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JBL’s Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar offers virtual Dolby Atmos sound

JBL has brought another addition to its popular Bar Series in the Bar 5.0 Multibeam, and it aims to deliver a spacious 3D surround from a one-box unit.

At its Explore event ahead of CES 2021, Harman has unveiled a number of home cinema and audio products, and one of its more intriguing announcements was the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar. It’s a compact all-in-one soundbar designed with simplicity in mind and aims to fit any surface place can plonk it on (or wall-mount on).

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That also means it doesn’t come with an additional subwoofer, producing its bass from its four integrated passive radiators. It is Dolby Atmos compatible, but JBL has referred to it as ‘virtual’. Considering that there are no physical upfiring speakers and the Bar 5.0 makes use of Harman’s MultiBeam technology – which calibrates the audio for the room it’s in – it’d indicate it does all its 3D whizz-bang immersiveness through audio processing and beamforming.

JBL says the Bar 5.0 is capable of producing a “clear, heightened and room filling” sound without the need for additional speakers and with virtual Dolby Atmos in tow, JBL claims it can reproduce the height channels in a supported movie and TV show. Other features include eARC support, 4K Dolby Vision passthrough and voice control via Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.

Ease of use is high on the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam’s priorities, and there’s plenty of smart features incorporated into the soundbar that make it easy to slot into multi-room systems if you want to turn it into a music system. Users can plug themselves (wirelessly of course) into Alexa Multi-Room Music and Apple AirPlay 2, with Chromecast functionality built into the soundbar. Plus there’s the option of streaming over Bluetooth, with the soundbar compatible with all iOS and Android devices.

Dave Rogers, President, HARMAN Lifestyle Audio, said: “Built with industrial elements that exhibit a sleek, modern look, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam is a welcome addition to anyone’s household. Alongside an upgraded compact design and added technological features, this soundbar rounds out the JBL Bar Series, bringing consumers an added layer of innovation and ease of use.”

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam will be available in just the black finish. It’ll arrive uk.jbl.com and at select retailers in Spring 2021 for a price of £349.99.