CES 2023 wasn’t quite “back to normal” in terms of pre-COVID attendance or the number of exhibitors, but there were some significant new product announcements that caught our attention on the show floor. In the soundbar category, there were new entries from Nakamichi, Samsung, LG, Hisense, and TCL (see links at the bottom of this article).
JBL and Harman had a very busy CES introducing 5 new soundbars aimed at very different customers; the new lineup includes the Bar 1300X, Bar 1000, Bar 700, Bar 500, and Bar 300. This new series is designed to provide an enhanced audio-listening experience for watching movies on TV, playing games, or listening to music without having to use an AVR/loudpeaker system setup.
All the soundbars offer a variety of options including compatibility with Dolby Atmos, as well as DTS:X surround sound on some models.
JBL Bar 1300X
At the top of the line is the 15-channel JBL Bar 1300X. Included within its 15-channel configuration are six up-firing drivers and HARMAN MultiBeam™ technology that creates an immersive audio experience from Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound encoded content.
The 1300X also includes two battery-operated wireless surround speakers and a 12-inch wireless subwoofer.
Tip: The wireless surround speakers are detachable from the soundbar for use, but can be re-attached for recharging. The same option was offered in JBL’s Bar 9.1, which was their previous top model.
From Dave Rogers, President, HARMAN Lifestyle Division: “The new JBL Bar series takes in-home theatre sound to the next level and the JBL Bar 1300X truly stands out…We’ve packed this assortment with a record number of features, drivers, and jaw-dropping acoustic performance into one versatile, easy-to-use soundbar.”
Other Soundbar Features
While the 1300X is at the top of JBL’s 2023 soundbar line-up, all of the soundbars in the line include HARMAN’s PureVoice. This uses a unique algorithm to optimize voice clarity even when loud sound effects take over.
Each soundbar also provides access to online music services via WiFi and browse select music streaming services to find new songs and artists through the new JBL One app (Android/iOS). The app also provides fully customizable EQ settings.
With enhanced connectivity and easy control, users can link any of the new JBL Bar range with a voice assistant-enabled device and instantly ask Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to stream their favorite music.
All of the soundbars provide access to over 300 online music streaming services through AirPlay 2, Alexa MRM, and Chromecast built-in™. Users can also enjoy their favorite audio content, Internet radio, and podcasts in high definition.
Depending on the model, HDMI-ARC/eARC and/or Digital Optical audio connectivity is provided.
JBL bar 300
Here is a comparison/breakdown of the key features of each soundbar in JBL’s 2023 line-up.
|Stated System Power Output in Watts (no standardized reference)||1170||880||620||590||260|
|Detachable/Rechargeable surround speakers||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Wireless Subwoofer||12-inch||10-inch||10-inch||10-inch||Built-into Soundbar|
|JBL One App||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
More details and ordering information for the 2023 JBL Bar Series will be available at jbl.com starting February 19, 2023.
Tip: JBL is owned by Harman International, which, in turn, is owned by Samsung.