Choosing a soundbar is not an easy task and the JBL Bar 5.1 vs Sonos Arc comparison is meant to help you with that. As a result, it is clear that Bar 5.1 is much better designed and has a better sound performance than Arc. According to the results of our comparison, Bar 5.1 received 7.2 points out of 10 possible, and Arc was rated 7 points.
The Bar 5.1 is rated 8 of 10 against 5 for the Arc according to the audio features rating.
It worth understanding the difference between the two types of amplification: a passive soundbar does not have its own amplifier and receives amplification from the signal source, while an active soundbar has a built-in amplifier. The same active type of amplification is used in the Bar 5.1 and the Arc.
There are stereo soundbars and multichannel ones. It is with the help of multichannel devices that you can get volumetric sound.
|Output power, W||510 (overall)||N/A|
|Separate speaker (in package)||2||0|
|Separate speaker connections||wireless||wireless|
Soundbars can have a built-in or external subwoofer. The first type is inseparable from the soundbar body, but for the second, you can choose a good location for deep bass. The Bar 5.1 comes with an external subwoofer. Competitors support wireless connection to a separate external subwoofer.
|Separate subwoofer (in package)||✔||✖|
|Separate subwoofer connections||wireless||wireless|
Unlike stereo, when reproducing multichannel sound, each specific direction of sound corresponds to its dedicated channel with a separate independent loudspeaker, which creates a three-dimensional sound stage. The multichannel sound reproduction capabilities of the soundbars were rated 4 out of 10.
The peculiarity of Dolby Atmos is that this format is object-oriented, that is, each object of the audio signal is sounded separately and linked to its spatial location. Dolby Atmos surround sound support is implemented only in Sonos Arc.
DTS:X is an algorithm for processing sound scenes by the processor, linking directly to objects, rather than channels, and calculating the optimal distribution of sound output in a room. This ability to reproduce surround sound with DTS:X technology is not implemented in any of the soundbars in this comparison.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II||Dolby Digital|
|DTS (other)||has not||has not|
The possibility to listen online to millions of songs from one device has become a reality thanks to streaming services. The streaming services category rating is the same - 10 out of 10 points.
The Bar 5.1 is featured with AirPlay, but in the Arc have support for AirPlay 2. The popular Spotify service is available on both soundbars.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||AirPlay||AirPlay 2|
|Other streaming services||Pandora, Tuneln, Deezer, Chromecast||Pandora, Tuneln, iHeart, Chromecast|
The existence of a sufficient number of current connectors significantly expands the functionality of the device. For example, only through HDMI is it possible to implement the transfer of object-oriented formats, and the presence of a Bluetooth connection will allow remote control, etc. The devices received different ratings for connectivity: JBL Bar 5.1 was rated 8 out of 10, and Sonos Arc was rated 7 out of 10.
The presence of Wi-Fi in the soundbar allows you to get rid of wires when connected to a sound source and get minimal audio latency when playing content from streaming services. Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is possible on the Arc.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for speaker systems, which provides excellent quality and minimal audio latency. The availability of Bluetooth protocol, we can see in both models. The Bar 5.1 has 3/0 HDMI inputs/outputs, but the Arc got 1/0 HDMI inputs/outputs from the manufacturer.
HDMI ARC is a very usefull technology that creates a two-way communication channel between a TV and another device. This is convenient since there is no need to use optical and other cables in the system. HDMI ARC is basic for both soundbars.
|Optical digital input/output||1/0||0/0|
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||✖|
|Coaxial digital input/output||0/0||0/0|
|Analog audio input/output (RCA)||1/0||0/0|
Voice control is designed to make operating the device more convenient. This allows you to control basic soundbar functions from anywhere in the room.
Proprietary applications allow you to control your soundbars remotely. This is possible both via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The ability to control the soundbar using the application is implemented in each of the competitors. Only Sonos Arc has a built-in microphone.
Some soundbars can be part of a multi-room system and it is an affordable solution for sounding the whole house. However, it is impossible to create a multiroom system based on each of these soundbars.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant|
|Size (Wx H x D), cm/in||114.8 x 5.8 x 9.3/45 x 2.3 x 3.7||114 x 7.6 x 10.1/45 x 3.4 x 4.5|