Review on JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam Soundbar
- Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing impressive stereo sound
- Built-in 3000mAh rechargeable li-ion battery Supports up to 12 hours of playtime
- Ipx7 waterproof means no more worrying about rain or spills; you can even submerge flip 4 in water
|Price history for JBL FLIP 4 - Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Black|
This review is about Review on JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam Soundbar. So read this review Review on JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam Soundbar with full details and specs.
The Review on JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam Soundbar
BL Bar 5.0 Multibeam costs $599.95, making it one of the cheapest Dolby Atmos compatible soundbars with Dolby Vision pass-through to a compatible TV. It’s ideal for smaller spaces that need much better TV sound than the TV itself can provide.
To be clear, the JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam offers virtual Dolby Atmos – typically that would be 5.1.2 or more. It uses psychoacoustic tricks (that’s not a derogatory term – see later) to blast front left, center and right speakers (3.0) and then bounce left and right surround (2.0) from adjacent walls and ceilings. So if you have Dolby Atmos content it will downmix to a faux 5.0.2 soundstage.
Add to that room calibration, BT, Chromecast and AirPlay audio streaming, Gigabit LAN, HDMI 2.0b eARC out, HDMI 2.0b in, Voice Assistant (Google, Siri and Alexa) – it’s very flexible. It might not excite audiophiles, but the sound is quintessentially JBL and much better than 99% of TVs. JBL Bar 5.0 Multibeam Model JBLBAR50MBBLKAS
Price $599.95 From JBL online and major CE retailers Warranty 1 year ACL Country of manufacture China Company JBL (estimated in the mid 1940’s) is short for James B Lansing (Yes, he was also the Lansing in Altec Lansing.) Now it is part of the Harman group of companies owned by Samsung.
First impression – small
It’s 709x 58x 101mm x 2.8kg – but it has a lot of power. It can be mounted on the wall (brackets included). It also has a basic remote control. The manual is extensive – probably overkill.
PS – We will abbreviate DV for Dolby Vision and DA for Dolby Atmos. Installation is easy – no app required
Plug in the power cord, connect the supplied 1.2m HDMI cable (or use your existing cable if standard 2.0b or 2.1) from HDMI OUT/eARC/ARC to HDMI eARC/ARC port on the tv and the tv should recognize the soundbar and take over. If not, adjust the TV settings to use external audio instead of the TV speakers. Finally, press the calibration button to match it to the room.
DA downmix only works in two cases.
The first scenario – you need to have 4K DV/DA content from a 4K Blue-ray player connected to the HDMI IN port on the soundbar. It will then decode DA sound and pass the DV signal (it also passes through 4K@60HZ HDR/HDR10) to the TV. If your TV has HDMI eARC and supports DV decoding, it will display great DV content. If not, DV will be downmixed to HDR10, HDR or for lack of that SDR – whatever the TV supports.
The second scenario: You have a DV/DA TV and subscribe to a 4K streaming service like Netflix. The TV decodes and displays the DV, then passes the DA signal to the soundbar where it decodes and downmixes the signal. Otherwise, the soundbar decodes mono, stereo (PCM 1.0, 2.0), and Dolby Audio (up to 5.1). There is an optical SDPIF port if you have an older TV, but it can only handle PCM.
Setting up the Internet via the Ethernet LAN is easy. Connect the Ethernet cable (not included) to the LAN port on your router. Wi-Fi 5 AC dual band requires you to use Google Home, iOS Airplay or Alexa to set up up the bar. There is no option to manually add Wi-Fi via a WPS switch. Dolby Atmos (DA) virtual
You’d expect a perfectionist like me to shun virtual (faux) DA, but it’s pretty good if you have the right type of room where the soundbar can bounce sounds.
Interestingly, JBL realizes that the soundbar will play free-to-air or streaming more often, so all it has to do is process non-DA sound. So it provides a toggle to turn DA on or off to reallocate sources to the 5.0 digital surround sound (no processing power wasted on 3D spatial height).
If you use the DA setting on non-DA content, the sound is a bit hollow – tinny – as it tries to create phased sound (psycho-acoustic tricks) when there isn’t any. Perhaps that is why there is a DA switch.
Speakers – 5 x 50W amps total 250W @1% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)
5 x 48 x 80mm racetrack drivers (3 front and two side-firing) 4 x 75mm passive bass radiators
The total wattage sounds impressive, especially when compared to a typical TV that may have 10-20W 2.0 speakers. It will fill a large room.
Technically it is possible to achieve more than 90dB @1% THD. However, we found that the sweet spot was around 65-75dB with a negligible THD – a 20 volume setting with a lot more volume during our testing. How does it sound? Superb JBL sound signature
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