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JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam soundbar offers rare Amazon Multi-Room Music support

It's an all-in-one soundbar with simulated Dolby Atmos effects, support for Alexa and Google Assistant commands and a $400 price tag.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury

JBL has unveiled its latest all-in-one soundbar  ahead of CES 2021, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam, which offers Wi-Fi streaming including Amazon MRM and simulated Dolby Atmos effects.

The soundbar uses JBL's proprietary beam-forming technology, MultiBeam, to bounce surround channels off your side walls while Virtual Dolby Atmos gives you height effects (it lacks height speakers). It uses an "onboard" subwoofer with four passive radiators for "deep and punchy bass," JBL says.

The Bar 5.0 offers voice control via both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa , although it lacks an onboard assistant. There's also Apple AirPlay 2,  Chromecast  built-in and  Bluetooth

Notably, JBL says the Bar 5.0 MultiBeam will be compatible with Amazon's Multi-Room Music protocol, which lets you group Echo speakers together. The only other non-Amazon product to support it so far is the Polk Command Bar

The JBL Bar 5.0 follows the excellent JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass , which came out last year and offered excellent sound for the money. Given the new bar lacks a sub, I expect the Deep Bass model to sound better, especially with movies.

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam will be available in spring 2021 for $400 (£350).