JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar Review & Full Specification

The JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar With movie theaters still closed in most places, the home theater contact is more important than ever. A spiffy Atmos surround sound system can take your viewing experience to the next level, but maybe you don’t want to run wires or have speakers for good installed around your room.

JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar Review & Full Specification

Well, this is what can be noticed with the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar It’s an Atmos-enabled soundbar with 820W of power and detachable satellite speakers you can place around the room when needed. Because it has full integration with Google’s Chromecast platform, you can seamlessly control it from the Home app.

The audio experience is great but the price is not. JBL Bar wants a cool grand for 9.1, which turns out to be more than most people will pay for the convenience.

JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar Review all Features

Body & Design

The JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar looks like your average soundbar with its gray casing and various speaker grilles, but it’s at almost 35 inches wide. Made the top and sides are metal, but the bottom and back are plastic back side, you’ve got your ports, including power, USB, optical, and two HDMI ports ARC audio.

Its also provides 4K HDR Passthrough 10″ subwoofer is physically very common.. Ideally, you want the sub at least a few feet away from the soundbar, which may not be possible in small spaces.

There is no real display on the soundbar; all it has is a “dot-matrix” panel on the front that can show you a few at a time. This makes fumbling with settings pretty annoying, generally requiring you to hold one or more buttons on the remote and then wait for messages to scroll across.

The soundbar does have a few physical rule on the top surface, but they’re all replicated on the remote. The remote, too, is very understated. There are only a few buttons so again, you will want to keep the manual useful to look up the button combos you will need to change settings.

You can choose to set up the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar with cables and call it a day. But, it also has Wi-Fi connectivity, and to use that, you will need the Google Home app. This is how you get the soundbar connected to your WiFi and how the bar keeps its firmware updated.

Once it is added to your account, it can be seen in the Home app like any other Chromecast-enabled speaker. You can add it to speaker groups and play to it from any internal device. There is also Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 support if you’re not in Google’s home ecosystem.

The satellite speakers fix magnetically to the ends of the bar to charge, and they are on there very securely. If you didn’t know about the removable satellites, you’d likely never know they come off. disconnected, the satellites will sync wirelessly with the let up of the system.

I’ve had no connectivity issues through my testing, either. The satellites are supposed to offer 10 hours of playback, and that seems roughly accurate based on my time with the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar. It is probably a bit less, but you should have no trouble watching a few movies back-to-back without docking the speakers.

This is a $1,000 audio system, so you would expect a few add-on in the box. There is the remote, sound bar, satellite speakers, and subwoofer, of course. There are also power, an HDMI cables and a wall mounting sound kit. So be careful if you decide to go that route; the soundbar with speakers attached weighs more than 10 pounds.

Audio Performance

While the JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar has “Bar 9.1” right in its name, it’s actually what’s known as a 5.1.4 setup. The “best” Atmos system includes overhead speakers. Which you don’t get with “bar 9.1”. But, the soundbar can bounce sound off the ceiling to create a more immersive experience.

You have to celebrate the speakers in your room, which is one of those things that requires a secret combination of button presses. Because of this speaker setup, the Atmos height channel is weaker than systems with dedicated overhead speakers. If you don’t have an Atmos setup at home, though, you’ll probably still be impressed.

Fortunately, that’s the only negative thing I have to say about the audio quality. Everything from movies to concerts sound amazing on the JBL Bar 9.1 soundbar. On default settings, the soundbar has strong but not overwhelming bass, crisp highs, and nice, rich mids. Even with the bass cranked to full, it’s intense but not overwhelming for the rest of the audio. It remains the best sound system in my house.

The JBL Bar 9.1 Soundbar supports both optical and HDMI connection options, but you should go the HDMI route if at all possible. Optical only backs DTS and Dolby Digital, and even then you may suffer from bandwidth issues.

HDMI includes more advanced lossless formats such as Atmos DTS:X and DTS-HD Master Audio. Also, you can only use the HDMI audio option, if your TV has an ARC or eARC HDMI port. If not, you’ll have to use optical, which does not support all the fancy Atmos things.

If your TV’s other HDMI ports use an earlier feature, you may need to use the soundbar’s HDMI-in port to receive 4K content from other sources. This describes my TV, so I’m very pleased to see 4K HDR enjoy support.



  • Audio: Overall best sound quality for any of media.
  • Detachable satellites: The bar speakers can remain docked for stereo content and detached for local.
  • Google combination: Appears in the Home app and Chromecast target.
  • Design: Bar 9.1 looks small and chic—it should go with any decor.
  • 4K passthrough: Supports 4K HDR passthrough with ports.


  • Batteries: Satellites need to be recharged daily.
  • HDMI: Only one HDMI-in.

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