JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam — Smart little sound device
Overall, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is a solid speaker for upgrading your TV sound. Especially the low price and the optimal compatibility with the smart home are arguments in favor of purchasing it. It is particularly appealing in combination with a slightly smaller TV or when space in your living room is limited.
However, the lack of support for DTS content and the unconvincing surround sound are on the negative side. Also, the JBL Bar MultiBeam 5.0 cannot quite keep its promise of delivering a strong bass despite the lack of a subwoofer. Although the audio sounds quite bass-heavy at first impression, it has clear weaknesses in the low bass.
In the end, you will have to live with some compromises, especially since the soundbar does not offer much room for customizing the sound due to the lack of EQ settings and sound features.
- Virtual Dolby Atmos
- MultiBeam Technology
- Room calibration
- Various connections
- 4K pass through
- Multiroom Option
- Smart Features
- Weak surround sound
- No DTS
- Hardly any customization options
- Weaknesses in the bass
The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam: Small but mighty
As for the look of the 5.0 MultiBeam, JBL definitely stays true to its line and relies on a simple, black design without many frills. The majority of the casing is made of metal, which gives the soundbar a solid and high-quality impression. The rounded corners and the small width of just 28 inches definitely awaken associations with the small Bluetooth speakers that we know from the American manufacturer.
With its slim dimensions, the soundbar matches almost every TV and even fits between the feet of a 55-inch screen without any problems. Nevertheless, it weighs almost three kilograms and is thus surprisingly heavy.
Driver quintet from JBL with decent power
A metal grille protects the five drivers inside the soundbar from damage. These include two These speakers emit the sound to the side. This creates a wider soundscape and a certain surround sound. speakers, two stereo speakers and a center speaker with 50 watts each. Altogether, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam and its components have a total output of 250 watts.
Due to the sound-permeable grille on the top, you might think that the soundbar features These speakers are positioned diagonally upwards so that the reflection of the sound from the ceiling reaches the viewers from above. They are mainly used for 3D sound formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. speakers as well. However, this is not the case: Instead, four additional passive radiators are hidden behind it, which are supposed to boost the bass of the soundbar.
On the top of the 5.0 MultiBeam, there are also four discreet touch buttons that can be used to control the soundbar. They are used to select the audio source, adjust the volume and, of course, turn the device on and off.
If you connect the soundbar via HDMI as recommended, you can also use the TV remote for its control thanks to HDMI Consumer Electronics Control: HDMI CEC makes it possible to control various consumer electronics devices with just one remote control.. Voice control is also possible, but this requires an external third-party device (more on this in the Smart Features section).
Compact package with plenty of content
The package in which the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam comes is hardly bigger than the soundbar itself, but it contains all sorts of things. In addition to the power cord, the soundbar also comes with an HDMI cable that can be used to connect it directly.
If you don’t have enough space to place the soundbar on a sideboard or similar, you can also hang it up with the help of the wall-mounting kit included in the package – consisting of angle brackets and screws.
JBL also thought of the batteries for the remote control. The remote is very compact and clearly arranged, which makes it easy to hold and intuitive to use.
JBL soundbar: Simple setup thanks to Plug & Play
Thanks to the included HDMI cable, the soundbar is connected to your TV in no time. This type of connection is also recommended since the HDMI Enhanced Audio Return Chanel: A significant increase in the data transfer rate, which means that audio signals no longer need to be compressed before being transmitted to the music system. This noticeably increases audio quality. port of the soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby True HD. However, DTS content cannot be played even with this type of connection.
Furthermore, there is another HDMI input on the back of the 5.0 MultiBeam for your console or BluRay player. It also includes a 4K pass through and support for Dolby Vision is a dynamic HDR format that significantly improves the HDR picture quality of your TV. Not every soundbar can pass this format on to the TV..
Other interfaces are an optical port and a USB port. In the US version of the soundbar, the latter can not only be used for service purposes, but even for playback. An Ethernet port is also available for a wired connection to the Internet.
A small display informs about the status of the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
The current status of the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam can be checked via a small display on its right edge. Since it only has four letters, most words are displayed as a scrolling text.
Sound test: Clear dialogs, but hardly any punch
At first glance, it seems surprising how much bass comes out of the compact soundbar – considering it has neither an external nor an integrated subwoofer. Hence, the four built-in passive radiators seem to do a good job.
Nevertheless, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam cannot quite convince in terms of low tones. As our frequency response measurement showed, the soundbar hardly reproduces frequencies below 50 Hz, meaning it lacks low bass. The boom of action-packed scenes or bass-heavy music does not really come across.
The bass range is similarly disappointing: It is very unbalanced. The emphasis at around 70 Hz could also be an explanation for the rather muffled and dull sound of the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam.
On the other hand, the frequency response is comparatively linear in the mids and trebles. This reflects the clear and distinct reproduction of dialogs and quieter scenes, which is probably also due to the installed center speaker.
No cinema feeling with the 5.0 MultiBeam
The miniature size of the soundbar is especially noticeable when it comes to its maximum volume. Although it might be sufficient for smaller rooms, comparable soundbars can reach considerably more decibels. Furthermore, the soundbar only has thirty levels for volume control. Those who want a speaker for big parties or cinema-like sound might be disappointed by the JBL Bar’s power.
The weak surround sound of the soundbar does not create a cinema atmosphere either. Although it is equipped with JBL’s proprietary MultiBeam technology and the surround sound feels spatial to a certain extent, it cannot keep up with setups including rear speakers. Thus, you can always hear that the sound comes from the soundbar.
Accordingly, the three-dimensional sound of the speaker is not really convincing. Dolby Atmos is a 3D sound format that adds sounds from above to surround sound systems and can also assign additional information to sounds so that they can be reproduced even more realistically. signals can be received uncompressed via HDMI Enhanced Audio Return Chanel: A significant increase in the data transfer rate, which means that audio signals no longer need to be compressed before being transmitted to the music system. This noticeably increases audio quality., but they have to be converted due to the missing height channels. This ultimately results in a less immersive sound.
Only the most necessary sound settings
Overall, the options for adjusting the sound of the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam to one’s preferences are rather meager. Initially, only the bass level can be adjusted on a five-level scale. Out-of-the-box, the soundbar’s bass level is set to level three, which, as already mentioned, sounds quite bass-heavy. The bass is even stronger at the maximum level, but the sound is also much more muffled.
Unfortunately, there is no separate configuration for the center speaker, nor is there a feature for dialogue enhancement. At least we could find an equalizer for adjusting the bass, mids and trebles when connecting to the Amazon Alexa app.
Dolby Atmos is only virtual with the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
Another setting is the (de)activation of Virtual Dolby Atmos creates a room-filling, three-dimensional sound without any satellites or up-firing speakers. For this purpose, the height channels are virtually simulated.. As already mentioned, the soundbar does not have any height channels and generates three-dimensional sound virtually. For this, it is equipped with a Dolby Surround upmixer, which expands the standard Dolby sound. Of course, this does not sound particularly immersive, but it does provide a somewhat broader soundscape.
The Smart Mode is also supposed to provide more liveliness: It is automatically activated when the JBL 5.0 MultiBeam is turned on and adds extra sound effects to the audio. If you don’t like these effects, you can of course deactivate the mode.
Last but not least, the soundbar also has an audio synchronization feature. This means that you can set an individual delay in order to harmonize picture and sound.
To the namesake "MultiBeam" by JBL
The title of the model already reveals that the soundbar is equipped with JBL’s proprietary MultiBeam technology. Thereby, the audio is reflected at the walls of your room to create a more spatial sound. Of course, it requires a room calibration for this to work properly.
The calibration is quite simple: After pressing a button, a countdown starts and the soundbar plays several test tones. With the help of these, it detects your room and adjusts the reproduced sound to your spatial conditions accordingly. This worked very well in our test.
The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam couldn't be smarter
That JBL also specializes in Bluetooth and smart speakers becomes obvious when you take a look at the wireless transmission options of the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam. Besides a classic Bluetooth 4.2 interface, it is also compatible with Chromecast, Airplay and Spotify Connect. Thus, nothing stands in the way of quickly transferring your favorite music or podcasts.
A network connection can be established just as quickly thanks to the Ethernet port and Wi-Fi interface. Thus, the setup is also multi-room compatible and can be combined with other speakers as desired.
Testing the connection with Alexa, Google and Co.
Although the JBL soundbar does not have its own app for controlling it, you can easily integrate it into the Amazon Alexa app or the Google Home app. This is also necessary if you want to control the soundbar using voice commands, since it does not have an integrated voice assistant. Thus, users who want to control the soundbar via Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri have to use an external third-party device.
In our test, setting up the JBL soundbar in the Amazon Alexa app was very easy. The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam was recognized directly by the app and could be registered with just a few clicks. The controls also ran smoothly and the aforementioned equalizer for sound adjustment was also found in the app.
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam Review Datasheet
|Dimensions Soundbar (WxHxD)||709 x 58 x 101 mm|
|Weight Soundbar||2,8 kg|
|Wall mount||incl. bracket|
|Power Output Soundbar||250 watts|
|Total Power Output||250 watts|
|HDMI 2.0 In||0|
|HDMI 2.1 In||1|
|Dolby True HD|
|DTS HD Master|
Frequently asked questions about the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
What does MultiBeam mean?
JBL MultiBeam is a special technology developed by the manufacturer that is supposed to provide a broader soundstage. For this, the sound is projected into different corners of your room.
How many watts does the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam have?
The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam has five built-in drivers with 50 watts each. This gives it a total output of 250 watts.
JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam Bass Setting
To adjust the bass of the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam, you can choose a bass level from one to five.
Connecting the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam
The best option to connect the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is via its HDMI Enhanced Audio Return Chanel: A significant increase in the data transfer rate, which means that audio signals no longer need to be compressed before being transmitted to the music system. This noticeably increases audio quality. port. Then, the soundbar can be controlled via the TV remote and sound formats like Dolby Atmos is a 3D sound format that adds sounds from above to surround sound systems and can also assign additional information to sounds so that they can be reproduced even more realistically. can be transmitted.