JBL has announced four new Dolby Atmos soundbars and a top range 7.1.4 system with wireless back speakers.
The JBL Bar 1000 uses four up-firing drivers to produce a surround sound bubble and supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
The Bar 1000 replaces the company’s Bar 9.1 and has two detachable, up-firing, battery-powered speakers.
To construct a wire-free surround sound system, simply position these behind the viewer. The system includes a 10″ wireless subwoofer and produces 880W, according to JBL.
As with the Bar 9.1, the Bar 1000 uses JBL’s multibeam technology to generate a larger soundstage by bouncing sound off walls. A new PureVoice technology promises to maximise speech quality.
The JBL Bar 800 has detachable rear speakers in a more compact 5.1.2 arrangement with two upfiring drivers and 720W output. The Bar 800 has a wireless sub, 3D audio, voice assistant, and streaming compatibility, but not MultiBeam.
The JBL Bar 500 is a 590W 5.1 system without detachable rear speakers that includes a wireless sub and MultiBeam.
The entry-level Bar 300 is a 260W 5.0 system with MultiBeam but no wireless sub. Instead, it has a built-in woofer.
All four soundbars use the new JBL One app, which customises EQ and browses music services.
The Bar 500 will cost $649/ £500/ €649 and the Bar 300 will cost $399/ £350/ €399. Australian pricing is unknown.
Wireless rears are the future of home cinema
The rise of the soundbar is good, if not surprising, given that flat TVs often provide audio as an afterthought.
We’re evolving towards an era where soundbar installations may rival standard home cinema systems, while also giving new capabilities and versatility.
Recent rumours about Sonos and Sennheiser’s new cinema setups, combined with additional versions scheduled to be presented at IFA this month, indicate to a new generation of wireless soundbars.
JBL may have achieved the surround-sound sweet spot with the JBL Bar 1000 and Bar 800; the convenience of wireless rears was a smart idea when JBL first debuted it with the Bar 9.1 in 2020.
With these new models intended to address these challenges, may these theatre systems raise the bar for home audio?