The Bar 500 stands out with its distinctive channels and drivers’ configuration
by RADZI RAZAK
JBL has taken a constant method with their newest lineup of soundbars, together with the JBL Bar 500. Whereas it shares many options with its different higher-end vary merchandise just like the Bar 1300X and Bar 1000, the Bar 500 stands out with its distinctive channels and drivers’ configuration.
At first look, the Bar 500 resembles an upgraded model of its lower-tier sibling — the Bar 300, which was anticipated. This soundbar-subwoofer combo affords 5.1 channels and delivers a robust 590 watts of output.
It helps Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam encompass sound, and comes filled with handy options corresponding to WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Notable extras embody an audio calibration system, Chromecast integration, Airplay help, voice management capabilities and compatibility with the JBL One app.
With a retail value of RM2,999, the Bar 500 goals to be an all-encompassing soundbar that excels in efficiency, ease of use, options and affordability. Its aggressive pricing is essential for capturing a big market share.
However does it really stand out in a extremely aggressive enviornment? Let’s dive into the evaluate to search out out.
Design, Inputs and Options
The principle bar of the Bar 500 adopts a scalable design shared throughout the complete 2023 JBL soundbar collection. It intently resembles the Bar 300, Bar 1000 and Bar 1300X, with minor changes to accommodate completely different sizes and driver configurations.
Measuring at 1,017mm x 56mm x 103.5mm and weighing 2.8kg, the Bar 500 is a perfect match for contemporary TVs.
Nevertheless, it’s vital to contemplate the side-firing channels and be certain that the drivers usually are not obstructed for optimum MultiBeam know-how efficiency. Thus, in the event you plan to position the soundbar in entrance of your TV, observe that it lacks infrared (IR) repeaters. So, in case your TV’s IR sensor is positioned very low, it could hinder the sign, necessitating extra measurement and adjustment.
The soundbar sports activities a impartial look with a darkish gray plastic chassis, a typical attribute of JBL soundbars. The complete entrance face is roofed by a perforated grille, concealing the drivers and entrance show. The grille extends to the edges to guard the facet channels. On the highest, you’ll discover built-in buttons, a single LED standing indicator and a small gap for the built-in microphone.
Show and Controls
The Bar 500 encompasses a twin show scheme, just like the complete new JBL collection. One show is a single LED standing indicator situated subsequent to the built-in buttons, whereas the opposite is a full-function show on the entrance. Nevertheless, because of the race-track drivers occupying the central house, the full-function show is shifted barely to the appropriate, leading to a considerably asymmetrical look.
The complete-function show gives data on quantity management, enter choice, sound changes and extra. Not like easy LED lights, this show makes it simpler to grasp the soundbar’s present standing. It could present as much as 4 to 5 characters and makes use of scrolling movement for longer phrases.
The only LED standing indicator additionally serves varied capabilities corresponding to indicating community and system standing. Nevertheless, its placement shouldn’t be significantly sensible or helpful.
Shifting to the again, you’ll discover a central inset with all of the connection ports neatly organized within the centre. Wall mounts are positioned beneath, retaining the ports out of sight.
The Bar 500 comes with a 305mm x 440.4mm x 305mm subwoofer, which is similar variant utilized in many JBL soundbars. The subwoofer homes a down-firing driver and a port on the entrance. It connects wirelessly to the soundbar, permitting flexibility in placement inside your leisure setup.
Inputs and Connectivity
When it comes to connectivity choices, the Bar 500 affords HDMI ports with help for 4K, HDR10 and Dolby Imaginative and prescient indicators. There are two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output with audio return channel (ARC) help. Moreover, the soundbar gives an optical digital enter, a USB port and an ethernet port.
The Bar 500 additionally helps WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax and Bluetooth v5.0 for wi-fi connections. These connectivity choices can help you stream audio wirelessly from suitable gadgets, guaranteeing a seamless expertise.
JBL has supplied customers with a number of management choices for the Bar 500. Alongside the included distant management, you’ll be able to utilise the built-in buttons on the soundbar for fundamental performance management. Moreover, the soundbar helps HDMI-CEC, enabling management by means of your TV’s distant. This simplifies the general setup and eliminates the necessity for a number of remotes.
For superior management and customisation, JBL affords their model new JBL One app which lets you fine-tune the soundbar’s settings, alter audio presets, handle linked gadgets, and even stream music from varied platforms.
The JBL One app enhances the consumer expertise by offering full management proper at your fingertips.
The Bar 500 can also be suitable with fashionable voice management gadgets corresponding to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri — though you want an exterior system to make use of them.
You’ll be able to conveniently management the soundbar utilizing voice instructions, additional enhancing the benefit of use.
The JBL Bar 500’s audio efficiency goals to ship an immersive expertise, primarily on account of its help for Dolby Atmos and MultiBeam know-how. Nevertheless, the Bar 500 doesn’t have devoted up-firing drivers for Atmos results, as a substitute counting on digital sound processing to simulate the overhead motion. Whereas this method can create an honest encompass sound expertise, it could not match the efficiency of soundbars with devoted upward-firing audio system.
The Bar 500 affords a frequency response of 35Hz to 20kHz (-6dB), which is sufficient for many audio content material. It produces highly effective bass, clear dialogue and detailed sound throughout the frequency spectrum. The side-firing drivers assist in widening the soundstage, creating an immersive expertise. Nevertheless, for a very immersive Atmos impact, you may wish to take into account a soundbar with devoted up-firing drivers.
To completely consider the JBL Bar 500’s efficiency, we examined it extensively for 2 weeks throughout completely different gadgets. We linked the soundbar to a number of TVs. The setup course of was simple and the soundbar seamlessly built-in with the TVs by means of HDMI ARC and optical connections.
Throughout film periods, the Bar 500 delivered spectacular audio high quality. The dialogue was clear and well-balanced, whereas the encompass sound capabilities created an immersive environment. Explosions and motion sequences had been accompanied by highly effective bass that added depth to the general audio output.
Gaming periods had been equally pleasurable, particularly when paired with a PlayStation console. The soundbar’s capability to deal with dynamic audio is pleasurable. From the refined sound results in stealth video games to the booming gunfire in first-person shooters and cheers from soccer matches, the Bar 500 constantly delivered good audio constancy.
We additionally examined the soundbar with varied music genres, streaming tracks from fashionable music platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. The Bar 500 showcased its versatility by reproducing wealthy, detailed sound throughout completely different genres. Vocals had been crisp, devices had been well-separated, and the bass was punchy with out overpowering the opposite parts.
Connecting the soundbar to Android and iPhone gadgets was a breeze, because of its Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. We streamed music instantly from our laptops and smartphones with the sound high quality remaining constant and spectacular. The wi-fi connectivity allowed us to manage the soundbar effortlessly from wherever throughout the community vary, including to the comfort and flexibility of the general expertise.
After thorough testing and analysis, the JBL Bar 500 impressed us with its complete efficiency and have set. It’s a strong alternative for anybody trying to improve their TV’s audio capabilities or improve their gaming expertise. The soundbar’s capability to breed immersive encompass sound, coupled with its ease of use and huge compatibility with completely different gadgets, makes it a compelling possibility.
Whereas it could not supply the identical degree of Atmos efficiency as soundbars with devoted upward-firing audio system, the digital sound processing of the Bar 500 nonetheless gives an honest encompass sound expertise. Its aggressive pricing, intensive connectivity choices and integration with voice management gadgets additional add worth to its general package deal.
In the event you’re available in the market for a well-rounded mid-tier soundbar that provides good audio efficiency, versatility and user-friendly options then this JBL Bar 500 is certainly value contemplating. Its capability to ship immersive sound throughout motion pictures, video games and music makes it a dependable alternative for quite a lot of leisure setups.
- This text first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print version