with a genuinely immersive 5.1.4-channel speaker layout. Also, the bar is compatible with Chromecast and AirPlay 2, allowing you to stream your favorite music from both your Android and Apple devices.
It features detachable, battery-powered surround speakers that can deliver up to 10 hours playback before they shut down. However, the playback time may vary depending on your volume levels.
Unlike other soundbars in its category, this bar doesn’t have any kind of voice assistant compatibility. However, you can configure the bar in both Google Home and Apple Home apps.
The JBL 9.1 can get very loud, thanks to its 820 watts of total system power that makes it possible to enjoy a delightful home-theater experience through powerful, crystal-clear audio. If you fancy plenty of shock and awe, this bar is just the unit you need.
A drawback here is the lack of EQ settings, which means you have to manually alter the sound settings yourself due to the non-addition of sound modes. Nonetheless, this bar manages to deliver immersive sounds.
- Powerful audio with thunderous bass depth
- Wireless rear channel speakers
- Super simple setup
- Convincing Dolby Atmos and 5.1 sound
- Lacks effects definition
4. JBL 5.1 Surround
The JBL 5.1 Surround is the cousin to the JBL 5.1 (non-surround model) with the major difference being that it delivers a more immersive theater-like experience. It was released in 2019 with more features than the previous model.
Finished in matte dark gray, the JBL 5.1 Surround is a soundbar that measures 2.3 x 40.0 x 3.9 inches, indicating that this is a large unit. This bar looks very much like its sibling except that it features curved pill-shaped corners, making it smaller than it really is.
Its front face is an all metallic speaker grille, with an LED display hidden behind it to show the sound source you are connected to. The soundbar controls are located on top of the bar for easy access and they are four in number: power, volume up, volume down, and source.
Flip the soundbar to the back and you will find a range of input options for HDMI in and out and standard optical but it is missing the auxiliary and coaxial ports. You will also find Bluetooth support but no Wi-Fi.
The JBL Bar 5.1 Surround boasts several new features including the AirPlay 2 and Chromecast, which are great for streaming from Apple and Android devices respectively.
It also comes with JBL proprietary MultiBeam technology, which enables the bar to produce an incredibly detailed and spatially accurate audio experience. In other words, it helps create and deliver room-filling sounds.
This bar is also compatible with 4K video and conveniently allows for Blu-ray disc player, gaming console, and mobile device connections. It also has support for Dolby Digital but the DTS:X audio processing technology is missing.
The JBL 5.1 Surround proves to be powerful than its sibling with an incredibly 550W of power. But that’s not the most exciting aspect of its performance. In line with the headline feature of this bar, you will get immersive and enveloping sounds when you use this sound system for either music or movie.
It delivers a low-frequency response for music playback that will undoubtedly appeal to bass lovers while it produces immersive sounds during movie playback that will make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.
- JBL Multibeam
- 550W of power
- Elegant design
- AirPlay 2 and Chromecast support
- No Dolby Atmos
- Limited connectivity options
5. JBL Bar 2.1
As its name implies, the JBL Bar 2.1 is a 2.1 channels soundbar that is targeted at those that want a cheap audio upgrade and those with small entertainment rooms.
The first thing you’d probably notice when you look at this bar is that it looks a lot like the JBL 3.1 system with the major difference being that the 2.1 is smaller in size. Measuring 2.3 x 38 x 2.7, this bar is perfect for smaller sized TVs.
A metal perforated grille covers the front side while the rest of its body is made of plastic. The buttons sit at the center of the top and they are for power, volume, and source selection.
On the rear, this bar offers limited inputs which include HDMI in, HDMI out (ARC), a 3.5mm aux input, and a USB port for audio. Bluetooth connectivity helps you stream from your mobile devices to the bar.
The JBL 2.1 comes equipped with five preset EQs namely Music, Movie, Voice, Sport, and Standard. They help customize all incoming audio sounds for the best output. In addition, there’s also a Night Mode that reduces noise while optimizing dialogue.
SoundShift allows you to automatically switch between your Bluetooth device and your TV’s sound. You can control the bar using various Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio TV remotes.
This bar also comes with surround sound capability, which makes the sounds seem to come from all around you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t use any kind of voice control.
The JBL Bar 2.1 delivers crisp, clear sounds but what it does great is that midrange response which is where a lot of dialogues in movies are found. In other words, you get very clear and lively voice reproduction in spite of the background noise.
With 300 watts of power, you can expect to enjoy room-filling sounds without losing the fine details of your favorite songs. It offers surprisingly wide and immersive soundstage. All in all, the sound quality of this bar is quite great and its performance is well within its price point.
- Easy to set up
- No Wi-Fi
- No surround
6. JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass
Sequel to the release of the JBL Bar 2.1, the company released the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass in 2019. This bar is particularly suitable for audiophiles that want extra bass output for a more enjoyable listening experience.
In terms of appearance, the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass looks very much like the JBL as it adopts the same understated design. It, however, measures 41.14 x 15.94 x 12.2 inches, which is much different than it’s the previous model but it will still fit under most TVs without obstructing any part of the screen.
Another notable difference is that this new model has curved edges that give it some elegance even though the bar is also made of plastic just like its sibling. The body is made of plastic but the front is covered with a metal grille.
The connectivity options are not too different on this model and they include HDMI in, HDMI out (ARC) and a USB port but the 3.5mm stereo analog input is missing. You also get Bluetooth connectivity but no Wi-Fi for higher fidelity streaming.
Like its sibling, the 2.1 Deep Bass comes with five sound modes namely Music, Movie, Voice, Sport, and Standard, allowing you to tailor the sounds to match the content on the TV or that is streaming from your mobile device. However, this model doesn’t come with dialogue enhancement.
The bar is also compatible with Dolby Digital, which enables it to create true surround sounds. The SoundShift feature was also included in this bar, making it possible for you to switch between the sound from your TV and your mobile device and vice versa.
Another notable difference between the 2.1 Deep Bass and the previous model is that this unit comes with its own remote, offering you more convenience. As an added bonus, you can also control this unit using the existing remote of your TV irrespective of the brand.
As the name already suggests, the headline feature of the JBL 2.1 Deep Bass is that it offers a stronger bass output than its predecessor. It feels like the sound is shaking your room but the bar manages to maintain its clarity with minimal distortion even when you crank the volume to the max.
This soundbar’s surround abilities are also exceptional given its price. It delivers an immersive sound experience for your TV without any extra speakers. Even though the sound for music and movie is fantastic, it puts up a mediocre performance for talk shows and news as it lacks depth.
- Easy to set up
- Powerful bass
- Sound for news and talk shows lack depth
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