Sonos Beam vs JBL Bar 5.1

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Votes 1 1
Rating 5 5

Beam vs Bar 5.1 comparison chart

Overall
Sonos Beam
6
JBL Bar 5.1
7.2
8
5
Multichannel surround
4
4

Sonos Beam vs JBL Bar 5.1 review

Sonos Beam
vs
JBL Bar 5.1

Comparison of Sonos Beam and JBL Bar 5.1 will allow us to get comprehensive information about the features of these two devices. And as a result of the comparison, it becomes clear that Beam is inferior in all characteristics to Bar 5.1. According to the results of our comparison, Beam received 6 points out of 10 possible, and Bar 5.1 was rated 7.2 points.

Advantages Sonos Beam over JBL Bar 5.1

  • Available the Apple Music service
  • Wireless connection via Wi-Fi
  • Built-in microphone

Advantages JBL Bar 5.1 over Sonos Beam

  • Comes with 2 separate speakers
  • Separate subwoofer provided
  • Available the Amazon Music service
  • Stream music with Spotify
  • Supports external media connection via USB
  • HDMI ARC supports

Audio features

The Beam is rated 6 of 10 against 8 for the Bar 5.1 according to the audio features rating.

Beam
6
Bar 5.1
8

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 Beam and the Bar 5.1.

There are stereo soundbars and multichannel ones. It is with the help of multichannel devices that you can get volumetric sound. It is worth noting one of the main differences, the Beam has 3.0 channels, while the Bar 5.1 has 5.1 channels.

Beam Bar 5.1
Built-in channels3.05.1
Amplification typeactiveactive
Output power, WN/A510 (overall)
Separate speaker (in package)02
Separate speaker connectionswirelesswireless

Subwoofers

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.

Beam Bar 5.1
Built-in subwoofer
Separate subwoofer (in package)
Separate subwoofer connectionswirelesswireless

Multichannel surround

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.

Beam
4
Bar 5.1
4

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. If we look at the models in terms of Dolby Atmos support, then none of these soundbars can work with this technology.

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.

Beam Bar 5.1
Dolby Atmos
Dolby (other)Dolby DigitalDolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II
DTS:X
DTS (other)has nothas not

Streaming services

The possibility to listen online to millions of songs from one device has become a reality thanks to streaming services. For the ability to work with streaming services, the Beam received 6 points, and the Bar 5.1 - 10 on a 10-point scale.

Beam
6
Bar 5.1
10

The Beam is featured with AirPlay 2, but in the Bar 5.1 have support for AirPlay. The popular Spotify service is available on the Bar 5.1.

Beam Bar 5.1
Apple Music (AirPlay)AirPlay 2AirPlay
Amazon Music
Spotify
Other streaming servicesPandora, Tuneln, ChromecastPandora, Tuneln, Deezer, Chromecast

Connectivity

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: Sonos Beam was rated 6 out of 10, and JBL Bar 5.1 was rated 8 out of 10.

Beam
6
Bar 5.1
8

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 Beam.

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 Beam has 1/0 HDMI inputs/outputs, but the Bar 5.1 got 3/0 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 a feature unique to JBL Bar 5.1.

Beam Bar 5.1
WI-FI
Bluetooth
Ethernet (RJ45)10
NFC
HDMI input/output1/03/0
HDMI ARC
HDMI eARC
HDMI CEC
Optical digital input/output1/01/0
USB1 (USB 2.0)
Coaxial digital input/output0/00/0
Analog audio input/output (RCA)0/01/0
Headphone output00
Subwoofer output01

Features

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 Beam 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.

Beam Bar 5.1
Voice controlAmazon Alexa, Google AssistantAmazon Alexa
App control
Microphone
Remote control
Multi-room

Dimensions

Beam Bar 5.1
Size (Wx H x D), cm/in65 x 6.8x 10/25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9114.8 x 5.8 x 9.3/45 x 2.3 x 3.7
Weight, kg/pounds2.8/6.23.9/8.6
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