The present review is aimed to compare two soundbars - JBL Bar 5.1 vs JBL Bar 2.1 that are meant to satisfy the needs of cinema and music lovers. Based on our rating, Bar 5.1 has a total rating of 6.8 out of 10 versus 5 for Bar 2.1. The competitors' control buttons are different: power, volume down, volume up, input and power, volume down, volume up, source, respectively.
Both soundbars have active amplification type. A significant difference between the units in the number of channels, the JBL Bar 5.1 has 5.1 versus 2.1 for the JBL Bar 2.1. The output power is different and equal to 510 (overall) W for the Bar 5.1 versus 300 (overall) W for the Bar 2.1. Competitors do not have a built-in subwoofer. Rivals have wireless connection to separate subwoofer. The JBL Bar 5.1 got our rating of 8 out of 10, and the JBL Bar 2.1 6 for its audio features and specs. Only the Bar 5.1 supports Google Play Music. Spotify support is available on the Bar 5.1.
Only the JBL Bar 2.1 can connect to the Internet via WI-FI. Rivals from our review have Bluetooth support. The JBL Bar 5.1 has 3/0 HDMI inputs/outputs versus 1/1 of the JBL Bar 2.1. The HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) feature supports both devices. Both soundbars have a USB connector. For connectivity, the Bar 5.1 received a rating of 8/10 versus 7/10, respectively. App control is available for the Bar 5.1. A built-in microphone is present only on the Bar 2.1. Soundbars do not have Multi-room support.
None of soundbars equipped with Dolby Atmos multichannel audio decoder. The soundbars do not support the surround sound technology DTS:X. Compared devices do not have DTS Virtual:X support. For multichannel surround, each of the opponents received 4 points out of 10.
The JBL Bar 5.1 is better soundbar in this comparison. Check JBL Bar 5.1 price