JBL Bar 5.1 vs JBL Bar 2.1 review

Votes 1 1
Rating 5 5
JBL Bar 5.1
vs
JBL Bar 2.1

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.

Audio features

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.

Connectivity

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.

Multichannel surround

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.

Advantages JBL Bar 5.1 over JBL Bar 2.1

  • Google Play Music compatible
  • Amazon Music compatible
  • Spotify support
  • App control

Advantages JBL Bar 2.1 over JBL Bar 5.1

  • WI-FI enabled
  • Microphone

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Common

Product

JBL Bar 5.1
JBL Bar 2.1

Model

Bar 5.1
Bar 2.1

Brand

JBL
JBL

Reviews

1692
360

General

Placement type

table-top, wall-mountable
table-top, wall-mountable

Connection to source

wired, wireless
wired, wireless

Soundbar buttons

power, volume down, volume up, input
power, volume down, volume up, source

Audio features

Built-in channels

5.1
2.1

Amplification type

active
active

Output power, W

510 (overall)
300 (overall)

Separate speaker (in package)

2
0

Separate speaker connections

wireless

Subwoofer

Built-in subwoofer

Separate subwoofer (in package)

1
1

Separate subwoofer connections

wireless
wireless

Streaming services

Apple Music (AirPlay)

AirPlay

Google Play Music

Amazon Music

Spotify

Other streaming services

Pandora, Tuneln, Deezer, Chromecast
has not

Connectivity

WI-FI

Bluetooth

Ethernet (RJ45)

0
0

NFC

HDMI input/output

3/0
1/1

HDMI ARC

Optical digital input/output

1/0
1/0

USB

1 (USB 2.0)
1 (USB 2.0)

Coaxial digital input/output

0/0
0/0

Analog audio input/output (RCA)

1/0
1/0

Headphone output

0
0

Subwoofer output

1
0

Features

Voice control

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

App control

Microphone

Remote control

Multi-room

Multichannel surround

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Digital

Dolby Pro Logic II

DTS:X

DTS Virtual:X

User manual

Manual

Dimensions

Size (Wx H x D), cm/in

114.8 x 5.8 x 9.3/45 x 2.3 x 3.7
96.5 x 5.8 x 6.8/38 x 2.3 x 2.7

Weight, kg/pounds

3.9/8.6
1.9/4.1
JBL Bar 5.1
JBL Bar 2.1
JBL Bar 5.1
JBL Bar 2.1

Soundbars SoundStrokes Art comparison rating

  • better
  • worse
  • 6.8
  • 5
  • 6.8JBL Bar 5.1
  • 5JBL Bar 2.1

The JBL Bar 5.1 is better soundbar in this comparison. Check JBL Bar 5.1 price