Soundbars are great alternatives to your more traditional standing or bookshelf style speakers. This is because generally speaking, they’re designed to be slimmer and can slide under a TV or a monitor, so if you’re tight on space, soundbars are a great alternative. In fact, JBL might have something new for you.
The company has unveiled its new Bar 5.0 Multibeam soundbar. On the surface it looks like your typical soundbar, but the difference is that this is the first soundbar to offer Virtual Dolby Atmos, which is thanks to the speakers’ multibeam technology. This relies on software and virtualization to create the same effect, and the upside is that it is much cheaper.
For example, the JBL Bar 9.1 offers Dolby Atmos and relies on upward-firing drivers to help create the Dolby Atmos effect. Having extra physical drivers obviously means that it would cost more, but with virtualization, the idea is that it can mimic the real thing but at a reduced cost. Whether or not it will sound as good as physical drivers remains to be seen, but at $400, the JBL Bar 5.1 Multibeam could be worth checking out.
The speaker will come with a total of five drivers – three front-facing and two side-facing. It will also support wireless connectivity like AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, and Chromecast, and will also come with support for Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.