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JBL Bar 5.1

Powered home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer and true wireless surround speakers

53 Reviews | 15 questions - 38 answers

California customers: Please click here for your Proposition 65 warning.
Overview

Our take on the JBL Bar 5.1

Until JBL showcased their Bar 5.1 sound bar system here at Crutchfield HQ, I'd never seen anything like it. Sure, plenty of other sound bars use a sub and surround speakers to create full wraparound sound. But this is the first system to include battery-powered surround speakers that are 100% wire-free.

Wireless surround sound from the JBL Bar 5.1

The JBL Bar 5.1 system features the first completely wireless surround speakers we've ever seen.

A wireless home theater like no other

Until JBL showcased their Bar 5.1 sound bar system here at Crutchfield HQ, I'd never seen anything like it. Sure, plenty of other sound bars use a sub and surround speakers to create full wraparound sound. But this is the first system to include battery-powered surround speakers that are 100% wire-free.

Our JBL trainer detached the left and right surround speakers from either side of the bar, then walked them to the back of the room. He placed them right behind our seating area and fired up a home theater demo with truly wireless surround sound. No cables running to the back speakers — and no need to plug them into the wall.

How this system works

The surround speakers recharge when they are connected to the sound bar. A full charge gives you full surround sound for up to 10 hours of binge watching. Deep bass is provided by the down-firing 10-inch subwoofer.

The sub also receives signals wirelessly from the bar, so you can place it off in a corner or out of the way. But unlike the surround speakers, you will need to connect it to an AC outlet — this is a big, bad woofer that needs more power to deliver lots of thump.

JBL Bar 5.1 system

Recharge the wireless surround speakers by attaching them to the sound bar.

How this system sounds

We were shown a clip from the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. This sound bar system sounded as solid and seamless as a wired 5.1 system — no weird audio delays or dropouts. The scene started with creepy voices "worming their way" through the main character's brain. They seemed to swarm around my head — from behind, right next to me, even off in the distance.

Our training room is a pretty large space, and this system had no trouble bringing the heat. When motors cranked up to start a wild car chase, I could feel the impact. There wasn't much dialogue in the scene, but I was able to clearly hear and understand characters when they shouted over the revving engines and spontaneous blasts.

Space-friendly design with versatile connections

The bar is slim enough to fit under most TVs on a stand, but JBL included a bracket for wall-mounting. They even threw in brackets for the surround speakers. 

You'll find convenient home theater connections to go with this system's bona fide home theater performance. There are three 4K/HDR-ready HDMI inputs and one output for connecting the latest gear. Or you can simply connect your TV using the single included optical digital audio cable.

Substantial remote control options

For some sound bar manufacturers, the remote is an afterthought. Not so, here. The JBL remote gives you control over the subwoofer, so you can dial in the amount of bass from your seat. I found this extremely helpful, because different shows and movies can call for more or less low-end.

The remote also lets you adjust the volume on the wireless surrounds — handy, since you may move the speakers around a bit. And my low-key favorite feature? You can adjust the audio using the remote, to ensure it syncs up with the screen. It was much more convenient than diving into the TV settings menu.

Product Highlights:

    System:
    • features a sound bar, wireless subwoofer, and true wireless surround speakers
      • surround speakers feature built-in batteries and recharge when attached to the sound bar
    • delivers 5.1-channel surround sound
    • included calibration mic captures the room's reflections and optimizes sound to your room
    • built-in Bluetooth® for wireless music streaming from smartphones and tablets
      • JBL Soundshift® automatically switches between your TV and Bluetooth audio sources
    • learns your TV remote's volume commands
    Sound Bar:
    • three-channel sound bar with nine total drivers
      • six 2-1/4" midrange drivers
      • three 1-1/4" tweeters
    • dedicated center channel for clear dialogue
    • Night Mode controls dynamic peaks for late-night viewing
    • Dolby® Digital and DTS® decoding
    • wall-mountable (brackets included)
    • 45"W x 2-1/2"H x 3-3/4"D (with wireless surrounds attached for charging)
    • weight: 8.6 lbs.
    Surround Speakers:
    • surround speakers connect wirelessly to sound bar
      • built-in rechargeable battery offers up to 10 hours of wireless surround sound
    • wall-mount brackets included
    • 6-1/2"W x 2-1/2"H x 3-3/4"D (each)
    • weight: 1.3 lbs. (each)
    Subwoofer:
    • syncs wirelessly to sound bar for easy placement
    • 10" down-firing woofer
    • built-in amplifier
    • 16"W x 12"H x 12"D
    • weight: 26 lbs.
    Connections and General Info:
    • 3 HDMI inputs
    • 1 HDMI output with ARC (Audio Return Channel)
      • HDCP 2.2 compatible for connecting to 4K video sources
      • support 4K video with high dynamic range (HDR) and HDMI-CEC
    • 1 optical digital audio input
    • 1 analog stereo minijack input
    • USB port for connecting a thumb drive
    • HDMI cable, optical digital audio cable, and stereo mini audio cable included
    • total system power: 510 watts
    • system frequency response 35-20,000 Hz
    • remote control included
      • gives you control over bass level and volume of surround speakers
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • Active soundbar speaker
    • Wireless powered sub
    • 2 Wireless surround speakers
    • Two 5' AC power cords
    • Audio calibration microphone
    • Remote control
    • 2 "AAA" batteries
    • 6.5' HDMI cable
    • 4' Optical digital cable
    • 4' Stereo minijack cable
    • 2 Wall-mount brackets (for soundbar)
    • 2 Wall-mount bracket holders (for soundbar)
    • 2 Wall-mount brackets (for surrounds)
    • 2 Wall-mount bracket holders (for surrounds)
    • Quick-Start Guide
    • Wall-Mount Template
    • Important Safety Instructions
    • Warranty Card

    This is a great sounding soundbar for movies! Way better than TV speakers for everything else. My soundbar is unfortunately defective. It doesn't turn on when receiving audio signals and the audio stutters every now and then. I will be returning it or a replacement.

    Evan Anhalt, Huntington, NY

    Reviews

    JBL Bar 5.1 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (53 Reviews)

    Amazing Sound bar, hard to beat at this price range.

    Carlos from Rio Rancho, NM on 11/28/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the JBL Bar 5.1 after listening to de JBL Bar 2.1 and 3.1 at a local store. They didn't have the 5.1 but lucky me I found it at the Crutchfield site. I wanted a 5.1 soundbar with wireless surround speakers. I received it 5 days after ordering it and though the box showed some minor outside damage, the system was nicely packed in the box and secure, and didn't suffer during shipment. It took me approximately 30 minutes to get it out of the box and installed, and the first thing I noticed was that as soon as I turned it on it recognized my TV remote and my cable remote (Direct TV). The subwoofer immediately paired with the soundbar as well as the surround speakers. I was surprised when I turned on the TV and the program that was on was the voice and one of the contestants was interpreting a song. The music sounded great, the bass is amazing and the voice of the singer was perfect. I couldn't believe that it sounded that good. I have read many reviews saying that the midrange is a little lacking, and it may be true but to me if I listen to it on standard it sounds really good. Now with movies it is really amazing. Great 5.1 surround sound makes you feel like if you were in the theatre. The subwoofer really delivers with a lot of thump during explosions, bullets, etc... My kitchen rattles and all the house shakes and I have the volume of the subwoofer and soundbar at 50%. It cost 1/2 the price of a similar bose soundbar system. At this price, it is unbeatable.

    Pros: Bass is outstanding, truly wireless surround speakers, at its price it is almost unbeatable. Similar systems which are not completely wireless (Bose, Sonos, etc...) easily cost more than twice its price. Music sounds much better than expected for a sound bar system, but not as good as a dedicated stereo music system; but good enough for me.

    Cons: Occasional delay (not always) when you turn it on. Takes a few seconds to transmit the sound from the TV. I have it connected to a Samsung TV through HDMI arc. Most of the time it connects right away and I don't notice any lag or delay in the sound. A non issue to me. Flimsy remote, midrange is a little lacking but hey, this is expected from a sound bar this size.

    Wireless but with some issues

    Raymond from Redwood City, CA on 11/26/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this to replace a traditional 5.1 wired system, the sound is acceptable but not as good as what my Yamaha receiver can deliver. For some reasons, I nor the tech support from JBL and Crutchfield can figure out why every time I have the system turned on, the Samsung TV will lose its HDMI connection after a few seconds, I then have to wait a few seconds to reconnect the proper source then it works fine. This never happened with my Yamaha receiver. I was told to use the optical cable instead of the HDMI connection to correct the issue, but using an optical cable will compromise the sound quality which I am reluctant to do, My guess is there is some type of software conflict? Also my Samsung remote does not work "automatically" as stated by JBL. Crutchfield sent a replacement unit but the same problem still persists, I may return the unit to look at another brand.

    Pros: Wireless, Good bass, 5.1 sound is good enough to watch movies

    Cons: TV HDMI connection issues, remote has no back lite and it feels very flimsy, weak mid range, HDMI plugs are at an awkward angle

    KILLER SURROUND-CRUSHING BASS-CINEMA AT HOME!

    Joey Venden from Tipp City, Ohio on 11/15/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This sound bar is fantastic. I purchased this because of the true "wireless" surrounds. They work perfect and no wires whatsoever. The bar is easy to set up, existing tv remote works with it, and the sub is HUGE. I recently purchase a Samsung 4K tv, and an LG 4K DVD player, so upgrading my sound bar was a must. I've owned JBL speakers in the past and they always delivered the goods. I highly recommend this sound bar if you love cinema effects while watching TV and movies. Some of the ratings say that there is not enough mids while listening to music. this is somewhat true, depending on what you're listening to. Other reviews said the bass was overkill.... well.... there is a separate volume on the remote for bass AND the surrounds so this is an easy fix if it's too much bass for you. The SLIGHT lack of mids was no deal breaker at all because of the wireless surrounds. amazing. when you're done with your movie, simply reattach them to the ends of the bar and they recharge (once the bar is in standby). If you need them charged while you're watching something else, they plug in via USB (I use my iPhone power blocks and a USB mini cable). No regrets on this purchase and Crutchfield takes care of their customers. I've been one for 20 years.

    Pros: Everything you need for true 5.1 Surround with NO WIRES

    Cons: slight lack of mids when listening to music. music setting on bar is thin. I keep mine on "movie" setting and it sounds perfect for me

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Yorktown, VA on 11/11/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    expected great sound and got it all. easy set up, surround works great with ability to adjust

    Pros: Great sound even good for music Surround works as expected

    Cons:

    Terrific soundbar, but...

    Evan Anhalt from Huntington, NY on 10/29/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great sounding soundbar for movies! Way better than TV speakers for everything else. My soundbar is unfortunately defective. It doesn't turn on when receiving audio signals and the audio stutters every now and then. I will be returning it or a replacement.

    Pros: Incredible bass. great detachable rear speakers.

    Cons: Audio stutters every now and then.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Wainwright, AK on 10/2/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The sounbar and sub come with an optical cable, that optical cable isn't the best, I bought a different one but the one that comes with it is better because it clicks into place, the one I bought didn't. Setting up the rest required some time but once I was done the sound was very good for a sound bar.

    Pros: Sound

    Cons: Set up

    Loving it!!

    Crutchfield customer from Pelham, AL on 9/30/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased the jbl 5.1 surround and couldn't be happier,everything works as it should and then some ,setup took less than 10 minutes and connected to our remote With no problems .the sub has great volume and the detachable back speakers work great ,our ceilings are over 20 ft and floors and walls are wood and it totally fills the space It is hooked by the optical cable to an old 55in Samsung flat screen that we have had for over 12 years with no delay problems that I read a review was a problem ,shipping was fast and on time as said First time using Crutchfield and definitely will be buying from them again

    Pros:

    Cons:

    A perfect fit for my needs

    Christopher from Cincinnati, OH on 9/24/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this through scratch and dent and one of the rear surround speakers did not charge. Awesome Crutchfield service sent me a whole new unit and I was able to swap out the parts to make it work. In terms of the product, I am admittedly a person who doesn't have the patience for reading directions. I did take a glance at the quick start guide and was able to get it out of the box (which takes some time given weight and packaging) and set it up in a matter of 15 minutes. I love the ability to run surround sound with no wires. I'm a homer for JBL quality and for the price, this works perfectly for my 75" Samsung Ultra HD TV in a big room in my finished basement. I watched Ironman and Mad Max Fury Road (amazing) and kept wanting to turn it up more and more to unnecessarily high levels.

    Pros: Easy and intuitive setup Preset sound modes (music, movie, voice, standard) Awesome sound for the price No wires for rear

    Cons: The only con is the box is heavy and awkward and well packaged which takes work to unpack

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Easton, PA on 9/20/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this to accompany a 65" Sony TV for the great room. Absolutely love the ability to have the wireless rear speakers which sound awesome. That and the fact that the Sony remote will work the sound bar. One less things I can lose.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Convenient 5.1 surround! Super Clear Dialog! Too much bass by default

    A guy in BA from CA on 8/29/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It's super convenient to get true 5.1 surround sound with this soundbar thanks to its innovative truly wireless surround speakers. The dialog is SUPER clear! I can understand all the dialogs in the movies. You can use "voice dialog" sound mode to make the dialog even clearer but I find "standard" sound mode is more than clear enough. Many people complain about the missing-mid problem, I found out why: by default, the BASS setting is WAY TOO HIGH. I need to dial the bass way down to level 5 or 6 for the sound to be truly balanced. At default setting, there's so much bass it totally drowns out the mids. Tuning down the bass is very easy to do with dedicated bass level buttons on the remote. Just push bass "+" and "-" buttons. The wireless subwoofer can be tucked away in a corner out of view. It is down-firing so the bass sound has no trouble reaching all corners of the room by creeping along the floor. The truly wireless surround speakers is a unique and innovative feature and the main reason why I bought this product and it works REALLY well. Surround sound level can also be easily tuned thanks to the dedicated surround volume buttons on the remote, I personally prefer turning up the surround to +3 or more to elevate the surround effects.

    Pros: Truly wireless 5.1 surround sound Super clear dialog Relatively thin size compared to soundbar in the same class

    Cons: WAY TOO MUCH BASS DROWNS OUT THE MIDS in default setting , easily corrected by dialing the bass way down.

    One of a kind...V Good, Almost great

    Alvin from S Ozone Park, NY on 8/28/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a one of a kind soundbar set up. The detachable surround speakers sets it apart. They are truly wireless unlike other brands where you have to plug their surrounds either to power, or plug in a hub, or run speaker wire. There is an included wireless powered sub that is downfiring. No need for a receiver but you do need to plug it in for power. Syncs to bar seamlessly. The bass is great for movies. Stuff will vibrate and rumble. Mine did not come with a protective grill for the speaker cone located on the bottom of sub, which I have to remind myself everytime I go to lift it up. I'm using this set up for backyard movie nights. The sub is relatively light (26 lbs) for its great performance. Did I mention that the sub is included at the same price that other sound bars are selling for by themselves? Also 3 HDMI (1ARC), Bluetooth, Optical Digital Audio, AUX & USB inputs make this very versatile and sets it apart from more expensive options. There are better sounding setups out there BUT they are at least twice the price and don't offer wireless surround speakers and as much connectivity options. JBL System sets up quickly and hassle free and I'm not an expert. Combine all of this with very good sound performance with clear dialogue and this JBL 5.1 is a winner. I am just a bit annoyed that this has such great features but is missing that little extra oomph in overall volume/loudness that would take it over the top from very good to great.

    Pros: Truly wireless surround speakers. Sub is included. Most features for the price. Bluetooth, USB, 3 HDMI...more. Easy set up. Crutchfield support/help/service.

    Cons: No protective grill for sub woofer speaker cone Remote Control is not backlit Could go from v good to great with just a little more power. I'm not sure if this is what other reviewers mentioned as a lack of mids. The way that I see it the sound is clean and the bass is adjustable so that the mids are not drowned out but the overall volume could be a little more.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Juan from Freeport, NY on 8/27/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is an awesome sound bar / subwoofer which has surpassed all of my expectations. It is especially impressive when being used as a 5.1 surround sound system. I have not yet had the opportunity to fully crank it up but it has sound to spare. Probably the best surround sound system I've ever had an I've had some pretty expensive traditional 5.1s with receivers and amplifiers. It is easy to install and control and it really is wireless. The sound on music settings is just average. The brackets for hanging the surround speakers are not great. The speakers lean because the brackets do not factor for weight distribution. Overall an amazing value for its price point. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Only negative is that the first time it arrived, the box was visibly damaged and sure enough, the system did not function property . The subwoofer would not pair up with the sound bar. I notified Crutchfield and as usual, their customer service went above and beyond. They sent me a replacement unit and I returned the damaged one and they made the return easy as can be. No problems at all with the replacement. If you want outstanding surround sound that's truly wireless this is the way to go.

    Pros: -Value -Amazing 5.1 surround sound -Really wireless

    Cons: -Sound on music settings is just average -Packaging is bottom heavy and easily damaged during shipping. -Brackets for surround speakers not well thought out.

    Happy but with reservation.

    Crutchfield customer from Lake Worth, FL on 8/20/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I received my JBLL Bar 5.1 about a couple weeks ago. I quickly took down my old system and hooked up the JBLs. Nothing worked, so after several tries I called tech support. He guided my through the process of changing settings on my TV and I was on my way. My thanks to the support guy. Now I had sound but no bass. I kept looking at the startup guide but nothing was mentioned about the subwoofer. I got on the JBL website and tried to find a downloadable manual, but nothing. I was about to call tech support again when a web search located a manual (not from JBL) so I downloaded it. There it told me how to pair the subwoofer to the system. Since then I've been getting great sound. Now if I could only get my cable remote to turn the volume down and not just up, I'll be thrilled. Note to JBL, your startup guide is a joke. You need to go back to the drawing board with it!

    Pros: Sounds amazing. For once we can hear the dialogue in everything we watch. It sounds very crisp with so much bass you have to turn the woofer way down to not be overpowered by it.

    Cons: Scrap the startup guide! It's useless. Cable remote is a nightmare to program to work with it. I have power, mute, and volume up. Can't get volume down to program at all.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Winter Garden, FL on 8/1/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound! This is what we were looking for. The base is WOW and the speakers to disconnect and but in the back with battery work great!

    Pros:

    Cons:

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Mike from San Diego, CA on 7/21/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had a 5.1 setup with a receiver and separate speakers for years, but all the cords made it ugly and my wife finally made me get rid of it. So, I opted for this soundbar because the battery powered rear speakers seemed like a perfect fit. I generally only want the rear sound for movies anyway. I also wanted the dialog enhancement because I often can't hear what is being said during TV shows and movies. Overall it sounds great and is worthwhile. My reservation is that this soundbar doesn't have separate remote buttons/commands for each source input. This has proven to be a major challenge with my universal remote (Harmony One) and a significant design flaw to me. I really didn't want another remote to deal with. After additional research, it turns out that most soundbars are similar and it seems that the reason is because HDMI can autodetect sources and automatically switch to a newly powered on source. That's great except both my Tivo and AppleTV are always on, so that feature doesn't work with them. It works fine with my DVD player. So, after a lot more research, I finally settled on connecting the Tivo and AppleTV to my TV (which does have separate remote buttons/commands) and my DVD player to the soundbar. The TV is connected to the soundbar with HDMI ARC. This works great because the universal remote can select the Tivo and AppleTV and the soundbar will autodetect the TV being turned on. When the remote turns on the DVD player, it auto switches to the

    Pros: Sounds good and the battery powered rear speakers are a great idea

    Cons: Would prefer separate remote buttons for each source input (instead of having to cycle between sources). Would like an on-TV display for configuring the soundbar, not just the little front panel display

    Great sound!

    Dolph from Houston, TX on 7/4/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I shopped and compared several soundbars. This JBL 5.1 Soundbar fit my lifestyle and budget. The sound is fantastic! I no longer have to watch tv with the captions on. I was frustrated after upgrading to a Sony OLED 65" tv, I discovered that movie dialogue got lost. The JBL restored the movie experience and I no longer use the captions feature.

    Pros: Easy to connect Great sound Great custom features for various sounds including sports!

    Cons: None

    A thumpin good deal.....

    Joy from Henrico, VA on 6/4/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    An all around good value. Deep, thumping bass when you need it. Overall great sound quality for an average living/family room (no carpeting). For the money spent, this was by far the best value I found in any sound bar. I was skeptical about the wireless surround sound at first, but after setting it up and using it, I'm sold. Battery life on the speakers is solid too.

    Pros: Excellent value for what you get (500+ watts) Solid construction Easy to setup and use Attractive

    Cons: Unable to get unit to learn TV remote (per instructions, 2017 model TV)

    The Best

    Chris from Houston, TX on 5/25/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The sound is amazing. I did find it a bit tricky to dial in the bass correctly. Just know that you'll need to adjust the bass down if you want to listen to music clearly. As for movie sound, it is unbeatable!!!!!!

    Pros: Size Ease of Use Quality

    Cons: sound adjustments between sources.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Cary, NC on 5/22/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy setup, sounds great, and great value.

    Pros: Simple setup and bass sounds great.

    Cons: Highs not as crisp at medium volume.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Galt, CA on 5/20/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome system great sound, easy to set-up and easy to use Bluetooth function!

    Pros: Detachable rear speakers that can be used anywhere

    Cons: Bass box is huge, be prepared!

    Amazing sound Bass is awesome!!

    Mel from Daly City, CA on 5/19/2018

    Great for movie's feels like your in the movie theater bass is awesome. This what i am looking for blow your house away vibrate entire house i love it. I bought a 65" LED TV. Now i don't need to go to theater. No more messy cables.

    Pros: Bass true surrounds Built in surround speakers, lots of inputs. Great design, Easy set up, nice looking design, ARC works well.

    Cons: Only detachable wireless speaker need to power off in order to recharge other than that is awesome..

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Completely Satsfied from Yardley, PA on 4/27/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This system was perfect for my downsized new home with all hardwood floors. No drilling the floor or walls to run wires. I relplaced my wired 5.1 system thru a Denon A/V receiver. Easy set and sounds good.

    Pros: No wires for the satellite speakers which charge right on the bar and pull off easily when you want to use them.

    Cons: None

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Springfield, MO on 4/22/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome sound. A clean looking design with totally wireless surround speakers. My motivation for purchases the JBL Bar 5.1 was for the wireless surround speakers. They work as advertised. I took off one star due to the fact that it is hard to tell if the surround speakers are charging. Once you read up on the small flashing surround speaker LEDs then you will be able to decipher if they are charging or not.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Great for Movies and Television

    Phil from Salt Lake City, UT on 4/15/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    After getting fantastic advice from a Crutchfield expert, I purchased the JBL with a bit of skepticism. I am older, not well versed in digital vocabulary, and I look upon our current technological driven world as an intellectual and ethical abyss. After struggling with my cable installer, who refused to read any instructions even after tipping him forty dollars, I awoke the next morning intent to set this thing up myself. It wasn't working at all after the Direct TV installer did his "magic." Following the PDF instructions supplied by JBL, I meticulously worked diligently on every aspect of this apparatus. After fiddling with my Panasonic Vizio plasma television, turning on the CEC HDMI function on your TV is imperative, and tuning the speakers individually to meet my personal needs, the sound of this JBL 5.1 soundbar was glorious. I was astonished and even watched "Lost in Space," on Netflix, a movie I would never be caught watching. The dialogue was clear, the surround effects marvelous, and the booms startling. What have I been missing all these years? As for music, that's not what the JBL is designed for. I will have a separate area of my LR set up for my analogue music listening pleasure. The JBL Bar 5.1 surpassed all my expectations. I am thoroughly pleased. As for my forty dollar tip to the Direct TV installer, may he choke on his subterfuge. I wish I could get it back and award it to my Crutchfield advisor.

    Pros: The JBL is a surround marvel, and the detachable wireless rear speakers fantastic. No wires! Our living room is an interior designer's dream, and my wife is even happy with me on Sunday morning. The wireless subwoofer booms.

    Cons: I would never use the JBL for listening to music. It wasn't designed for that. Music listening is a whole different ball game and takes subtle artistry. The JBL Bar 5.1 is for brash, in your face, surround sound. No subtlety really needed.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Donnie from California, MO on 4/9/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome sound in a truly wireless package.

    Pros: Great sound Really simple setup Truly wireless surround speakers

    Cons: Surround speakers won't charge when the bar is on.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Munster, IN on 4/7/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This soundbar is everything I thought it would be. I have only used it to watch 4K movies and TV, so I can't comment on the sound playing music using Bluetooth. However, for movies and TV it is great. The rear speakers sound awesome and the volume can be controlled separately, which really helps. Many TV shows don't broadcast in surround sound, so the rear speakers simply attach to the main unit when not needed. The sound when watching surround sound movies is awesome. With the great bass, the rear speakers, and the main sound bar, it's the best sound bar I have heard in this price range. Highly recommended. Finally, my experience with Crutchfield was great. Got it on sale with no shipping charges and no sales tax. Saved $80 ordering from Crutchfield vs. ordering from two other web-sites. Had a question before purchasing this and called Crutchfield about delivery. Super helpful and easy to deal with.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Grawn, MI on 4/6/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The wireless capabilities of this sound system is great and makes its use practical and versatile. The rear speakers are charged by the sound bar and can be detached and placed anywhere. Also, the rear speakers can be continually charged via USB and an outlet. The subwoofer is slightly larger than described, but makes up for its size with great sound. In summary, a great product without breaking the bank (i.e. Sonus).

    Pros:

    Cons:

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Tavares, FL on 4/3/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Like this very much. I replaced a Bose cinamate system. It was still working. But my wife and I are getting older. And it was hard to understand what people were saying. I got this mostly for for the voice setting. We can understand what is being said much better. The back detachable speakers work very well. They only charg when unit is shut off. So if you leave them attached. They won't over charge.

    Pros: Sound and detachable speakers

    Cons: Will not work with Bluetooth head phones

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Ken from Murrieta, CA on 4/2/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Easy to install and use

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Great Price, Easy Installation

    Crutchfield customer from Collinsville, VA on 3/30/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Definitely recommend this system, easy set up and sounds great for the price. However, I would strongly advise downloading the PDF with the complete set up instructions as there are some important pieces of information not included in the abbreviated version that comes with the system. Although the soundbar comes with wall mounting brackets it also has padded feet which it allows for it to sit on a table top with no vibration noises resulting. That suited my purposes as I have a wall mounted 55" TV with a cabinet sitting just below that houses a cable box, game system and collection of DVDs/CDs/video games, etc. That arrangement makes it simple to connect the two surround speakers for charging when the system is off. The system can be paired to your TV or cable box remote or operated separately using the remote that comes with it. That remote features controls that allow you to adjust the base from the subwoofer to your liking, select sound settings based on watching, TV, movies, sports or listening to music and to adjust the volume of the wireless surround speakers independently of the main soundbar. Although I have not set this feature up as of yet, it can also be paired with your blue tooth device (cell phone, tablet, etc) which can then be used as a remote and/or to play music from your music account. Only con (very minor): when paired with your TV remote you have to turn the system off using the system remote in order for it to go into charging mode.

    Pros: Easy to set up and to use

    Cons: Included instructions should be more detailed.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Saint Louis, MO on 3/30/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This system is perfect for our living room. The surround sound when the remote speakers are attached and charging is much better than our previous Samsung soundbar and when I move them to be rear speakers for movies, they dramatically improve the surround sound experience.

    Pros:

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    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Fair Play, SC on 3/30/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Awesome!

    Pros:

    Cons:

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Guest from Weyers Cave, VA on 3/28/2018

    Love our new sound bar! The detachable speakers make movie nights awesome with surround sound.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Sound quality

    Darrell from Peachtree Cty, GA on 3/18/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Tinny sounding. Minimal ways to adjust sound. Over priced for what it is.

    Pros: Easy to use Loud if your into loud

    Cons: Needs equalizer to adjust speakers Price

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Long Beach, CA on 3/15/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Compact, easy to set up, outstanding bass and overall sound.

    Pros:

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    Great sounding set up

    James from Harrisonburg, VA on 3/12/2018

    Purchased this sound bar at the recommendation of a sales associate. Couldn't be happier. Upgraded from a much cheaper LG Soundbar when we bought the new TV. The ability to swap from soundbar to surround is awesome. I would highly recommend this to anyone who doesnt want to spend the coin on a full out home theater sound system.

    Pros: Great sounding bar. Awesome deep bass. Ability to have surround. Plays music crisp and clean.

    Cons: None that Ive found yet.

    Outstanding and reasonable

    George from Vero Beach, FL on 3/8/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I decided not to reinstall my million wire Denon Whole House and Surround system in our new home. The JBL Bar 5 wireless unit seemed too good to be true but I spoke to a Crutchfield support expert and decided to try it. It works great in our large volume room. It looks great and was easy to install. Hard to beat, especially for the money.

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    OUTSTANDING

    LUIS from Mangonia Park, FL on 3/6/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I honestly was not expecting the outstanding sound coming out of this soundbar. Being used to having a home theater with Denon receiver and Polk speakers, I was hoping for some decent sound from a sound bar, but this one really impressed me. I would highly recommend it.

    Pros: Fantastic Sound Easy Setup Great Design powerful bass

    Cons: None

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Absecon, NJ on 3/2/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Would be 5 if it sounded a little better when just playing your favorite music With movies it's better than advertised Fills a room. Special effects are awesome

    Pros: Movie sound is great. You feel like you're in the middle of the explosion or like you're actually going for that helicopter ride

    Cons: When playing your tunes from Apple Music or your favorite dvd the sound might fall a little short from what what I'm used to

    Compact, excellent sound, rechargeable surround speakers

    Steve from Indianapolis, IN on 2/20/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This unit sounds very good! wound like to have more control over the voice, but still is very clear. Other people love the sub-woofer, but is a little too much for me, although I'm not complaining. I just turn it down real low! Sound-field on the front speakers isn't as good as I wood like, but soundbars probably are not that good anyway. I live in a condo., so it's perfect. I wound recommend this to anyone for the price I payed on sale. I think the price will drop on soundbars. My wife loves it because of the low profile. If you can pick this up for $600 or less, it's a pretty good deal. I went with this one because I read the reviews on the Polk equivalent had some problems. Hope this review will help anyone who's looking for a sound-bar. Has volume control for the surrounds and bass and a setup mike. Not much out there, except for the Polk and a few others that are 5.1 systems. I am happy with the movies and music sound real good!

    Pros: Plenty of power and 3 HDMI inputs, ARC output, optical input. So far, this is the best one I've found.

    Cons: Not many cons as long as it holds up, but I'm sure sound-bars will keep improving. Could have better sound-stage.

    Great Support and Great Sound

    Carlos from Carlsbad, CA on 2/19/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've been waiting and waiting for a Sound Bar system that is truly capable of actual surround sound. I've tried older models in the past resulting in returning the product, and since then, decided to wait for technology to advance. Fast forward to 2018, I read an article pertaining to Dolby ATMOS, and thought maybe it was time to check out Sound Bars again. Unfortunately, all the Sound Bars capable of Dolby ATMOS was way beyond the budget I had for my bedroom setup (Sony 49" 4k). However, while also catching up on Sound Bar advances, I found the JBL Bar 5.1, and thought; "What great idea!". I found the JBL Sound Bar in the Crutchfield in their Open Box/Scratched its section for $100.00 less than retail. I ordered the item. Once the item arrived, I noticed the left speaker (detachable) was distorting for the higher frequencies. I quick to Crutchfield, and new left speaker was sent out. Although, the left speaker distorted, I the rest of the components lived up to my expectations. I received the new left speaker, switching them out easily (returning the old one in the same box of the new one). I let charge for a bit, and fully tested the Sound Bar using Movies (ID4, Transformers, Gravity), and found the system did provide what I was looking for a full 5.1 surround sound in one neat small package. The ability to remove the both the left and right speakers placing them accordingly to the right and left of the seating area provided movie like sound experience in

    Pros: Removable left and right speakers, for true surround sound Sleek minimal design Easy hook up 100% Wireless

    Cons: I can't think of any I'm too busy listening to my awesome sound bar

    Excellent Wireless 5.1 Sound Bar & Great Price

    John from Orlando, FL on 2/9/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The JBL Bar 5.1 is an excellent choice for cost conscious buyers looking for great sound and great looks. While the sound is not quite as rich and tight as the Bose 300 series you should not expect a Bose replacement for 1/3 to 1/2 the price of Bose and the sound IS excellent filling my living room. Streaming 4K Ultra HD movies with the surrounds detached is an epic cinema quality experience with NO wires cluttering the room. And this sound bar looks beautiful, nearly invisible in front of my 55" LG OLED TV. The only issue I have experienced is that the battery life of one of the detachable surrounds was only a couple hours (not the 10 hrs. advertised) so I had to send the entire bar back to JBL for a replacement.

    Pros: True 5.1 wireless surround 4K Ultra HD Beautiful looking low profile sound bar Easy to set up with great sound Excellent price point Detachable rechargeable surround speakers for 5.1 wireless surround

    Cons: Battery life of detachable surround speakers is a question (see review)

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Guest from Harrisonburg, VA on 2/9/2018

    The JBL sound bar works great. It was a little challenging connecting to TV and cable box correctly.

    Pros:

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    JBL nailed it with this model

    Dana from Memphis, TN on 2/7/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This sound bar has done exactly what I wanted from a sound bar. The only gripe I will say is that the midrange is a bit lacking. It reminds me of my old BOSE Acoustimass series days. This is a fair sacrifice with a sound bar though....you aren't constructing a dedicated 5.1 home theater. Prior to purchasing the JBL, I auditioned the Def Tech W Studio and the Samsung 950 which are both over $1000. They both had a fuller and more dynamic sound from my memory of nearly a year ago, but both had limitations. DT with no actual rear speakers and Samsung was defective and very difficult to operate. I was fortunate to pick the JBL up when it was on sale so my expectations are less than my expectations would be for the MSRP. That said, I still think I would choose the JBL over the others for a $300ish savings. I will also concur with everyone on the sub...it is very tight and clean bass. I rarely have the setting over half. The remote is laid out very well to adjust the surround and bass volumes independent. All source material is different so this is nice to be so simplified as you go from show to show. My main 2-channel system is currently down and I have a mobile bluetooth speaker for music. I remembered that this offers bluetooth and connected to my phone in 30 seconds and changed to music mode and it really sounded nice. If you too are in the sound bar market I find it hard to imagine you not being happy with this system......and the reviews back this up.

    Pros: bass true surrounds easy set up and day to day use

    Cons: weak midrange

    Nice Sound bar

    BMG1 from Green Valley, AZ on 2/4/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nice sound bar, but instructions incomplete.

    Pros: Built in surround speakers, lots of inputs.

    Cons: Very incomplete instructions from JBL, their website wasn't much help either.

    Side speakers are a major plus

    Steven from Arvada, CO on 2/2/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is the perfect sound bar for our home set up - The removable side speakers are a major plus - Great unit

    Pros: Size & sound & 3 HDMI in ports & an ARC HDMI port - Side speakers can be charged without hooking them back to the main sound bar

    Cons: Often have to unplug the side speakers from the chargers to turn them on after the unit has been off for a long period of time

    Immense sound, great price!

    Brycin from Las Vegas, NV on 1/27/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great set of speakers. First day 2 days I had trouble with the satellite speakers, but after leaving them alone and charged on the sound bar for 24 hours straight, they started working perfectly fine and now every thing sounds amazing. The bass is incredible!

    Pros: Easy set up, and perfect sound. Simple to use.

    Cons: Wasn't able to use the satellite speakers effectively until fully charging after 24 hours of leaving the entire sound bar and satellite speakers alone.

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Guest from Ashburn, VA on 1/18/2018

    Great sound and easy setup. Lots of fun when you separate surround speakers and place them in different areas. I live in a townhouse and can play music in my bedroom and still listen to surround speakers in basement. Love the sound of sub with bass adjustment. Still wish it cost less but you do get a bang for your buck.

    Pros: Great sound easy setup.

    Cons: Price.

    SOUND IS GREAT!!!!!

    Crutchfield customer from Dateland, AZ on 12/30/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    GREAT PRODUCT JUST AS DESCRIBED!!!! QUICK SHIPPING.

    Pros:

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    Amazing sound!

    Joe from Bronx, NY on 12/26/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Absolutely amazing! I went to lots of places and tried out plenty of sound systems and when I got to the JBL Bar 3.1 I was blown away at how deep and clear the bass was. That being said everything else was perfectly matched and as I turned up the volume it was like it never ended and just kept getting better and better. Compared to Klipsch, Bose, Sonos and everything else that was there. Nothing came close. So when I saw \there was a 5.1 with wireless rechargeable surrounds about to be released I decided to wait and boy am I glad I did. The sound added by the surrounds is definitely worth getting over the 3.1 if your looking for a 5.1 system. I upgraded from a Bose acoustimass 10 and a Samsung 1080p TV to an LG 65B7A with a JBL BAR 5.1 and am loving it. Fantastic setup. If youre looking for Dolby Atmos look elsewhere but if you dont need that then youd be hard pressed to find anything close to this for twice the price or more. If you can listen in store then do that if not and youre on the fence no worries this will surely impress everyone who listens except the neighbors when the rumble invades their home!

    Pros: Clarity Thunderous bass 4K Pass through TV Arc cable included Wiress Surrounds Room filling volume levels

    Cons: No Atmos

    JBL Bar 5.1

    Crutchfield customer from Thornton, CO on 12/11/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love the removable Bluetooth surround sound speakers. Easy set up. You can feel the vibration from the monster sub woofer. The sound experience is truly theater quality. At this price point you won't be at all sorry. Compares very favorably to more expensive systems.

    Pros:

    Cons:

    Good sound, reasonable bass

    Mark from Berlin, MD on 12/11/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I really like this soundbar's design. Truly "wireless" surround speakers, and the design to plug those speakers into the main soundbar while still maintaining a sleek look is slick. All the primary speakers, middle/left/right/surround, sound very good. The left/right separation is not as evident as my Klipsch 2.1 (RSB-11) soundbar so the soundstage is a bit small, but the sound quality is good. I am a bass man. I love a good subwoofer. I have bought and returned a number of soundbars because their subwoofer just didn't have the punch I wanted. The JBL subwoofer is acceptable to me, so for most people I think it will be more than adequate. Fairly tight and clean low end. Few adjustments are provided on either the subwoofer (none), nor the primary speakers outside of a few standard preset modes. That level of adjustment on a soundbar system is to be expected, especially at this price point. Conclusion: A soundbar set up will never rival a true 5.1 system (or 7.x for that matter), but I am very please with the performance of this product at this price point. I took away one star because of the limited front channel separation, but I am being picky considering it is a soundbar. As always try to listen to the system before you buy it if you can, but if you are buying blind I think most people will enjoy this system. I would recommend it.

    Pros: Great design, easy set up, good bass, nice looking solution that still looks good when you mate the surround speakers for charging.

    Cons: Not a large soundstage

    Great sound and awesome sub woofer

    Craig from Salt Lake City, UT on 12/7/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Was pretty easy to set up, ARC port works well, sometimes when you turn the tv on, there is no sound, just have to cycle through the inputs with the remote once. Minor inconvenience. Great sounding bar with good bass and surrounds.

    Pros: Easy set-up, love the battery surrounds, ARC works well.

    Cons: Sometimes will not synch when turning tv on, just need to cycle through the inputs once.

    Details

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    General
    Enclosure Sealed(spkr)/Ported(sub)
    Design Bar
    Pieces in System 4
    Color Black
    Tweeter 1.25 (3)
    Midrange None
    Woofer 2.25 (6)
    Separate Subwoofer Yes
    Subwoofer Driver 10
    Features
    Surround Sound Decoding 5.1-channel
    Dolby Atmos No
    DTS:X No
    Dialogue Enhancement Yes
    Auto Volume No
    4K Video Compatible Yes
    HDR Video Compatible HDR10
    Audio Return Channel Yes
    Remote IR Passthrough No
    Works with TV Remote (IR) Yes
    Voice Control No
    Apple AirPlay N
    Control by App N
    Bluetooth Connectivity Built-in (4.2)
    Wi-Fi No
    Wall-mountable Yes
    Mounting Bracket Included Yes
    Surface Mount Stand Included No
    Speaker Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Speaker Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Amplifier Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Amplifier Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Specifications
    System Frequency Response 35-20k Hz
    Powered System Yes
    Sound Bar RMS Power 75
    Subwoofer RMS Power 150
    Inputs and Outputs
    Mini Stereo Audio Inputs 1
    RCA Stereo Audio Inputs None
    Optical Digital Audio Inputs 1
    Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs None
    HDMI Inputs 3
    HDMI Outputs 1
    USB Port Yes
    Subwoofer Output N
    Dimensions
    Sound Bar (inches) 2-3/8H x 33-3/8W x 3-11/16D
    Sound Bar Weight 8.6 lbs
    Subwoofer (inches) 17-5/16H x 12-1/16W x 13-11/16D
    Subwoofer Weight 28.7 lbs

    Product Research

    Features
    Connections
    Controls

    Features

    5.1Ch Soundbar Speaker System: The JBL BAR 5.1 is a true 5.1 channel home theater system with 510 watts of total power, wireless connectivity, and support for Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital, DTS. The JBL 5.1 consists of an active soundbar speaker, a wireless subwoofer, and two wireless surround speakers. The soundbar features dedicated left, center, and right channels; along with HDMI 2.0a (4K) and Bluetooth connectivity. The wireless powered subwoofer only needs an AC power connection, while the two wireless surround speakers are battery powered. The JBL Bar 5.1 truly re-defines the "soundbar" experience.

    Active Soundbar: The JBL BAR 5.1's active soundbar speaker features a dedicated left, right, and center channel for excellent stereo imaging and enhanced voice clarity. Each channel of the soundbar speaker houses one 1.25" tweeter and two 2.25" racetrack drivers. The three 1.25" tweeters and six 2.25 racetrack drivers are powered by a 150 watt (Peak) amplifier for dynamic sound performance.

    Wireless Powered Sub: The JBL BAR 5.1's wireless powered sub features a down-firing 10" woofer in a bass reflex enclosure with a rear-firing port. A built-in 300 watt (Peak) amplifier is used to drive the 10" woofer and deliver deep, impactful bass. Because the powered sub is wireless, it puts no unsightly cables between the soundbar and subwoofer (still requires a AC power cord connection). You can adjust the bass level (0-20) of the powered sub from the included IR remote.

    Battery Powered Wireless Surround Speakers: The JBL BAR 5.1 features two 30W (Peak) wireless surround speakers that let you enjoy true wireless surround sound in cinematic 5.1 channel. These surround speakers are battery powered and feature rechargeable batteries that provide up to 10 hours of playing time. The battery powered wireless surround speakers charge by plugging them into the sides of the soundbar speaker (it takes approximately 3 hours to fully charge each speaker). You can adjust the volume level of the surround speakers independently from the overall system's volume.

    Note: The active soundbar speaker measures 45.25" wide when the battery powered wireless surround speakers are plugged in during charging. Make sure you have enough room on either side of the soundbar speaker (at least 6.75") to plug in the surround speakers.

    Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital, & DTS Surround Processing: The JBL BAR 5.1 soundbar speaker system will decode Dolby Digital & DTS soundtracks (up to 5.1ch) via its HDMI or Optical digital inputs. It also supports Dolby Pro Logic II, which lets you listen to 2ch soundtrack in 5.1ch surround sound. You can also choose between six Sound modes and a Night mode.

    • Sound Modes: Select between six sound modes - Standard, Movie, Music, Voice , Sports, and Off (Stereo).
    • Night Mode: There is a Night mode that reduces major volume differences between soft and loud passages, so a more uniform volume level can be maintained.

    Auto Calibration Mic: The JBL BAR 5.1 comes with an audio calibration microphone to optimize the speaker system's sound for your room. The microphone plugs into the side of the soundbar and should be positioned at ear-level at the main listening position.

    Mounting Options: The JBL BAR 5.1 offers flexible mounting options for the soundbar speaker, wireless powered subwoofer, and the two battery powered wireless surround speakers.

    • You can place the JBL BAR 5.1's soundbar speaker on a shelf or tabletop, or wall-mount it with the included brackets. The soundbar should be centered above or below your TV.
    • Because the powered subwoofer is wireless, you can position it any where in the room (within 25'). Ideally the subwoofer should be positioned along the same wall as the soundbar speaker. Placing the woofer in a corner will emphasizes the bass even more.
    • The wireless surround speakers can be placed on stands or shelves, or even wall-mounted using the included brackets or optional articulating brackets that are sold separately (there is a 4mm threaded insert on the back of each speaker). The surround speakers can be mounted and positioned vertically or horizontally. For best surround sound effect, position the wireless surround speakers to the sides and slightly behind the listening area (make sure the narrow part of the grille is facing your listening area).

    Power Requirements: Both, the active soundbar and wireless powered sub, come with a detachable 5' AC power cord and will need to be plugged into an AC wall outlet, surge protector, or power conditioner. The wireless surround speakers are battery powered and recharge from the soundbar speaker.

    Connections

    HDMI 2.0a Connectivity: The JBL BAR 5.1 is equipped with three HDMI inputs and one HDMI ARC output. All of its HDMI inputs and output support the latest HDMI 2.0a specification with ultra high-definition 4K video pass-through, HDCP 2.2 compatibility, HDR (High Dynamic Range), ARC, & Dolby Digital/DTS (up to 5.1ch).

    • 4K Pass-Through: The BAR 5.1 lets you maintain 4K quality from source to screen by allowing 4K video to "pass through" and be displayed on a 4K TV or projector, without compromising image quality. Giving you the pure 4K experience makes this soundbar the perfect partner for 4K-capable TVs and Ultra-HD Blu-ray players. 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p video signal are also supported.
    • HDCP 2.2: HDCP 2.2 is supported by all of the soundbar's HDMI jacks. HDCP 2.2 is short for "High bandwidth Digital Content Protection" and is used for 4K video copyright protection for compatibility with Ultra HD Blu-ray players and 4K Satellite/Cable providers.
    • HDR (High Dynamic Range Video): HDR (High Dynamic Range) reproduces a greater dynamic range of luminosity or brightness levels, bringing greater contrast & wider color spectrum to the screen. This increased contrast reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth. Previously hidden areas of dark shadow and sunlight are now full of clarity and detail. The BAR 5.1 supports HDR10, the most popular HDR format.
    • ARC (Audio Return Channel): This feature of the soundbar speaker system's HDMI output allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to the BAR 5.1 through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.
    Note: The ARC-enabled HDMI input of many televisions only sends an audio signal in 5.1ch when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch stereo from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blue-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).

    Optical Digital & Analog 3.5mm Inputs: In addition to HDMI connectivity, the JBL BAR 5.1 is outfitted with one optical (toslink) digital input and one analog stereo minijack (3.5mm) input. The optical digital input will support 2ch PCM and Dolby Digital/DTS (up to 5.1ch).

    Note: The digital optical output terminals of most newer flat-panel TVs only send an audio signal in 5.1ch when receiving Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound from the TV's built-in tuner, network connection, or connected USB device; and will output only 2ch stereo from sources connected to the TV via HDMI, or RCA (like your Blue-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).

    USB-A 2.0 Port: The JBL BAR 5.1 features a USB (type-A) 2.0 port for connection of a USB MSC (mass storage class) device, such as a USB thumbdrive or portable digital audio player. You'll be able to playback MP3 and WAV music files stored on a USB MSC device (formatted in FAT 16/FAT32) through the JBL soundbar system. The system can recognize up to 2,000 MP3 files. You'll also get basic playback control (such as Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track, and Random/Repeat) from the included IR remote. Advanced music browsing and song/artist/album info display are not supported. The USB port can also be used to charge (5V/1A) your connected device.

    • Supported MP3 Files: 16kHz-48kHz sampling rate with 80kbps-320kbps bitrate.
    • Supported WAV Files: 16kHz-48kHz sampling rate with up to a 3000kbps bitrate.
    Note: The USB port does not support Apple iOS or Android OS device playback.

    Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The JBL BAR 5.1 is equipped with built-in Bluetooth 4.2 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP 1.3) and playback control (AVRCP 1.6). You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth-enabled device (such as your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer) to the soundbar speaker system. You'll also be able to control basic playback functions (such as Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track) from the included IR remote. You will still use your Bluetooth source device for advanced music browsing and to view song/artist/album info. You can pair multiple Bluetooth devices with the BAR 3.1, but only one device can be used for playback at a time. The system has a wireless Bluetooth range of approximately 32'.

    Note: The JBL BAR 5.1 does not support Bluetooth hands-free communication for making and answering phone calls.

    Controls

    Remote Control: The JBL BAR 5.1 comes with an IR remote for wireless control of the soundbar system, as well as basic playback control of USB & Bluetooth connected devices. The system also supports "System Standby" and "One Touch Play" HDMI CEC commands. In addition, the BAR 5.1 can respond to "Volume Up/Down" and "Mute" commands from most Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio TV remote controls automatically (no programming required). If your TV's remote does not control the soundbar automatically, you can program the BAR 5.1 to respond your TV remote's "Volume Up/Down" and "Mute" commands.

    JBL SoundShift Technology: The JBL BAR 5.1 is further enhanced with JBL SoundShift technology, which allows you to instantly switch between sound from your TV and sound from your Bluetooth source device.

    Front-Panel Display: The front-panel display indicates source selection, surround modes, and other audio settings. The front-panel display can be dimmed and will disappear after five seconds. The front-panel display does not offer song/artist/album information.

    Auto On + Standby: The JBL BAR 5.1 system will automatically power on whenever it senses an audio signal from its HDMI & Optical source inputs. The JBL BAR 5.1 will automatically switch to standby mode after approximately 10 minutes of button inactivity and no audio playback from a connected source.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Accessories
    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    Because it is a wireless 5.1 sound bar [ D  Nov 26, 2018 ]
    Wireless back speakers. Recommended by Crutchfield advisor and article. [ Angela  Nov 23, 2018 ]
    Wireless [ Eric  Nov 23, 2018 ]
    Pure wireless [ Chris  Nov 22, 2018 ]
    Upgrade and wireless [ Raymond  Nov 10, 2018 ]
    wireless surround [ J  Nov 06, 2018 ]
    Read the reviews. Liked it is truly wireless. Not an audiophile so believe I will be pleased what this JBL 5.1 soundbar offers according to reviews. Also, the $100.00 savings with my rewards already earned led me to finally order it!! [ James  Nov 05, 2018 ]
    Previously purchased one for my living room TV and liked it, so bought one for my game room. [ Jason  Oct 23, 2018 ]
    The main reason was it gives me the ability to have rear surround sound speakers without having to run power to them. The other system I was considering had the option to purchase rear surround sound speakers but they required AC power run to them. The quality of the sound, based on the articles and reviews, was the second reason [ DOUG  Oct 21, 2018 ]
    JBL has always been of top quality as far as I am concerned and I would like to have wireless surround sound for my living room tv. [ ROBERT G  Oct 04, 2018 ]
    Recommended by many reviews. [ Michael  Oct 04, 2018 ]
    Wireless capability [ Brendan  Sep 17, 2018 ]
    Reviews, brand, and value. [ Chris  Sep 11, 2018 ]
    Great product reviews and fits my needs for newly constructed room. Could have ordered from Amazon Prime and received 2 day shipping but the Crutchfield tech support is why I went with you guys. Your support is excellent! [ Richard  Aug 25, 2018 ]
    My room is set up badly for surround sound. My current sound bar is not compatible with my new 4K DVD player (no HDMI connections). This will fit the bill perfectly. [ Richard  Aug 07, 2018 ]
    It received great reviews. [ Steve  Jul 03, 2018 ]
    Anniversary present for my parents. [ Arthur  Jun 15, 2018 ]
    Love the wireless rechargeable rear speakers. [ Lisa  May 28, 2018 ]
    Looking for quality surround sound without all the wires. [ John  May 18, 2018 ]
    Detachable & true wireless surround speakers [ C  May 15, 2018 ]
    Great solution! [ Walter  May 08, 2018 ]
    Like the detachable self-powered rear speakers. [ A  May 04, 2018 ]
    Only sounder/surround set up featuring battery-powered rear surround speakers - great for older homes with limited electrical outlets [ Duane  Apr 26, 2018 ]
    Will compliment my new OLE 4K TV [ Ted  Apr 09, 2018 ]
    JBL brand and space saving solution [ Carlos  Mar 29, 2018 ]
    I spoke to Rex a few days ago and advised him of my situation. He recommended this setup for the wireless surround speakers but said overall it puts out amazing sound for the size. I'm anxious to try it out. [ Michael  Mar 27, 2018 ]
    It has built in amp and fits our space. Also the rechargeable wireless detachable speakers will work well for us because we don't have a place to plug in rear speakers. [ Thomas  Mar 13, 2018 ]
    Seems like a convenient home theater solution for someone who is constantly moving. [ ROBERT  Mar 11, 2018 ]
    I had ordered the Samsung sound bar about a month ago and very happy with it. I'm going to hand it over to my mother. I wanted something with a little more punch and I like JBL. When I seen the 5.1 system I had to have it. My brother in Texas purchased the 3.1 JBL and had all good things to say about it. So here I am getting the 5.1 [ Steve  Mar 06, 2018 ]
    I wanted a system that was totally wireless [ Kenneth  Feb 22, 2018 ]
    JBL legacy Crutchfield customer service and knowledge also reviews [ DEWITT  Feb 04, 2018 ]
    Wireless rear speakers and 4K sound capability. Will be paired to an LG OLED 55B7A as soon as my tax return arrives. [ Robert  Feb 03, 2018 ]
    The customer reviews the creative way the sounder come apart to provide true surround sound without needing to buy a Home Theater Receiver and speakers. [ CB  Jan 25, 2018 ]
    True wireless system. Also Ive been using JBL in my car, Bluetooth speaker and has never mal function! [ Jose  Jan 23, 2018 ]
    True Wireless 5.1 [ dhruthiman redd  Jan 21, 2018 ]
    am just trying it out. and i want it like a home theater but less pace usage. [ WILLIAM  Dec 16, 2017 ]

    15 questions already asked

    The sound bar will reproduce whatever you TV is capable. It doesn't work directily with alexa but it is not supposed to. Again, your TV will define what output will be send to to the bar [ Jose  Dec 04, 2018 ]
    The soundbar/speakers do not have connections for home networks. It does not support wired or wifi network connections. The subwoofer and the small, removeable speakers communicate with the soundbar itself via wireless signals. I guess technically you could consider its Bluetooth connectivity as a 'network connection', for example we broadcast our Alexa device to the soundbar via Bluetooth when we want to 'fill the room' with streaming music. I hope this helps. [ Christopher  Sep 03, 2018 ]
    Mine is connected to the tv via HDMI, detachable speakers are at the back of the room about 25 feet from the sound bar and I've never lost the signal [ Stan  Sep 02, 2018 ]
    There is no network connection. There is Bluetooth so you can play from your phone etc that way. We have our JBL Bar 5.1 connected to our smart TV which is connected to internet with wi-fi. [ Thomas  Sep 02, 2018 ]
    Have had the JBL Bar 5/1 for a couple of months now with zero problems with connectivity either to my internet or iPad/iPhone. Although I could utilize bluetooth for my TV as well, I've utilized the optical hard connection for television sound. [ Timothy  Sep 02, 2018 ]
    Hello juanchito, Short answer is no you don't need additional cables. The sub and detachable rear speakers are completely wireless. You do however need to connect to your television for surround via a cable. I used an hdmi cable. You can also connect via Bluetooth. I hope this answers your questions. Thanks Mark [ MARK  Aug 07, 2018 ]
    Hello, I used the supplied cables and power cords. Everything functions as it should without the need for extra cables. [ Francis  Aug 06, 2018 ]
    Yes, you have to get the sound from the source devices (cable box, Blu-Ray player, streaming device, etc.) to the sound bar. It has bluetooth capabilities for music streaming from phones or whatever, but most video based sources will need to be hooked up via HDMI or optical. And, of course, it has to be plugged in. [ Randall  Aug 06, 2018 ]
    Everything you need comes in the box, included an optical cable. it's not the best optical cable out there, but it works fine as that is what I use. You do not need to buy additional cables... [ CB  Aug 06, 2018 ]
    I have experienced no such volume problems with the 5.1 using my Samsung TV remote. . [ Joseph  May 21, 2018 ]
    I use a Harmony One remote and have had no such issues. [ John  May 21, 2018 ]
    I have not noticed anything resembling your description. Occasionally, the rear speakers seem weak, but that is probably caused by the surround signal than the system. No other issues have ocurred. [ Philip  May 21, 2018 ]
    We've never tested to see what the maximum setting is, but we consistently watch movies with a setting of 26 or 27 and it's plenty loud. There is no hint of stress or distortion at this level and our walls and kitchen shelves rattle from the bass at this setting. [ Robert  May 17, 2018 ]
    No. Not sure why you would want to add more speakers since the detachable rear speakers give you full surround sound. BTW - it sounds great when watching surround sound movies. [ Scott  Apr 07, 2018 ]
    You really don't need additional speakers, the surround sound is amazing. I feel like I am in a movie theatre. [ Dave  Apr 06, 2018 ]
    That's a great question. I believe it's one of Crutchfield's advisors. I would personally say no. This model is available in a 2.1,3.1 and 5.1. No information given that speakers can be added. Hope this helps. I can tell you for it's size, it works real well. [ Michael  Apr 06, 2018 ]
    No, this is a proprietary 5.1 setup so there's no way to tie in any additional rears or height channels. Honestly the genius to this setup is that in the rare occasion you want the side or rear surround field you can detach the speakers and use them for a movie then reattach for aesthetics. For a more dedicated surround system you would want to go with something else; probably a wired system with separate decoder, etc. [ JARED  Apr 06, 2018 ]
    Yes I saw it at a local electronic store [ DEWITT  Mar 23, 2018 ]
    I can't help with your retail question, but the soundbar is great for television or playing music off my phone. I could open a dance club in my family room, and sound shift flips between systems well. If you decide to purchase, I bought a pair of Sanus speaker stands to hold the surround speakers. The speaker magnet holds them very securely when we set up temporary surround sound. Good luck in your decision. Steve [ Steve  Mar 17, 2018 ]
    I bought the JBL 5.1 from Crutchfield a month ago. I have a new LG OLED 65 in.TV. and the JBL Sound System is a great match to enhance your audio experience. [ IRA  Mar 17, 2018 ]
    I had reservations about not hearing it first as well, but once I reviewed the return policy of Crutchfield, I pulled the trigger. You won't be disappointed for the money, imo. [ Timothy  Mar 17, 2018 ]
    Batteries these days are not supposed to experience a decrease in their life span even when you don't drain them before recharging them. I can tell you that nothing was mentioned during our demo of this system about special care being needed for the batteries. Personally, I would keep the batteries charged for when I want to listen to the system and then when done, put them back on charge for next time My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=101 [ Paul  Apr 02, 2018 ]  Staff
    According to the manual, the button on the included JBL remote is used to enable the soundshift feature. I would assume by the way it is worded that the button can also be used to disable soundshift. I honestly never new this feature existed until you asked the question. We have been manually selecting the source. Furthermore, my wife almost always has her phone connected to the soundbar and playing Pandora. We have watched several movies where my wife received a call and the system did not switch to her phone. [ Robert  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    I do use the JBL Bar 5.1 to stream music from my phone. The source is selectable from the remote, and does not pick up a bluetooth signal while it is in a different mode. You have to select Bluetoth, to stream. I do get a beep when a message is sent to the phone, but it is hardly an inconvenience. This is my third soundbar, and it outperforms a Martin Logan model I had. Hope this helps [ Francis  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    Soundshift can be turned off with the remote.Enter [ Eric Scott  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    The Sound Shift adds nothing to the Surround system. Martin [ Martin  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    You can turn it off. I think it is for BlueTooth devices. I'm not sure about the Surround Sound as I do not have any connected devices. My phone does not display phone calls - but my Comcast service does do that. Hope this is helpful. This is a great system - especially when it is on sale. Visitors are impressed and with the detachable speakers I can have music around the house. Go to YuTub - search Rodrigo Y Gabriela and crank it UP! Regards, Martin [ Martin  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    Yes - this bar sounds awesome. Just wish it had a midrange control to adjust for dialog. Otherwise it's a great alternative to a full system. [ Mark  Feb 04, 2018 ]
    The sound bar sound seems to come from the top and front. Rear speakers are forward firing. I can assure you the system is truly outstanding. Bass is awesome sound quality good. [ Mark  Feb 03, 2018 ]
    Forward mostly, up somewhat. [ Ronald  Feb 03, 2018 ]
    If you leave the little speakers connected you do not have 5.1 system - it is just a sound bar - but a good one. If you detach the speakers you can move them about for 5.1 system. What I am doing is to get a couple of USB cables - detach the little speakers and have them connect to a charger on the table with the rest of the soundbar 24/7. Much better soundbar for basics with this set-up. They are always charging and if I want to move them about for a movie or whatever I can still do that. This is the way to go IMHO. Regards, Martin [ Martin  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    Yes. You can leave the speakers connected to the bar if need be. If you prefer not to use them at all, the recommendation would be to step down to the BAR 3.1 model which is essentially the same product but without the wireless surrounds: http://www.crutchfield.com/p_109BAR31/item.html I hope that helps. My bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Ryan [ Ryan  Feb 07, 2018 ]  Staff
    The brackets that are supplied are fixed not articulating. Thankfully the surround speakers have a wide listening stage.Enter [ Eric Scott  Jan 12, 2018 ]
    The Pinpoint AM30 & Sanus WMS3 are both listed under the "Accessories" tab. Be sure to click "Speaker Wall mounts" on the left had side after clicking the "Accessories: tab. [ Ryan  Jan 10, 2018 ]  Staff
    I have it on a table in front of and below the TV. [ Martin  Mar 10, 2018 ]
    "You can place the JBL BAR 5.1's soundbar speaker on a shelf or tabletop, or wall-mount it with the included brackets." You will find this information, and more, by clicking the "Details" tab on the speaker's main webpage and scrolling down below the "Features & Specs" table. I hope that helps. My bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Ryan [ Ryan  Dec 21, 2017 ]  Staff
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