85

JBL Bar 9.1 Review

True Score

79
77
11

Experts

85
1,635

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The high-end JBL Bar 9.1 delivers superb sound in a wide soundstage, making it an excellent-sounding living room audio system for movies and music. While it may be expensive, audiophiles will find it worth the price.

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Product Snapshot

Overview

The JBL Bar 9.1 is the brand’s flagship offering in the consumer-grade soundbar space, which was first launched in 2020, and it delivers an exceptionally balanced sound profile even at high volumes for home theater setups.

Similar to the top-rated speakers in the industry, this model boasts Dolby Atmos and DTS: X support for delivering a wide sound stage on supported media.

This soundbar sports one HDMI in (ARC), a USB 2.0 port, and an optical audio jack, and it has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and Chromecast built-in for wireless streaming.

Furthermore, this model boasts a total system power of 820 watts along with a 10-inch 300-watt wireless subwoofer, which is up there with some of the highest-rated soundbars available today.

However, if you live in an apartment and don’t want a subwoofer, explore our JBL Link Bar review. And if you don’t need DTS decoding and are looking for better bass, check out our Klipsch Cinema 1200 review.

Consensus

our Verdict

The JBL Bar 9.1 offers a balanced sound profile with excellent frequency response, amazing surround sound, and good bass, making it great for watching movies and immersive music listening.

It also gets loud, and its wide sound stage, facilitated by its support for Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, helps provide a room-filling experience. This is something it shares with the best-rated soundbars for projectors.

Wireless connectivity is great, with support for Bluetooth, WiFi, Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay streaming.

Its super low tested 53ms (ARC) and 47ms (Optical) latency is superb for those sensitive to audio delay, and its port selection consists of an Optical Audio In, a Full HDMI In, and an Ethernet port.

Overall, the JBL Bar 9.1 offers well-calibrated sound in a compact package.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Exceptionally balanced sound profile
  • The soundbar can get extremely loud
  • An excellent immersive experience with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X
  • Fantastic bass output
  • Wireless modules are extremely easy to set up

Reason to Avoid

  • The auto-calibrating tool can be a bit hit or miss
  • Limited equalizer options and only three presets
  • It lacks a comprehensive GUI and an app for easy navigation
  • No support for voice assistants
  • The HDMI pass-through is limited to only HDMI 2.0

JBL Bar 9.1 Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth4.7"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight2.4"
SubwooferSubwooferIncluded
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Atmos, DTS:X
Voice AssistantVoice AssistantAmazon Alexa
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight8 lbs
WidthWidth34.8"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer ConnectivityYes
Works WithWorks WithAmazon Alexa, Remote Control, Siri

All Specs

Test Results

Low End Roll Off (Hz)62.586
High End Roll Off (Hz)11,494.012
Max Volume Test (db)95
Latency (ms)53
THD @ 80dB0.22

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Product Comparison

JBL Bar 9.1 Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

JBL Bar 5.1 Review

True Score

79
NR
89
83

Ranking

#

85

/

149

#

/

8

#

1

/

149

#

34

/

149

Market Context

The JBL Bar 9.1 is the brand’s flagship offering in the consumer-grade soundbar space, which was first launched in 2020, and it delivers an exceptionally…

The JBL Bar 9.1 is the brand’s flagship offering in the consumer-grade soundbar space, which was first launched in 2020, and it delivers an exceptionally balanced sound profile even at high volumes for home theater setups.

Similar to the top-rated speakers in the industry, this model boasts Dolby Atmos and DTS: X support for delivering a wide sound stage on supported media.

This soundbar sports one HDMI in (ARC), a USB 2.0 port, and an optical audio jack, and it has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, and Chromecast built-in for wireless streaming.

Furthermore, this model boasts a total system power of 820 watts along with a 10-inch 300-watt wireless subwoofer, which is up there with some of the highest-rated soundbars available today.

However, if you live in an apartment and don’t want a subwoofer, explore our JBL Link Bar review. And if you don’t need DTS decoding and are looking for better bass, check out our Klipsch Cinema 1200 review.

While the JBL Bar 5.1 lacks satellite speaker modules, the JBL Bar 9.1 has better directionality and sound stage, thanks to its two additional wireless…

While the JBL Bar 5.1 lacks satellite speaker modules, the JBL Bar 9.1 has better directionality and sound stage, thanks to its two additional wireless detachable satellite speakers. The JBL Bar 9.1 also supports Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, and eARC for delivering excellent surround sound, which the JBL Bar 5.1 doesn’t have.

Thanks to its much wider 11.1.4 channel setup and multitudes of different sound enhancement options (e.g., treble, dialogue, and bass enhancement), the Samsung HW-Q950A blows…

Thanks to its much wider 11.1.4 channel setup and multitudes of different sound enhancement options (e.g., treble, dialogue, and bass enhancement), the Samsung HW-Q950A blows the JBL Bar 9.1 (5.1.4 channel) out of the water when it comes to sound stage. Samsung’s model also features a comprehensive GUI (Graphical User Interface) along with seven EQ presets.

Right out of the box, the JBL Bar 9.1 provides better surround sound performance and deeper low-frequency bass compared to the Bose Smart Soundbar 900,…

Right out of the box, the JBL Bar 9.1 provides better surround sound performance and deeper low-frequency bass compared to the Bose Smart Soundbar 900, as the Bose’s model lacks a subwoofer. But unlike JBL’s model, the Bose soundbar features a built-in microphone and supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Yes

Depth

4.7"

5.4"

4.21"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Yes

Yes

Energy Star Certified

No

No

No

HDMI ARC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Height

2.4"

2.7"

2.29"

Subwoofer

Included

Included

Optional (sold separately)

Surround Sound Supported

Dolby Atmos, DTS:X

Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS:X

Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD

Dig Deeper

Samsung HW-Q950A Review →

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 With Speakers + Bass Module Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

77

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

85

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

79

Any product with a True Score above 70 is a Mixed Reviews

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Rating

    79
    The JBL Bar 9.1 is great for mixed use. It has a balanced sound profile… Read More

    By:

    John Panoryios
  • PC Mag
    54.9

    Category Trust Rating

    80
    The JBL Bar 9.1 soundbar might be expensive, but it delivers powerful, thunderous audio with… Read More

    By:

    Tim Gideon
  • Trusted Reviews
    60.27

    Category Trust Rating

    70
    Superficially very exciting to listen to, but the JBL is a lot of sound and… Read More

    By:

    Simon Lucas
  • Techradar
    46.31

    Category Trust Rating

    NR
    We’ve only spent the briefest of times with the JBL Bar 9.1 – but so… Read More

    By:

    Olivia Tambini
  • Digital Trends
    75.48

    Category Trust Rating

    60
    “No bottom line found for this product” Read More

    By:

    Simon Cohen
  • Sound and Vision
    64.44

    Category Trust Rating

    95
    The JBL Bar 9.1 system combines soundbar convenience with a level of immersive performance only… Read More

    By:

    Leslie Shapiro

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