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CES 2020: JBL debuts soundbar with detachable speakers and Airplay 2 support

JBL Bar 9.1
JBL Bar 9.1 (Image credit: JBL)

What you need to know

  • JBL has announced a soundbar with detachable speakers.
  • The JBL Bar 9.1 has two detachable rear speakers with a ten-hour battery life.
  • The soundbar also supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Bluetooth.

JBL is a long-known brand in the audio industry and has begun to make a name for itself in the home theater category as well. It's latest creation will give owners audio choices that were impossible beforehand.

Reported by Macrumors, the company has announced a new soundbar as CES 2020. The soundbar, dubbed the JBL Bar 9.1, will offer customers all of the expected features of a surround sound system but in a very unique way, as the back speakers are actually brought into the mix by detaching them from the base soundbar.

The base of the soundbar is equipped with Dolby Atmos and brought to life with four upward-firing speakers which aim to bounce sound off of the ceiling, creating an even more immersive experience when watching your movies and TV shows. It also includes a 10-inch wireless subwoofer, a staple nowadays in the home theater business. The most interesting part of the package comes in the form of two wireless speakers that detach from the soundbar itself.

These two speakers are designed to provide surround sound audio from the rear without having to have two speakers wired up and installed in perpetuity. Each one has a ten-hour battery life that should be more than enough to get through most trilogies. When they do run out of juice, users can reattach them to the soundbar to recharge.

The system offers support for Dolby Vision and is compatible with AirPlay 2, allowing iPhone users to stream their music to the soundbar as well as other devices in their home. It also offers Chromecast and Bluetooth support if you have an Android device or prefer to use those technologies on their iPhone anyway.

According to JBL, the company plans to begin selling the JBL Bar 9.1 in the spring of 2020 for $999.99. The first units will be available on the JBL website (opens in new tab).

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.