JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar offers rare Amazon Multi-Room Music support
This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.
JBL has unveiled its latest all-in-one soundbar for CES 2020, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam, which offers Wi-Fi streaming including Amazon MRM and and simulated Dolby Atmos effects.
The soundbar uses JBL’s proprietary beam-forming technology — MultiBeam — to bounce surround channels off your side walls while also offering Virtual Dolby Atmos for height effects (it lacks height speakers). It uses an “onboard” subwoofer with four passive radiators for “deep and punchy bass”.
The Bar 5.0 offers voice control via both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa although it lacks an onboard assistant. Interestingly, JBL says the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam will be compatible with Amazon’s Multi-Room Music protocol. It enables users to group Echo speakers together and the only other non-Amazon product to support it is the Polk Command Bar. In addition the soundbar offers Apple Airplay 2, Chromecast built-in and Bluetooth.
The JBL Bar 5.0 follows the excellent JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass which came out last year and offered excellent sound for the money. Given the new bar lacks a sub I expect the Deep Bass model to sound better, especially with movies.
The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam will be available in spring 2021 for $400.