JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar

Last updated date: August 10, 2020

DWYM Score

JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top Soundbars and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Soundbar you should buy.

Overall Take

If you're looking for a home theater system without the hefty price tag, go with this soundbar. It uses two detachable battery–powered wireless surround speakers. When charged, these speakers offer a full 10 hours of playing time. In our analysis of 72 expert reviews, the JBL JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar placed 4th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 10, 2020:
Checkout The Best Soundbar for a detailed review of all the top soundbars.

Expert Summarized Score
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
1,561 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Designed to be mounted on your wall and sporting a versatile design, JBL's surround sound system is the easiest to set up.
- BestReviews
The Bar 5.1 ($500) has a 10-inch subwoofer and side-firing surround speakers built into the bar.
- The New York Times
Powerful bass depth and crisp, clear highs.
- PC Magazine
A do-it-all solution ideal for those who want minimal clutter but maximum audio effect.
- Trusted Reviews
Offers excellent cinematic surround sound experience thanks to a wireless subwoofer and two wireless speakers.
- Good Housekeeping
Truly wireless 5.1 surround sound, easy to set up and use.
- Tech Radar
Neat and compact setup, powerful bass.
- Screen Rant
Delivers rich sound that’s vastly better than your TV speakers.
- Best Products
What experts didn't like
Users need to calibrate this model for the best sound quality.
- BestReviews
Could use more EQ controls and/or audio modes.
- PC Magazine
Quiet listening performance lacking.
- Trusted Reviews
Doesn't look as premium as the price suggests.
- Good Housekeeping
The sound palette that it offers isn’t as rich as some of its competitors.
- Tech Radar
Voice levels can be hard to adjust.
- Screen Rant
It's equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, but no Wi-Fi.
- Best Products

From The Manufacturer

The JBL Bar 5.1 transforms from a soundbar into a true wireless 5.1 home theater system for an epic movie and music-listening experience. With two detachable battery powered wireless surround speakers with 10-hours of playtime, 510W of total system power, a 10” wireless subwoofer, three HDMI inputs to connect 4K devices and Bluetooth, your movies, music and video games will never sound more incredible.

Overall Product Rankings

Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar & Universal Remote Control
1. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar & Universal Remote Control
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 3
VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar
3. VIZIO SB2920-C6 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
4. JBL Bar 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8
Sonos Playbase Soundbar
6. Sonos Playbase Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
VIZIO 2.1 SB2821-D6  Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
7. VIZIO 2.1 SB2821-D6 Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 2
Sony HT-Z9F Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
8. Sony HT-Z9F Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 4
Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
9. Samsung Soundbar with Dolby Atmos
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 5
Sonos Playbar Mountable Soundbar
10. Sonos Playbar Mountable Soundbar
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 8
LG Electronics SJ9 5.1.2 Channel Soundbar
11. LG Electronics SJ9 5.1.2 Channel Soundbar
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
Sony HT-CT290 Ultra-Slim 300W Soundbar
12. Sony HT-CT290 Ultra-Slim 300W Soundbar
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2
Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar
14. Polk Audio Command Built-In Multi-Room Music Soundbar
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 10

An Overview On Soundbars

Now that you can order a film at the press of a button, movie night has moved from the cineplex to living rooms. For that reason, it’s likely no surprise that consumers report they’d rather watch a movie at home than leave the house. But getting the same experience at home as you do in a theater can be challenging.

Even if you take advantage of the low prices on high-quality big-screen TVs, duplicating true movie theater surround sound can get expensive. In recent years, soundbars have advanced to the point where they now can simulate surround sound for a fraction of the cost of a speaker set. But one soundbar can differ dramatically from another, so it’s important to do your research before you buy.

Soundbars can range in price, but you’re sure to find one that fits within your budget. When shopping for soundbars, pay close attention to the range of tones you’ll get. Some soundbars can’t handle bass as well as others, even when they’re promising the best sound quality.

Once you get your soundbar home, you’ll generally be on your own to make it work with your existing systems. One of the best things you can do is take note of the equipment you already have and make sure the soundbar you choose is compatible. Many of today’s speakers use Bluetooth connectivity to allow you to eliminate unsightly wires. So if you have an older TV or receiver, you may find the soundbar you’ve bought won’t connect.

Finally, stop to think about where you’ll set up your new soundbar, as well as any speakers you plan to add on to it. There are soundbars you can mount on the wall, while there are many others that can set on your furniture in front of your TV. Whichever option you choose, note the dimensions of your soundbar in advance to ensure you know how much room it will take up.

DWYM Fun Fact

As you set up your home theater, it’s important to consider the size of your room. Soundbars are more than adequate for smaller rooms. But if your home theater is in a large basement or an oversized bonus room, you’re likely going to find that you need additional speakers to truly immerse your audience with sound. This is also true if you’re a movie buff who expects to feel like you’re on the Millennium Falcon, not just watching it on a screen. But many soundbars are designed for add-ons, so you should be able to build your home theater gradually if you aren’t quite ready to jump in fully just yet.

The Soundbar Buying Guide

  • If your soundbar doesn’t sound good, there’s no point in even having one. If you’re going for the best sound, consider either the Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar & Universal Remote Control or the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Soundbar. Both have great sound and great ranges. However, the Bose Solo performs better in the deeper ranges, with bass you can feel in your chest.
  • For those interested in building a true home theater, adding on extra speakers is the key to success. Some models allow you to easily buy extra speakers to connect to your soundbar.
  • Setup can be intimidating if you don’t consider yourself a tech guru. The VIZIO 29-Inch 2.0 Channel Soundbar is among the easiest to use, whether you’re wiring it up or using its Bluetooth-pairing capabilities. Some models can be tricky to set up, especially when it comes to pairing with other equipment.
  • One of the biggest concerns when shopping for any speaker is where it will be. Some models are designed to hang on a wall, but they can also rest in front of your TV. Others can be mounted, but they looks great in front of your TV. If you’re limited on space, you may want to avoid any soundbar that comes with a separate subwoofer that you’ll need to place.
  • If you’re looking for the smallest soundbar, the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Soundbar is the shortest, at only 2.4 inches tall.
  • One size benefit to smaller models is that they can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically, with the sensor automatically adjusting the sound depending on how you’ve oriented it.
  • If you have an Amazon product that uses Alexa, look for a unit that you can connect to your device, so that you can play music on command.
  • With some soundbars, you’ll have access to an app that you can then use to control your speakers. However, they may not come with a remote control, which means you’ll need a universal remote if you can’t connect it to an existing smart remote. The TaoTronics soundbar comes with a remote, but it’s a bit bulky. You’ll also need to have two AAA batteries on hand since they aren’t included in the box.
  • The TaoTronics soundbar is built to last with durable ABS plastic beneath the soft cloth cover. Be aware that some models can scratch easily.
  • When it comes to price, you’re going to pay much more for some soundbars than other speakers. Be sure to consider whether you’ll also need to pay for separate speakers. In some instances, the price may also include a subwoofer, so keep that in mind.