I wanted to upgrade from the TV speakers on my 40″ Haier LED LCD HDTV without spending a ton of cash and, after looking at many different units, decided upon the JBL Cinema SB 100 Sound Bar. As well, as this was for the master bedroom I did not feel the need for a full 5.1 system.
The 60 watt sound is very impressive, especially when watching Amazon Instant Video or Blu Ray (and DVD) movies. High-octane Blu Ray movies are, in a word, fantastic. There is a richness in the sound, and the bar is pretty much mid-range focused, which I find perfect for most offerings. That is not to say bass and treble are left out, as they are not by any means. The high end is quite crisp and the bass booms as required and a bit more using the JBL “bass boost.” The bass is not what you would get from a 5.1 system but, it does deliver. There is an output on the bar allowing you to add a woofer, but I don’t think I will ever do that. When cranked up there is no distortion and it gets loud.
The box arrived with the bar, an IR remote, power cable, optical audio cable, coaxial audio cable, manual, wall mount bracket, warranty card and a quick start guide. Set up was pretty easy. I attached a (not included) Blue Rigger Digital Optical Audio Cable (highly recommended) from the bar to my HDTV and set the bar at the base of the TV, which sits on top of a 36″ tall stand, and then plugged it in and turned it on (on-off switch near the cable connections). The results of my few minutes of effort were immediate and wonderful.
The bar allows you to control the sound coming either from the TV or the bar itself. This is a no-brainer…bar all the way. Set the TV unit volume to zero and the bar is ready to perform all the time (whether watching TV or using your Blu Ray player). There is an optimization switch on the bar allowing you to set it for being wall mounted or setting in front of the TV. The sound can be set, via the bar itself or the remote, to either normal stereo or to the Harman Display Surround. This bar puts out excellent 3D sound, filling the entire room. I generally use the normal setting for TV while, for me, the Surround is definitely the best setting for Blu Ray, DVD and Amazon Instant, as it really does almost surround you.
As a side-note, I also like the design. The bar comes with a one year electronics and five year loudspeaker limited warranty which is pretty standard in the industry nowadays. If you don’t need to go with a full 5.1 system this is definitely worth a try and easily worth the money (especially on sale). I give this sound bar a solid five star rating when comparing it to other bars I have heard, not all sound systems available. As a side note, if you want/need bluetooth JBL offers this bar as the model SB200.
Turn it on, sit back and enjoy.
Over For Now,
Main Street One