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Audio = Ground Zero – JBL Home Audio options

Given the devil’s pace TV technology has advanced over recent years, with models getting smaller yet quantum leaps being made in terms of picture quality, you are going to want some serious audio to go along with technological improvements, which, unless your abode and wallet can accommodate and afford a full-blown home theatre, is where a slim, low profile, space saving soundbar comes in handy to distinctly upgrade your TV audio with clearer dialogue, richer sound and crisper details.

In that regard, a well performing soundbar is the audio equivalent to a pair of glasses.

However, with a myriad of models and sheer endless features of varying quality crowding the market, there are a few guiding basics one should consider, e.g. making sure there are three or more channels to simulate surround sound for a more immersive experience and the availability of connectivity options like HDMI Arc, USB and wireless connectivity.

At the affordable end of the spectrum and as an entry level model, one would be hard-pressed to go past JBL’s compact Bar 2.0 All-In-One soundbar as in terms of ease-of-use, uncluttered functionality with control buttons on top and a simple remote control layout and pronounced simplicity when it comes to the setup, i.e. simply using the HDMI ARC connection and you are in business, it offers a myriad of benefits.

Performance-wise, the Bar 2.0 All-In-One delivers in terms of depth both in the realms of low-end reach as well as midrange, with nuances being no less crisply presented in the higher frequencies.

What I really like about the Bar 2.0 is the way layered, complex sound fields are conveyed with all nuanced subtleties and tonalities even in bigger rooms without ever lacking punchiness

Stepping things up a few notches is the tour de force that is the JBL’s Bar 5.1 Surround. Imbued with MultiBeam technology that is used in cinema audio systems around the world, it should not be further wondrous that this little number is the epitome of being blissfully submerged in sound.

Comprised of a standard yet oversized soundbar setup with an accompanying wirelessly-connected subwoofer that can be placed wherever one feels like, this minimalist designed soundbar houses five front-facing drivers and two side firing built-in speakers, which results in its bigger size that makes it a veritable unit.

Controls can be easily accessed either via remote control or directly in the middle of the soundbar, with the button given a welcome tactile response. Connectively is ensured via Optical / HDMI inputs, with both AirPlay2 and Chromecast being supported for wireless streaming and the possibility to connect your mobile devices via Bluetooth.

Informed by JBL’s idiosyncratic MultiBeam technology, the sound of this entertainment powerhouse could not be more detailed and spatially-accurate, delivering an audio soundscape equivalent of 3D by not merely maintaining but enhancing intensity, thereby making it one of the most capable soundbars in its class and placing JBL on the firmament of quality home audio providers.


image from company website

T • June 20, 2022


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