JBL launches more soundbars with detachable rear speakers

JBL is launching a quartet of new Atmos-capable soundbars for the fall, and two of them have battery-powered wireless rear speakers that quickly deploy for a tidy home theater setup. When not watching a movie, the speakers can be docked into the sides of the new soundbars to recharge.

The flagship JBL Bar 1000 is an 11.1-channel performer that includes four upward-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos 3D sound. It also has a wireless subwoofer and supports DTS:X 3D surround sound.

JBL built a very similar version of the soundbar called the Bar 9.1 in 2020 that also had the cool removable rear speaker hat trick. But the new JBL Bar 1000 adds two more drivers for a 7.1.4 arrangement and bumps the power output to 880W compared to 820W in the Bar 9.1.

The JBL Bar 1000 will retail for $1,149, and the company is also releasing a cheaper $899 version called the Bar 800. This version has 7.1 channels, lacking two of the upward-firing speakers. Both soundbars are set to ship this December.

For those that just want something that’s better than the TV’s built-in speakers, JBL is also releasing the Bar 500 and Bar 300. Both use virtual “Multibeam’’ technology to achieve Dolby Atmos but don’t have actual rear or upward-firing speakers.

Like the more expensive options, you can stream music to these soundbars with AirPlay 2, Alexa MRM, and Chromecast, and they can be controlled by your preferred voice assistant-enabled device. All of the new soundbars use JBL’s PureVoice technology that optimizes dialog clarity and connect to the JBL One app, enabling EQ adjustments and music platform integration.

The Bar 500 includes a wireless subwoofer and will cost $649. The Bar 300 opts to have a space-saving built-in sub and will cost $399. Like the Bar 1000 and 800, these will also ship this December.