JBL Bar Studio
Powered sound bar with Bluetooth®
Our take on the JBL Bar Studio by Crutchfield's Jeff Miller
A solid sound bar at a solid price
As much as I love the picture on my 4K TV, there's no way I would ever rely on the flat screen's built-in speakers. The JBL Bar Studio is an affordable way to get clearer dialogue and larger sound effects. It comes from the sound experts at JBL — not some no-name brand you've never heard of — so you can expect real-deal, reliable performance at a reasonable price.
Speedy setup and switching between TV sound and Bluetooth
These days, many of us use a single speaker as our main home theater and music system. The Bar Studio is a versatile option for both. It connects to your TV with one cable. The system comes with its own remote, but you can also teach it the volume commands of your existing TV remote for convenient control.
You can also play music wirelessly from your phone or tablet. There's Bluetooth built-in, and you can quickly toggle between the audio from your TV or Bluetooth-enabled device.
- two-channel sound bar with simulated surround sound
- slim design sits on your TV stand or mounts on your wall
- built-in Bluetooth® for wireless audio streaming from compatible smartphones and tablets
- JBL Soundshift™ automatically switches between your TV and Bluetooth audio sources
- learns your TV remote's volume commands
- 30 watts of amplification
- four built-in drivers:
- two 1-1/4" tweeters
- two 2" low-frequency drivers
- dual bass ports reinforce the low frequencies
- Dolby® digital decoding
- JBL's digital signal processing creates surround-like effects
Connections and General Info:
- HDMI output with Audio Return Channel for single-cable connection to compatible TVs
- video pass-through up to 1080p (no 4K pass-through)
- 1 optical digital audio input
- 1 stereo minijack audio input
- USB port for connecting a thumb drive
- remote control
- 24-3/16"W x 2-5/16"H x 3-7/16"D
- weight: 3.1 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Active soundbar speaker
- AC power adapter (attached 46" DC cord)
- 5' AC power cord
- Remote control (CR2025 3V battery installed)
- 4' Optical digital cable
- 4' Stereo minijack cable
- 2 Wall-mount brackets
- 2 Wall-mount bracket holders
- Quick Start Guide
- Important Safety Instructions
- Warranty Card
- Wall-Mount Template
Good sound for this size unit. It retains settings when controlled by DVR remote.
James, New Orleans, LA
JBL Bar Studio Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Pieces in System||1|
|Tweeter||1.5 Dome (2)|
|Woofer||2 Cone (2)|
|Surround Sound Decoding||5.1-channel|
|4K Video Compatible||No|
|HDR Video Compatible||No|
|Audio Return Channel||Yes|
|Remote IR Passthrough||No|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||Yes|
|Control by App||N|
|Bluetooth Connectivity||Built-in (4.2)|
|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|
|System Frequency Response||60-20k Hz|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||Not given|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||N/A|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||1|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||1|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Sound Bar (inches)||2-5/16H x 24-3/16W x 3-7/16D|
|Sound Bar Weight||3.1 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||No Subwoofer|
Active Soundbar w/ JBL Surround Technology: The JBL BAR STUDIO is a 2ch active soundbar speaker with two 1.5" dome tweeters and two 2" cone woofers powered by a built-in 30 watt (Peak) amplifier. Dual front-firing bass ports are utilized to reinforce lower frequencies. The soundbar incorporates JBL's Surround Sound Technology with six sound modes to choose from - including Standard, Movie, Music, Voice, Sports, and Off (Stereo). There is also a Night mode that reduces major volume differences between soft and loud passages, so a more uniform volume level can be maintained.
HDMI 1.4 Output (ARC): The JBL BAR STUDIO features one HDMI ARC output to connect the soundbar to your TV's HDMI ARC input. The BAR STUDIO's HDMI ARC output allows audio from your TV to be sent through the soundbar system. The HDMI ARC output supports Dolby Digital (up to 5.1ch) and 2ch PCM.
Note: The ARC-enabled HDMI input of many televisions only sends an audio signal in 5.1ch when receiving Dolby Digital 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 Blu-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).
Optical Digital & Analog 3.5mm Inputs: In addition to HDMI connectivity, the JBL BAR STUDIO 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 (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 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 Blu-ray/DVD player or satellite/cable box).
USB-A 2.0 Port: The JBL BAR STUDIO 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 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. The USB port can also be used to charge (5V/0.5A) your connected device. From the included remote you can select Shuffle or Repeat playback options (no other playback or search commands supported).
Note: The USB port does not support Apple iOS or Android OS device playback.
Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The JBL BAR STUDIO is equipped with built-in Bluetooth 4.2 with support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP. 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 can pair multiple Bluetooth devices with the BAR STUDIO, but only one device can be used for playback at a time. Playback control and song/artist information will still be done from your Bluetooth source device (not the soundbar speaker). The system has a wireless Bluetooth range of approximately 32'.
Note: The JBL BAR STUDIO does not support Bluetooth hands-free communication for making and answering phone calls.
Remote Control: The JBL BAR STUDIO comes with an IR remote for wireless control of the soundbar system. The system also supports "System Standby" and "One Touch Play" HDMI CEC commands. In addition, the BAR STUDIO 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 STUDIO to respond your TV remote's "Volume Up/Down" and "Mute" commands.
Mounting Options: You can place the JBL BAR STUDIO's soundbar speaker on a shelf or tabletop, or wall-mount it with the included brackets.
Auto On + Standby: The JBL BAR STUDIO system will automatically power on whenever it senses an audio signal from its HDMI, Optical, Aux, or Bluetooth source inputs. The JBL BAR STUDIO will automatically switch to standby mode after approximately 10 minutes of button inactivity and no audio playback from a connected source.
Power Requirements: The active soundbar speaker includes an AC power adapter (with attached 46" DC cord) and a detachable 5' AC power cord that will need to be plugged into an AC wall outlet, surge protector, or power conditioner.
Our Product Research Team
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Why did you buy this?
Think it will be good for my room. I already own JBL products. [ Ronaldo Jul 31, 2018 ]
It was in my budget range [ B Jun 04, 2018 ]
Seems to be right for my small apt., especially with Bluetooth connectivity. [ John Jun 01, 2018 ]
I've always loved JBL products. I think the JBL Bar Studio is just what I need to enhance my TV sound. [ Bobby May 26, 2018 ]
Based on good reviews. [ ALEX Apr 11, 2018 ]
Well rated, good brand and price was right [ Dale Mar 13, 2018 ]
Small short low height profile. Great size for a 32"" TV. JBL is a division of Harman. Harman is one of the best companies in the audio sound business! [ Johnny Feb 07, 2018 ]
It has no subwoofer, which I have no room for, it has bluetooth which will eliminate a speaker on my kitchen counter. I am not an audiophile, I just want better sound from my little kitchen TV. [ Jean Dec 30, 2017 ]
best value for what I needed [ LEWIS Dec 28, 2017 ]
I have not received the item yet. I was looking for a device with a small footprint from a quality manufacturer. JBL is a good name brand. [ John Nov 25, 2017 ]
Using this outside on my covered patio to link with my TV to enhance the sound. Price is where I want to be for something left outside. And the advisor said it's a decent unit for the price. [ Dominic Nov 24, 2017 ]
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Add a wireless subwoofer for deep, powerful bass
The JBL Bar 2.1 offers these features:
two-channel sound bar with four full-range drivers and two tweeters
powerful 6.5" subwoofer syncs wirelessly to sound bar for easy placement
1 HDMI input, 1 Audio Return Channel-capable HDMI output