Sonos Beam vs JBL Bar 2.1 review

Votes 1 1
Rating 5 5
Sonos Beam
vs
JBL Bar 2.1

The present review is aimed to compare two soundbars - Sonos Beam vs JBL Bar 2.1 that are meant to satisfy the needs of cinema and music lovers. Based on our rating, Beam has a total rating of 5.6 out of 10 versus 5 for Bar 2.1. The competitors' control buttons are different: volume down, volume up, microphone, play/pause 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 Sonos Beam has 3.0 versus 2.1 for the JBL Bar 2.1. Competitors do not have a built-in subwoofer. Rivals have wireless connection to separate subwoofer. Both models received our 6 rating of 10 for their audio features and specs. Both models do not support Google Play Music. Spotify support not implemented in both soundbars.

Connectivity

These models have the ability to connect to the Internet via WI-FI. Rivals from our review have Bluetooth support. The Sonos Beam has 1/0 HDMI inputs/outputs versus 1/1 of the JBL Bar 2.1. Only the Bar 2.1 supports HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC). For connectivity, the Beam received a rating of 6/10 versus 7/10, respectively.

Features

Both models support voice control using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant. App control is available for the Beam. A built-in microphone is present in each model. 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 Sonos Beam got a rating of 2, and JBL Bar 2.1 4 out of 10.

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Common

Product

Sonos Beam
JBL Bar 2.1

Model

Beam
Bar 2.1

Brand

Sonos
JBL

Reviews

1066
26

General

Placement type

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

Connection to source

wired, wireless
wired, wireless

Soundbar buttons

volume down, volume up, microphone, play/pause
power, volume down, volume up, source

Audio features

Built-in channels

3.0
2.1

Amplification type

active
active

Output power, W

300 (overall)

Separate speaker (in package)

0
0

Separate speaker connections

wireless

Subwoofer

Built-in subwoofer

Separate subwoofer (in package)

0
1

Separate subwoofer connections

wireless
wireless

Streaming services

Apple Music (AirPlay)

AirPlay 2

Google Play Music

Amazon Music

Spotify

Other streaming services

Pandora, Tuneln, Chromecast
has not

Connectivity

WI-FI

Bluetooth

Ethernet (RJ45)

1
0

NFC

HDMI input/output

1/0
1/1

HDMI ARC

Optical digital input/output

1/0
1/0

USB

1 (USB 2.0)

Coaxial digital input/output

0/0
0/0

Analog audio input/output (RCA)

0/0
1/0

Headphone output

0
0

Subwoofer output

0
0

Features

Voice control

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
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

65 x 6.8x 10/25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9
96.5 x 5.8 x 6.8/38 x 2.3 x 2.7

Weight, kg/pounds

2.8/6.2
1.9/4.1
Sonos Beam
JBL Bar 2.1
Sonos Beam
JBL Bar 2.1

Soundbars SoundStrokes Art comparison rating

  • better
  • worse
  • 5.6
  • 5
  • 5.6Sonos Beam
  • 5JBL Bar 2.1

The Sonos Beam is better soundbar in this comparison. Check Sonos Beam price