JBL company is well-known to audio lovers: a wide model range “for every purse”, typical assertive “American” sound, good manufacturing quality even in the low-end models. And among the sound panels currently on sale you can find as many as four representatives of JBL: two with an active subwoofer – JBL SB300 and JBL SB400, and two “pipe – just pipe” types: JBL CINEMA SB100 and JBL CINEMA SB200. Speaking of which, there are three other soundbar models on the market from Harman Corporation which includes the JBL division – the Harman/Kardon SB10, SB16 and SB30 – all with an active subwoofer.
Bass converter: cone with diameter of 89 mm x 2
Treble converter: 25mm diameter dome loudspeaker x2
Amplifier power: 60W max x 2
Effective operating frequency range: 55 Hz – 23 kHz -6dB
Power consumption: 0.5W on hold 60W max
Bluetooth, remote control with “someone else’s” remote control
Dimensions H x W x D : 116 x 901 x 103 mm
Weight packed : 5.1 Kg
This sound panel reminds something of the shape of a car’s central rear-view mirror, but it is elongated and enlarged many times more.
The system is dual-channel, with two 89-millimeter bass drivers and two 25-millimeter tweeters. All of this is powered by a 120 watt Class D amplifier, – 60 watts per channel max .
Receptor ports on the rear of the case. Taking into account that one of the options for the panel placement is a wall mount – it would be more logical to place them in another place, since in close proximity to the wall distortion is possible.
Some keys are placed on top, but the tone adjustment, which is proudly called “two-position equalizer”, inputs, power button and the socket for the power cord are hidden behind – in the recess of the case.
If you plan to hang the panel on the wall, under the TV, note that its length 116 cm , is suitable for 32-inch displays, – but it will stick out a little.
Interface and features
The back part of the interface is quite logical – the connection is not changed very often. No questions about the location of the tone control, either. It says so in the manual – the equalizer optimizes “the bass of the panel for different types of installation: wall or table”.
In fact, when you switch it, you don’t hear much difference in tonality – it attenuates the power, making the sound a little softer, which may be relevant in certain system placement.
The speakers have analog and digital inputs, respectively – RCA stereo line and optical Toslink. Sound can be also fed through Bluetooth, thus sounding your smartphone, tablet or computer. The built-in decoder only recognizes Dolby Digital.
Useful design feature is possibility to “friend” acoustic panel with remote control. True, in this case you can only adjust the volume or mute the sound completely. Bass boost and surround sound activation will not be available on the remote, this can only be done on the box itself – although this is unlikely to be a problem, the selected mode does not need to be changed that often. But to put the soundbar on standby, you must get up from the couch and walk over to it.
Despite the announced lower limit of 55 Hz at -6 dB one gets the feeling that the bass is “pumping” quite well. You can also boost lows with the “Bass” button on the remote control.
By the way, its smaller sister – JBL CINEMA SB100 – has a subwoofer output which naturally allows you to assign the sounding of explosions and other “cinematic extravagances” to a third-party bass system.
Most likely it can be explained by the system accentuation on bass and low middle, – there is no equal full sound in the whole range. Naturally, you will not hear here detail and panorama. The volume in sound, of course, is there, but not “all-encompassing”. True, there is a button for surround sound mode, which works about the same way as the “stereo base expansion” in vintage boomboxes. HARMAN’s patented HARMAN Display Surround surround sound technology is responsible for this mode, the creators say.
This sound panel can hardly be considered as a full-fledged soundbar, but it can be useful as an external speaker system for TV set. It is quite possible that this is how it was intended, by the way, on the official website it says so: “Complete your television without cluttering the space”.
The tonal balance, shifted to the speech area and the presence of a digital optical input, often used to connect to a TV as an external system, also speaks in favor.
Due to the phase-inverters the power increases, there is a spatial sound mode.
Limited scope of application, when using someone else’s remote control it is impossible to switch the panel to standby mode.
When placing it on the wall you should take into account the peculiarity of design, – location of phase inverters behind, and leave a few centimeters from the wall. By the way, when unpacking the system do not forget to remove the film, which unobtrusively covers the bass inverters – otherwise you can hear rattling, mistaking it for a defect.