The JBL Bar 500 Pro Review 2023: 5.1-Channel Powerful Soundbar

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The JBL Bar 500 Pro brings your music and movies to life with MultiBeam, Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound & PureVoice technology.

jbl soundbar 500 soundbar
Photo: JBL

This 590-watt soundbar packs plenty of power and features, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to upgrade their home audio.

The JBL bar 500 pro soundbar is an upgrade of the JBL bar 300 pro. The remote and soundbar design is just the same, with the upgrade being a subwoofer. But does this make a difference? In this JBL Bar 500 pro review, we’ll look at the soundbar’s design, features, and performance and see if it’s worth its price tag.

Overview

The JBL Bar 500 pro sound system is \impressive, even if you don’t turn on the subwoofer. Dialogue is crystal clear and natural, making it easier to focus on the story. When it comes to bass, the Bar 500 is a powerhouse! At level 1, the bass is already strong, but push it to level 5 and you’ll feel the vibrations in the room. To find the right balance for general viewing, it’s best to leave between level 2 & 3.

What We Like About The JBL Bar 500 Pro

  • Enjoy an amazing sound experience with full WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 support.
  • The additional HDMI input allows you to connect your games console or Blu-ray player easily.
  • The included subwoofer ensures deep, thumping bass and a large, spacious soundstage.
  • With Dolby Atmos, you can enjoy a surround sound experience in your living room without rear speakers.
  • The soundbar has automatic calibration and a PureVoice voice assistant, so you can control it with simple voice commands.

Cons

  • no option to add Apple Music here
  • doesn’t have or support separate rear speakers
  • the MultiBeam isn’t as good as a true surround system with rear speakers

Sleek & Slender Design of the JBL Bar 500 Pro

The main Soundbar unit of the JBL Bar 500 is sleek and slender, so it’ll fit nicely with your home setup. It doesn’t obscure the lower portion of your screen. You can wall mount it if you don’t have a cabinet. The only consideration for space is the large 10-inch wireless subwoofer, which can be placed to the left or right of the soundbar. 

Interacting with the JBL Bar 500 Pro

There are physical buttons at the top of the soundbar so you can easily adjust the settings. You can also use the bundled remote to control the soundbar, and the small LED indicator at the front will show you what you’re adjusting on the fly. 

jbl bar 500 soundbar jbl one app
Photo; JBL.Com

The JBL 1 app allows you to connect to the soundbar and customize settings such as adding music streaming services or adjusting the EQ. The soundbar supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, giving you access to Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, and Alexa multi-room services. You can also add streaming services such as Tidal, TuneIn, Qobuz, and Amazon Music via the JBL One app.

Connectivity: Supports 4K Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos Via HDMI

The JBL Bar 500 offers an array of connections and settings, making it the perfect addition to your home entertainment system. It has an HDMI output and can be connected wirelessly to a range of devices, including your smartphone. 

For TV connections, you get two options: an optical digital input and HDMI with eARC, which enables the transmission of 3D surround sound in the form of Dolby Atmos. There’s also an additional HDMI input, allowing you to connect a games console or a Blu-ray player, while the image is then sent through the soundbar to the television. This HDMI port supports 4K with HDR, so you don’t need to use up an extra HDMI slot on the TV. You’ll also find a USB-A port for downloading firmware updates and for powering low-powered devices like a Firestick.

The soundbar also offers full WiFi support, including WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, making it easy to connect to a range of devices.

Audio Performance of the JBL Bar 500 Pro 5.1

The sub is the main highlight of the 500 pro JBL soundbar.

The main soundbar unit outputs 290 watts of power, thanks to four racetrack drivers and three 0.75-inch tweeters. The rest of the 300 watts come from the powerful 10-inch wireless subwoofer. The frequency range goes from 35 Hertz to 20 kilohertz.

In terms of sound quality, the sub-bass extension is good, but it’s cut off at 35 Hertz. The mid-bass tones are done well, and the low-end rumble can be felt when you crank the base level to five different increments. The mid-range tones are a bit pushed back, but they come alive with the Pure Voice functionality and a healthy boost in the mid-range tones. The highs are quite zingy thanks to the three 0.75-inch tweeters, but they tail off at around 16 to 17 kilohertz. The soundstage reproduction isn’t great, but the Dolby Atmos effect helps improve the experience. 

JBL Bar 500 Pro: Should you buy it? 

The JBL Bar 500 is a decent soundbar but doesn’t quite deliver the room-filling or cinematic experience you might expect at this price point. It doesn’t have any upward-firing physical drivers, and the subwoofer doesn’t extend lower than 35 Hertz. If you’re looking for a more powerful soundbar, check out the JBL Bar 9.1, the 2023 Jbl 1300X soundbar, or Samsung’s Q800B and Q800A soundbars.

  • EXCLUSIVE BUNDLE - Includes (1) JBL BAR 500 PRO Soundbar (1) 10 inch Wireless Subwoofer and (1) Sanus SAC-21HDMI2 2.0 meter/6.56 ft. 8K Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
  • 590 WATTS OF OUTPUT POWER - With 590 watts of total system output power the JBL BAR 500 transforms your movies music and games into immersive sound experiences
  • BUILT-IN WIFI - Enjoy all of your favorite audio content internet radio and podcasts in high definition and access over 300 online music streaming services through AirPlay Alexa MRM and Chromecast built-in
  • JBL ONE APP - Customize EQ and control all of your compatible speakers with a single convenient app - easily set up the soundbar personalize settings and browse the integrated music services to find your new favorite song
  • PERFECT PAIR - The Sanus Ultra High Speed HDMI cable provides a throughput for home theater audio and video in a single-cable solution and supports up to 8K resolution @ 60Hz
About the author

Jack Weisman

With a background in audio engineering, Jack has always had an interest in the audio industry and has been writing professionally since he graduated college. He has written for many different publications and websites, focusing on topics such as soundbars, surround sound systems, speaker systems, and audio accessories giving readers an in-depth look at the various products.

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