For a limited time you can get a JBL Bar 5.1 surround soundbar system for $499.99 when you purchase directly from JBL. This sale price is a 29% reduction from a retail cost of $699.95.
The Bar 5.1 is JBL’s intermediary system between its Bar 2.1 channel and Bar 9.1 channel soundbars. Though it’s not quite as beefy as the 820 W Bar 9.1, the Bar 5.1 has a number of excellent features and a relatively quick setup, making this system a great option for the casual at-home audiophile.
The Bar 5.1 system includes a 10” wireless subwoofer, a soundbar with two detachable, battery-powered wireless speakers and 510 W of total system power. There’s also Bluetooth, three HDMI ports that can connect to 4k devices, a USB port and JBL’s SoundShift technology that lets you “instantly” toggle between your TV’s sound and the Bluetooth sound from your phone or tablet.
One of the cooler features of the 5.1 system is the inclusion of detachable speakers. Each speaker has a battery life of 10 hours, and can be charged by simply attaching them to your Bar 5.1 soundbar. While the soundbar with each speaker attached does a pretty good job of mimicking surround sound, detaching the speakers and placing them where you want around your room really fleshes things out. They’re also magnetic, so you don’t have to worry about any annoying clamps or ports when reattaching them to your soundbar.
Setup and Auto-Calibration
With only a handful of pieces out of the box, setup for the Bar 5.1 seems to be fairly simple. Pairing the soundbar to its subwoofer is as easy as pressing a small button on the back of the subwoofer, turning on your soundbar and holding another button on the Bar 5.1’s remote until both devices are connected.
The Bar 5.1 also has an interesting “ Automatic Multibeam Calibration” feature that provides users with an experience tailored to their own unique listening space. Simply place the soundbar where you want and hold down the remote’s “HDMI” button until the calibration begins. The soundbar will then cycle through different sounds that will reflect around your room, and will calibrate its levels to match your listening environment.
Should You Buy JBL’s Soundbar?
The Bar 5.1 is a great soundbar system for the casual audiophile who might want something a bit heavier than an entry-level system. YouTube reviewer Jared Busch describes the subwoofer as having “deep, rich, heavy bass” and the soundbar as providing “sharp, crisp treble,” but goes on to note that the system is a bit lacking in its mid range. This creates a solid movie-watching experience, but you might want to look elsewhere if you’re looking for the best system for listening to music.
In short, the Bar 5.1 is a great surround soundbar system for the intermediate listener. With a number of interesting features, easy setup, and solid sound quality, the Bar 5.1 should be a staple in any home-theatre system.
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