The JBL Bar 1300X soundbar on a wooden cabinet with the right speaker detached.

Image: Harman JBL

The smartphone got here alongside and singlehandedly changed numerous gadgets we used to fill our pockets with—cellphones, cameras, MP3 gamers, and extra. So why shouldn’t we be demanding the identical degree of multi-tasking from different gadgets? JBL’s Bar 1300X soundbar looks as if an excellent begin. It will substitute a {surround} sound setup’s spiderweb of wires and all of the Bluetooth audio system scattered about your property.

We’re very a lot in help of the current development in shopper electronics of making an attempt to switch difficult {surround} sound setups—quite a few audio system positioned round a room—with a single soundbar positioned beneath a TV or projector display screen that makes use of fancy audio tips to bounce sound waves off ceilings and partitions to make them seem to be they’re originating from throughout a room. We say, “attempting to replace,” as a result of the {surround} sound impact from a single soundbar nonetheless isn’t as plausible as what you get from a set of particular person audio system round a room.

The JBL Bar 1300X is a compromise between these two approaches. It’s a 15-channel Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D {surround} sound answer that makes use of six up-firing drivers within the soundbar to bounce sounds round a room, however pairs that with a devoted 12-inch subwoofer, and a pair of removable audio system that may be quickly positioned behind viewers to create a much more convincing {surround} sound expertise.

A living room with the JBL Bar 1300X soundbar situated beneath a TV on the wall, and the detachable speakers located on a table behind a sofa.

Image: Harman JBL

We is probably not utterly satisfied concerning the effectiveness of {surround} sound soundbars, however we actually like what JBL is doing right here, particularly provided that the Bar 1300X connects to the subwoofer and removable audio system wirelessly, and people two audio system function built-in rechargeable batteries good for about 10 hours of sound earlier than they have to be re-attached to the soundbar for charging. (The subwoofer does want entry to an influence outlet.)

The JBL Bar 1300X will also be related to varied music streaming providers over wifi, and will also be managed by third-party sensible assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, or Apple’s Siri to entry content material with out having to seek out a distant. Those removable audio system even double as moveable Bluetooth audio system that may be taken round the home and straight related to different audio sources wirelessly.

A group of four people sitting on a sofa watching a TV with the JBL Bar 1300X soundbar located beneath the TV and the detachable speakers positioned behind them.

Image: Harman JBL

There shall be three variations of the JBL Bar out there in February that function removable rechargeable audio system:

  • The 5.1.2, 620-watt JBL Bar 700 with a 10-inch subwoofer that lacks the DTS:X 3D help for $899.95
  • The 7.1.4, 880-watt JBL Bar 1000 that additionally features a 10-inch subwoofer for $1,199.95
  • And the 11.1.4, 1170-watt JBL Bar 1300 with the 12-inch sub and all of the options and performance talked about above for $1,699.95.

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