JBL’s Bar 5.0 Multibeam is an all-in-one soundbar with Virtual Dolby Atmos


JBL’s Bar 5.0 Multibeam is a new soundbar which is its first to offer Virtual Dolby Atmos thanks to its Multibeam technology. It will be available for $399.95 (£349.99) starting later this spring.

The announcement of the JBL Bar 5.0 comes a year after the company announced its first Dolby Atmos soundbar, the JBL Bar 9.1. The previous Atmos soundbar used upward-firing drivers to bounce sound off the ceiling to give the impression of it coming from above. In contrast, the new JBL Bar 5.0, which costs less than half the price of its predecessor, uses virtualization to achieve what JBL claims is a similar effect. It’s unlikely to sound as convincing, but the result is a much more affordable soundbar.

The JBL Bar 5.0 uses five drivers (three forward-facing and two side-facing), and four passive radiators to create its sound. It supports streaming via Bluetooth, Alexa (including multiroom audio), Apple AirPlay 2, and has Chromecast support built in.

The JBL Bar 5.0 isn’t the only new device the company is announcing today. There’s also the JBL Charge 5, which is a new Bluetooth speaker costing $179.95 (£159.99) that will be available beginning in April in the US and March in the UK. It offers 20 hours of playback and contains a 7,500mAh battery that can be used to charge external devices.

Finally, JBL also has a collection of headphones to announce. There’s the $129.95 (£119.99) JBL Live 460NC noise-canceling on-ear headphones that have up to 50 hours of battery life and will be available from March. The JBL Reflect Mini NC true wireless earbuds are also releasing in the US this spring, where they’ll cost $149.95. The JBL Live Pro Plus noise-canceling true wireless earbuds cost $179.95 (£169.99) and will go on sale in March in the US and April in the UK.

Next are the over-ear JBL Live 660NC noise-canceling headphones that feature up to 50 hours of battery life and will cost $199.95 (£159.99) when they go on sale in March. The JBL Tour Pro Plus noise-canceling, true wireless earbuds will also cost $199.95 (or £179.99 in the UK) and release in May. JBL has also announced US pricing and a March 14th release date for four headphones in its Tune series.

Finally, the most expensive new headphones being announced today are the $299.95 (£279.99) JBL Tour One noise-canceling over-ear headphones that feature up to 50 hours of playback. They’ll go on sale starting in May.