JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam – Soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos

JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam, with this new soundbar, 3D surround sound is to be realised in the living room, whereby the developers rely on JBL MultiBeam technology and support Virtual Dolby Atmos, among other things. In addition, there is music streaming and simple control via voice.

For many users, a soundbar is the simplest and easiest audio solution to integrate into the living room in order to give a TV set an appealing sound. There are countless solutions on the market, but the latest soundbar from Harman International Industries under the JBL brand is intended to stand out from this broad range. The manufacturer promises a solution that is particularly versatile and thus not only provides the best sound, including 3D surround sound, when watching TV, but can also function as a flexible all-in-one audio system, especially for music content from the network. Intuitive operation is also of great importance in this environment, so that the new soundbar also wants to offer all relevant possibilities in this respect.

JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam – easy to integrate

The new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam is supposed to present itself as a solution that can be easily integrated into any living environment. Compared to many other systems of this kind, this one actually has only one device, a separate subwoofer is not included in this solution.

Nevertheless, the manufacturer promises nothing less than that the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam can improve the TV and gaming experience from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and that music from a wide variety of sources will be presented in appealing quality.

For easy integration into the living environment, the most important thing is of course to keep the dimensions as compact as possible. In the case of the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam, this means that it measures no more than 709 mm in width, 100.5 mm in depth and 60.5 mm in height. It weighs no more than 2.8 kg.

Five 48 x 80 mm JBL Racetrack drivers are also installed here, which are driven by amplifier modules in Class D with a total of 250 watts. Four 75 mm passive diaphragms are available to provide the necessary bass without an additional subwoofer.

Virtual Surround via JBL MultiBeam

As the name of the soundbar suggests, the focus here is on the so-called JBL MultiBeam technology. This is a DSP-based signal processing, which is supposed to offer a 3D surround sound experience equal to a 5.0 channel system by means of room reflections. Films, TV series, sports and games can be experienced particularly intensively and music can be heard in rich sound. The new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam even supports Virtual Dolby Atmos.

The drivers in the JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam are not only installed at the front, but also at the top. This means that the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam cannot be placed in a piece of TV furniture, but must be placed directly under the TV on a lowboard or sideboard so as not to obstruct the radiation upwards. The scope of delivery also includes everything you need to mount the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam on the wall.

To achieve the best possible quality based on the individual conditions in the room, the JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam is equipped with an automatic JBL MultiBeam calibration.

A wide range of connection options

For the connection to the TV, there is of course first and foremost an HDMI connection, whereby this not only supports an ARC (Audio Return Channel), but also an eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) for Dolby Atmos, as well as HDCP 2.3 and of course HDMI CEC. Source devices can be connected directly via an additional HDMI input, whereby content in Ultra HD 4K is passed through as well as Dolby Vision and HDR.

For additional audio sources, the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam also has an optical S/PDIF interface. Although there is also a USB port, this is only intended for service purposes in the European version; in the US version, corresponding storage media can also be used as a source.

Streaming included

If you integrate this soundbar into the network, which is particularly easy to do via the integrated WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11ac, it acts as a very flexible streaming client.

Google Chromecast is supported by the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam as well as Apple AirPlay or Apple AirPlay 2, and Amazon Alexa Multi-Room Music is also offered.

Voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri

Speaking of Amazon Alexa, this voice recognition is not directly implemented, but in interaction with corresponding Amazon Alexa devices in the network, the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam can still be controlled by voice, as well as with Google Assistant and Apple Siri.

But you don’t need all that when you’re watching TV – just the TV remote control is enough to control the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam. In addition, a matching infrared remote control is included in the scope of delivery. There shouldn’t be a separate app for this, but you probably don’t need one anyway.

However, this does not mean that smartphones and tablets cannot be used in combination with the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam, because they can be easily integrated via Bluetooth 4.2 as a source even away from a network infrastructure.

“The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam has been enhanced with industrial elements that give it an elegant and modern look. This also makes it an ideal visual addition to many homes. Along with an improved compact design and other technological features, this soundbar rounds out our JBL Bar lineup and offers our customers added innovation and ease of use.”

Dave Rogers, President, Harman Lifestyle Audio

The new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam is now available at retailers in a black finish, as announced. The manufacturer’s recommended retail price is € 399.

Getting to the point

Compact and yet rich 3D sound, no subwoofer and yet deep bass, this is what Harman International Industries promises for the latest soundbar of the JBL brand, the JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam. What’s more, the user is supposed to get an all-in-one system at a particularly attractive price that leaves nothing to be desired, especially when it comes to streaming. Indeed, the features sound promising, because the new JBL BAR 5.0 MultiBeam is guaranteed to be flexible.

Manufacturer:Harman International Industries
Distribution:Harman Deutschland GmbH
Price:€ 399,-
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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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