Review: JBL Bar 800

Big sound in a flexible format

The JBL Bar 800 delivers an impressive sound experience with powerful bass, detachable rear speakers and easy set-up.

Published 27 June 2024 - 6:00 am
JBL Bar 800
Geir Nordby

The JBL Bar 800 is a highly versatile soundbar with detachable rear speakers and a powerful 10″ wireless subwoofer. The fact that you can get a wide stereo soundstage with the rear speakers docked on the soundbar, or even more impressive surround sound with the same speakers placed behind the seating position, should make this soundbar an attractive choice whether you love films or music.

JBL Bar 800 display
(Photo: JBL)

JBL Bar 800

The JBL soundbar is only available in black, and we have to say that not much has happened on the design front in recent years. It looks like any other regular black soundbar. However, the build quality seems solid, with a metal grill in front of a hard plastic casing.

One of the unique features of the JBL Bar 800 is the detachable rear speakers, which can be attached to the sides of the soundbar when not in use. Once the speakers are removed from the soundbar, the sides can be covered with the included covers, which looks great if you plan to have the speakers placed in the rear full time.

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Setting up the JBL Bar 800 is simple and user-friendly. The soundbar connects to the TV via HDMI eARC or optical cable and the wireless subwoofer is automatically connected to the soundbar. With the JBL One app, you can adjust sound settings, automatically calibrate the system to the room and update the firmware. This happens automatically when connected to the network. You can either do this via the app or you can use Google Home to connect.

The rear speakers are charged when docked, and fully charged they should have enough for 10 hours of continuous playback. It takes just over 3 hours to fully charge them, either with a USB-C cable in each or when connected to the soundbar.

DTS:X is absent, and of the immersive audio formats, only Dolby Atmos is supported.

JBL Bar 800 surround speakers
Detachable rear speakers for better surround sound (Photo: JBL)

Sound quality

The JBL Bar 800 impresses in terms of sound, especially in terms of power. The subwoofer delivers a big and physical bass that fills the room in a way that few other soundbars do. The bass is powerful and rhythmic, and it goes deeper into the abyss than most others. In fact, it can be a little too much of a good thing, in which case you can get a more balanced sound experience by reducing the overall bass level slightly.

When the detachable rear speakers are connected to the sides of the soundbar, you experience a wide and deep soundstage that extends towards the horizon. The sound expands even more when the speakers are removed and placed behind us. At this point, you should also calibrate the system to get the most optimal bubble of sound around you.

JBL Bar 800 accessories
Wall mount, remote control and cables are included. (Photo: JBL)

The rear speakers really come into their own when watching films. In fact, the dialogue is even clearer and crisper because the soundbar doesn’t have to expend energy to create three-dimensional sound. The only thing we miss is a little more fullness in the dialogue. It gets a little thin in the midrange.

Atmos effects from the ceiling also work well, there’s definitely sound even at height, although JBL doesn’t threaten Samsung’s holographic capabilities.

When it comes to music, the JBL Bar 800 delivers a solid performance. The subwoofer delivers a big and delicious bass that fills the room and makes the music experience both rich and engaging. Admittedly, it doesn’t separate the bass notes on the bass guitar to the same extent as Samsung, but the big and physical woofer is still very addictive.

JBL Bar 800 complete
(Photo: JBL)


The JBL Bar 800 is a powerful soundbar that offers great flexibility and impressive sound quality. The detachable rear speakers and wireless subwoofer provide a simple and user-friendly experience while delivering a large soundstage that fills the entire room. For those who want a soundbar that can deliver both powerful bass and a wide soundstage, the JBL Bar 800 is an excellent choice.

The JBL Bar 800 is an investment that offers great value for money. It is especially suitable for those who want a simple setup without compromising on sound quality. If you’re looking for even more punch, you can upgrade to the Bar 1000 or even the Bar 1300, but for most people, the Bar 800 is the right choice.

JBL Bar 800

We think

Powerful and rich bass. Flexible, detachable rear speakers. Large and deep soundstage. Auto-calibration of the speakers. On music, the bass tand to be "one-note". Slightly thin dialogues. Does not support DTS.

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