Description of the JBL Bar Wireless Surround System:
Getting the JBL Bar Wireless Surround System up and running is a doddle. There’s no app, which is a little unsettling at first, but thanks to a tidy, feature-packed remote, plus Chromecast and AirPlay 2 support, there isn’t any need for one.
You may be glad not to have yet another piece of bloatware clogging up your mobile phone.
There are wired and wireless connections for the internet, a choice of optical or eARC HDMI (HDCP 2.3) for source connections, plus an HDMI-in for 4K passthrough, which is also Dolby Vision-compatible.
You can send music to the bar via Bluetooth, but it should be noted that the USB socket is only for software updates.
We'd ideally like to see a few more HDMI inputs. While the eARC connection means sources can be routed through your TV, doing so isn't always straightforward, and going direct is generally preferable.
That said, the JBL Bar Wireless Surround System isn't the only soundbar to go down the minimal inputs route - the Sonos Arc no dedicated HDMI inputs at all.
Once connected, your next move is calibration and that’s largely a two-part process. First, is the tone-firing auto-calibration, which you can redo any time you like.
The second is a set of three adjustments that you can make from the remote. You can set the Rear effects to Low, Medium or High; the same for the Atmos effects; and then the sub can be set at levels of force from 1-5.
There’s also a facility for reducing the Rear and Atmos effects to almost nothing by switching into Standard Mode – handy if you don’t like your news or weather reports delivered with home cinematic drama.
Mercifully, lip sync issues are also taken care of, thanks to an audio delay adjustment.
It should be noted that these features aren’t the easiest to discover. Pressing and holding certain buttons on the remote activates them, but the explanations are only found hidden away deep inside the manual.