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Harman ExPLORE 2023 - JBL BAR 1300 11.1.4 channel soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

The ultimate surround sound experience is to be had with the new JBL BAR 1300, a soundbar designed for 11.1.4-channel surround sound, featuring JBL MultiBeam with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Story Highlights
  • The new JBL BAR 1300 is an 11.1.4-channel soundbar with detachable surround speakers and subwoofer, which Harman International Industries is presenting for the first time at Harman ExPLORE 2023.

JBL BAR 1300 is the name of the latest soundbar presented by the Harman International Industries Group at the Harman ExPLORE 2023, which is taking place at the same time as CES 2023 in Las Vegas. This solution from the JBL brand is once again a special solution of its kind, as this new soundbar is even designed as an 11.1.4-channel surround sound system and is thus intended to conjure up immersive 3D surround sound in every living room. At the centre of this is JBL MultiBeam Surround, which in this specific case allows immersive 3D Surround in Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X.

JBL BAR 1300 – Detachable surround speakers and active subwoofer

A special feature of the new JBL BAR 1300 is that it is of course not just a soundbar, but also has an active subwoofer. As if that wasn’t enough, this solution also has detachable surround speakers that can be placed behind the listener if desired, thus providing a “real” surround sound system. The JBL BAR 1300 is not limited to virtual surround like so many other solutions in this area. The system thus consists of the actual soundbar JBL BAR 1300 as well as the JBL BAR 1300 Surround as detachable speakers and the JBL 1300 Bar Sub as subwoofer, to describe it correctly in all details.

While the subwoofer is controlled via radio, the surround speakers are connected via Bluetooth.

By the way, the surround speakers have an integrated battery, namely a 6,600 mAh 3.635 V lithium-ion battery. So you don’t really need any cables at all for the JBL BAR 1300 surround speakers. They are charged as soon as they are reconnected to the soundbar. The playtime is said to be up to ten hours, which is easily enough even for a long movie night.

1.170 Watts – Powerful Performance

The manufacturer particularly emphasises the power offered here, namely a total of 1.170 watts, which is divided into 650 watts for the actual soundbar, two times 110 watts for the surround speakers and 300 watts for the subwoofer.

The soundbar uses six so-called Racetrack drivers with 46 x 90 mm, five tweeters with 0.75 inch and four upward-firing broadband drivers with 2.75 inch each. The two surround speakers of the soundbar, the JBL BAR 1300 Surround, are also equipped with the already mentioned Racetrack drivers with 46 x 90 mm and also the 0.75 inch tweeter as well as the broadband drivers with 2.75 inch are available here. In addition, two passive radiators are used, which have rectangular diaphragms with 48 x 69 mm.

The subwoofer of the system, i.e. the JBL BAR 1300 Sub, has a 10 inch woofer, which is supposed to provide the necessary bass.

The frequency response of the system is stated by the manufacturer in the data sheet as 33 Hz up to 20 kHz.

JBL MultiBeam for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

As already mentioned, the new JBL BAR 1300 supports real surround through the detachable surround speakers, based on JBL MultiBeam Surround up to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. To achieve the best possible results, the JBL BAR 1300 is equipped with the JBL MultiBeam Surround system.

To achieve the best possible results, the JBL BAR 1300 is equipped with a calibration function that determines the room conditions and the arrangement of the soundbar and surround speakers and adjusts the playback accordingly.

DSP-based signal processing

The basis of the signal processing is of course a DSP, which, in addition to the surround functions, also allows options such as an equaliser or technologies such as JBL PureVoice Technology for optimal speech intelligibility.

HDMI eARC with 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Vision Passthrough

To act as a flexible interface, the new JBL BAR 1300 is equipped with three HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. The soundbar supports 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Vision Passthrough and the output offers HDMI CEC for central control as well as an eARC, i.e. an enhanced Audio Return Channel.

It should also be mentioned that the new JBL BAR 1300 has an optical S/PDIF interface as a digital audio input.

Flexible use via Bluetooth

Of course, the new JBL BAR 1300 has Bluetooth, after all, as already mentioned, the surround speakers are controlled via Bluetooth, which is Bluetooth 5.2. However, smartphones and tablets can also be used as sources via Bluetooth, and corresponding headphones can also be controlled in this way.

Surround speakers as independent Bluetooth speakers

Another special feature is that the surround speakers of the JBL BAR 1300 can be used not only in combination with the soundbar. The two speakers can also be used individually as Bluetooth speakers, or even combined into a stereo pair for a richer sound.

Flexible streaming client – Apple AirPlay 2, Amazon MRM and Google Chromecast

As a true all-in-one system, the new JBL BAR 1300 is also capable of streaming over the network, whereby it can be integrated into the network via a WiFi module in accordance with IEEE 802.11ax.

The new JBL BAR 1300 supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast, but also Amazon MRM, i.e. Multi-Room Music. This means that countless music streaming offers, including internet radio and podcasts, are available, and a separate app, the JBL One App, is even available for easy control. This can also be used to set up the soundbar.

Compatible with voice control

Although the JBL BAR 1300 is not equipped for voice control on its own, when paired with appropriate smart speakers, the JBL BAR 1300 can be controlled with voice commands, be it Apple Siri, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

“Our JBL soundbars raise the bar to the next level and the JBL Bar 1300 stands out for me. We’ve packed a record number of features and drivers, as well as stunning acoustic performance, into a versatile, easy-to-use soundbar.”

Dave Rogers, President, Harman Lifestyle Division

Pricing and availability

According to the manufacturer, the new JBL BAR 1300 will be available at retailers from February 2023. The recommended retail price is listed at € 1.499,-.

Getting to the point

Harman International Industries is now expanding its range of JBL-branded soundbar systems with the new JBL BAR 1300, introducing the new flagship of the JBL Bar Series. Apart from being a 15-channel soundbar system for immersive 3D surround sound via Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, this is said to be the most advanced soundbar JBL has launched to date. The company promises nothing less than limitless cinema fun at home for this compact solution.

Price€ 1.499,-
ManufacturerHarman International Industries
DistributionHarman Deutschland GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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