JBL has again stepped up its soundbar game, after launching the Bar 5.1 Surround late last year, by using CES 2020 to announce the JBL Bar 9.1. The large soundbar has Dolby Atmos sound, and also brings Apple's AirPlay 2 to the table, alongside Google Chromecast.
Perhaps the Bar 9.1's standout feature, though, is the modular nature of its speakers. On each end of the soundbar is a battery-powered, detachable wireless speaker, which can be unplugged and placed behind your seats to provide three-dimensional sound.
JBL says that these speakers should each be able to sustain 10 hours of playback before they need plugging back onto the bar to charge, although it's unclear whether you could choose to power them via wires, to avoid having to move them back and forth. We're not exactly sure who sometimes wants surround sound and sometimes doesn't, but flexibility could be its own reward for some users.
The Bar 9.1 is JBL's first to feature Dolby Atmos support built-in, and packs four upward-facing Dolby Atmos drivers to cement this — they'll bounce sound around your room to create a full atmosphere, apparently.
The system also includes a 10-inch powered subwoofer to bring the bass that you'll want to truly immerse yourself in movies and games. Overall, it's an 820-watt audio system.
The Bar 9.1's Chromecast and AirPlay 2 features mean that you can use it as a de facto streaming speaker, too, and it supports Dolby Vision to ensure that your combination of picture and sound is exemplary. It also has Bluetooth connectivity for streaming through that more conventional standard.
You can expect the Bar 9.1 to release sometime this Spring, at a price of £999.99 or $899.95.