JBL Bar 1300X Review

JBL Bar 1300X Review: New King of Dolby Atmos?

The JBL Bar 1300X is the most advanced and powerful soundbar currently available from JBL, and is a step up from the powerful JBL Bar 1000 7.1.4 channel soundbar. This massive 11.1.4 channel soundbar system delivers an incredible 1170W of output power and comes equipped with detachable surround sound speakers with upward firing drivers. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X with a dedicated subwoofer – with 11 channels of sound output, this soundbar is capable of reproducing 3D spatial sound effects with pristine clarity and wide soundstage.

The JBL Bar 1300X is often compared with the Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar combination which also features a similar 11.1.4 speaker channel configuration with Dolby Atmos. Throughout our tests, we found that the JBL Bar 1300X delivers much deeper bass and punchy sound effects which makes watching movies much more enjoyable on the JBL rather than the Samsung soundbar. While the Samsung HW-Q990C delivers a slightly wider soundstage with spatial differentiation, we felt that the JBL Bar 1300X’s powerful bass just blows the Samsung HW-Q990C out of the water when it comes to reproduce that deep sound effects and low-end punch that you would experience with Dolby Atmos or in an IMAX theater.

Read more: JBL Bar 1300X vs Samsung HW-Q990C: Which sounds better?

If you are looking for a really powerful 11.1.4 channel sound system that hits the sweet spot between soundstage, bass response and spatial imaging, the JBL Bar 1300X is definitely the clear winner in this soundbar segment. You would be hard pressed to find another soundbar that has similar expansive sound capabilities to the JBL Bar 1300X with a massive 1170W of total power output which is much higher than any of its nearest competitors.

JBL Bar 1300X Full Specs

Sound System11.1.4 channel
Power Supply100 – 240V AC, ~ 50/60Hz
Total Output Power1170W
Subwoofer12″ Wireless, 300W output power
Speaker Configuration & PowerMain bar: 650W, Wireless speakers: 220W (total), Subwoofer: 300W
ConnectivityBuilt-In Wi-Fi with AirPlay, Alexa Multi-Room Music, Chromecast built-in™, HDMI eARC, 4K Dolby Vision passthrough
Detachable Surround SpeakersYes, battery-powered, up to 10 hours of use, USB-C charging, 1.17 kg each
Subwoofer Dimensions & Weight366 x 481 x 366 mm / 14.4” x 18.9” x 14.4”, 15.65 kg
Bluetooth Speaker FunctionalityPairable as standalone or stereo pair
Voice Clarity TechnologyPureVoice Dialogue Enhancement Technology
App ControlJBL One App for setup, EQ customization, music service browsing
Sound CalibrationEasy sound calibration for optimal 3D surround effects
Voice Assistant IntegrationWorks with voice assistant-enabled devices (Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri)
Channel DriversFront: Four 46 x 90 mm racetrack drivers, Center: One 0.75″ tweeter and two racetrack drivers, Surround and Wide Surround: 0.75″ tweeter each, Atmos: Two 2.75″ up-firing full-range drivers per channel


JBL Bar 1300X Review
The JBL Bar 1300X is a 11.1.4 channel sound system that comes with a 12″ subwoofer and delivers a massive 1140W of output power

Sound Performance

We tested out the JBL Bar 1300X with an 85” Samsung The Frame TV and watched a couple of movies including Batman’s The Dark Knight Rises and Dune. We would say from the onset that the JBL Bar 1300X has superb sound capabilities especially when watching 4K ultra-HD movies. The multi-beam surround sound bar delivers almost theater-quality 3D sound performance and it has four up-firing drivers in the main bar which makes the sound effects feel much more spacious and lifelike. You can hear things like the sound of an airplane flying overhead or the sound of missile projectiles flying from different directions across the room, and the sound feels much more intense and clear than the Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar. While the Samsung HW-Q990C makes sound effects feel somewhat more “distant” and “further away”, the JBL Bar 1300X makes the sound effects sound slightly nearer towards the listener and more “in your face”, which delivers that immediate impact that you would look for in a full Dolby Atmos setup.

The JBL Bar 1300X comes with detachable rear surround speakers and all you need to do to get it setup is to place the speakers behind you and they will automatically pair with the soundbar (although you should position the rear speakers towards you in a living room setting for the best sound effect). The only gripe I have about the rear speakers is that they could be a little louder when detached for a more balanced immersive sound performance, but they are more than suitable with proper placement and calibration (which is done automatically for you on the JBL soundbar app).

Perhaps the most impressive feature that I like about the JBL Bar 1300X is the 12” subwoofer which is definitely one of the most powerful subwoofers we have tested in any soundbar and subwoofer combination. This subwoofer definitely moves much more air than the Bose or Sonos 10” subwoofer and delivers deep and powerful bass that really feels tight and punchy. In fact, the bass alone is probably the reason why I would go for the JBL Bar 1300X over the Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar. While the bass on the HW-Q990C subwoofer sounds rather mild and lacking for a Dolby Atmos sound system, the JBL Bar 1300X definitely pushes the sound and the bass to the limits with much more power and punch, and makes watching movies a much more immersive and real experience.

For instance, Dune’s sandworm scene when the worm dives into the sand feels much more powerful and you can hear the low-end rumble on the JBL Bar 1300X better than the Samsung HW-Q990C. While the HW-Q990C focuses perhaps slightly more on the dialogue and spatial imaging, the JBL Bar 1300X’s sound just feels slightly more forward and the bass is definitely much better and something to be reckoned with.

At 1170W of output power, you would definitely be hard pressed to find anything more powerful than the JBL Bar 1300X on the market right now – with the nearest competitor the Samsung HW-Q990C only delivering a total of 656 watts of total output power (which is only slightly more than half of the JBL Bar 1300X’s output power).

JBL Bar 1300X Detachable rear speaekrs
The JBL Bar 1300X comes with two detachable rear speakers that are battery rechargeable and comes with upward firing drivers

Features and Specs

The JBL Bar 1300X comes with all the features that you would expect from a full Dolby Atmos sound system. The soundbar comes with four upward firing drivers in the main soundbar and two more in the detachable sound speakers, which help to make overhead sound effects feel real and lifelike (such as the sounds of an aircraft flying overhead or projectiles flying around in movie scenes). The soundbar system also supports DTS:X and it comes with a remote control which tells you what kind of audio is playing (i.e., Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, etc) and provides the standard volume control functions.

The JBL Bar 1300X also comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi with AirPlay and supports Alexa Multi-Room music and Chromecast built-in. This essentially allows you to play all your favorite music soundtracks through the soundbar via Wi-Fi through Spotify or Pandora.

The JBL One app is designed to walk you through setting up the Wi-Fi connection and setup the two-stage calibration process to tailor the sound according to your room acoustics. Do note that all the sound adjustments on the soundbar are done automatically and there is no way to adjust the right or left surrounds independently or the center channel speaker in the soundbar. The JBL One app does allow you to tinker around with a couple of EQ options and it gives you the ability to raise or lower the volume of the height channels. The app is pretty intuitive to use and you can also add streaming services such as Spotify Connect or AirPlay 2 using the app.

The JBL Bar 1300X itself is loaded with speaker drivers and comes with six racetrack drivers and five tweeters in the soundbar alone, which creates a very wide soundstage with great separation. One thing we really liked about this system is that the soundbar comes with four extra upward firing drivers for overhead surround sound (with two more in the detachable surround speakers) to bounce sound off the ceiling for a 3D soundstage. The Dolby Atmos sound performance on the JBL Bar 1300X is exceptional and no other soundbar combination comes close to delivering the level of detail and 3D sound performance that the 1300X has to offer. The Samsung HW-Q990C does not even come close when it comes to delivering the full-bodied Dolby Atmos performance that the JBL Bar 1300X can deliver.

The JBL Bar 1300X also comes with a massive 12” subwoofer which is much bigger than most other soundbar and subwoofer combos. This subwoofer delivers some of the deepest bass notes that we have tested and scenes in the movie Dune came alive especially with the sandworm diving scenes where you can really hear the immersive scale of the sound with tremendous bass and authoritative impact.

JBL Bar 1300X Subwoofer
Front and back of the JBL Bar 1300X 12″ subwoofer. This subwoofer delivers much more bass than the Samsung HW-Q990C system and has plenty of bass depth and authority

The Verdict?

The JBL Bar 1300X currently is the king of Dolby Atmos – it is hands down the best soundbar when it comes to delivering that full-blown immersive Dolby Atmos experience with deep authoritative bass that those who enjoy home theater are looking for. Compared to the Samsung HW-Q990C, the JBL Bar 1300X delivers much more power and bass response; it sounds as though you are sitting in a real life movie theater.

The soundbar and surround sound speakers also come with dedicated upward firing drivers to project sound overhead and bounce sound from the roof to your ears, making overhead sound effects such as the sound of aircraft or projectiles feel very realistic and lifelike. Perhaps the biggest advantage that you get with the JBL Bar 1300X is the 12” subwoofer that delivers absolutely massive and authoritative bass performance. The bass on this subwoofer feels very deep, punchy and delivers the kind of impact that you would not get with the Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar system. Frankly, if you are going for a full Dolby Atmos setup, you would want a sound system like the JBL Bar 1300X that over-delivers in terms of bass and impact to give you maximum enjoyment while watching movies.

Overall, the JBL Bar 1300X is hands down the best JBL soundbar currently available and is much more powerful than the JBL Bar 1000 or the Samsung HW-Q990C soundbar system, making it really worth the investment when you look at all the specs and sound quality of this soundbar system.