CES 2020: JBL Debuts Soundbar With Detachable Speakers and AirPlay 2 Compatibility

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Speaker company JBL this week announced the upcoming launch of the JBL Bar 9.1, a new soundbar that offers AirPlay 2 and a unique detachable speaker setup.

The JBL Bar 9.1 offers wireless surround sound thanks to the included soundbar base and two detachable battery powered rear speakers that can be removed and placed anywhere in a room for optimal sound.


There's a base soundbar with four upward-facing Dolby Atmos drivers that are designed to bounce audio around the room from all angles, a 10-inch wireless subwoofer for "pulse-pounding" bass, and the two detachable speakers that are meant to shoot sound off of the ceiling and back down.

The speakers feature 10 hour battery life and can be returned to the soundbar for recharging purposes when the battery drains. 10 hours is enough to get through a night of entertainment, recharging the batteries during the day or overnight.

Along with Dolby Atmos, the Bar 9.1 supports Dolby Vision and it also has support for ‌AirPlay‌ 2, so it can interface with other ‌AirPlay‌ 2 devices and playing audio to the soundbar from a Mac, iPad, an iPhone takes just a tap or two. Bluetooth and Chromecast are also supported.

JBL plans to begin offering the JBL Bar 9.1 on the JBL website in the spring of 2020. It will be priced at $999.95.

Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
This sounds awesome. And the detachable surround sound speakers are perfect for people who don’t have the space to dedicate for permanent rear speakers. We can place them behind us while we’re watching stuff, but then they can be tucked away during the day. Awesome!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
This screams gimmick. If you plan on putting up surround speakers, you don’t need detachable ones. If you don’t want surround speakers, you don’t need detachable ones.

Also, the name ,”9.1,” is also unscrupulously misleading imo.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


This screams gimmick. If you plan on putting up surround speakers, you don’t need detachable ones. If you don’t want surround speakers, you don’t need detachable ones.

Also, the name ,”9.1,” is also unscrupulously misleading imo.

9.1 is one of the supported Dolby Atmos speaker setup ('https://www.dolby.com/us/en/speaker-setup-guides/index.html'). Of course, you are right to be skeptical that 3 speakers can effectively output 9 channels. Early reports suggest JBL Bar 9.1 has extremely limited sweet spot.

Also, I am not sure whether I want to charge two rear speakers every 10 hours.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
First let me start by saying, I have two amazing JBL set ups in my house and I’ve been very happy with the sound/quality of what it delivers. I think a detachable speakers is fairly unique and essentially eliminates any ‘running wires’. The only thing I would question, would be how the sound quality is pending where the speakers are located with the transfer of the signal itself.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


For that kind of money you can buy a proper atmos receiver and a reasonable set of atmos speakers. You also get half a dozen or so hdmi inputs on the receiver with DV 4K pass through.

but people don't want to do anything like that. They don't want to run wires and do things the right way. They want soundbars because its almost as easy as just using the tv speakers. Most people anyway.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


Also, I am not sure whether I want to charge two rear speakers every 10 hours.

Then clearly you are not the target market for this.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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