Sound bars are kind of an odd concept if you ask me. Sound bars pack a little more punch than the standard TV speakers but may not have the punch most 5.1 and above sound systems have. At least, that used to be the case. I don’t know when it changed, but sound bars these days are packing big sound without the big price tag.
JBL is no different as the company is packing its brilliant sound into a small frame. All the while, keeping the price point relatively low. From the Pulse 2 to the Flip 3, we here at Techaeris have been pretty impressed with what the company is selling. Needless to say, when I got the chance to review the JBL Boost TV, I jumped at the chance.
The JBL Boost TV offers premium sound in a small frame, all for under $200. But with other similarly priced options, is it worth it? Let’s find out:
What’s In The Box:
- 1x JBL Boost TV speaker
- 1 x Remote Control
- 1 x 3.5mm Analog Cable
- 1 x Optical Cable
- 1 x Power Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
- Safety Sheet
When you first open the JBL Boost TV box you’re greeted with a speaker that’s 14.8-inches long and is completely black. Well, it’s black short of the bright orange base. On both sides of the speaker are two black plastic end caps. The rest of the speaker is surrounded by black speaker mesh.
On top of the speaker is a button panel that allows you to switch between TV mode, Bluetooth and thanks to SoundShift, between the TV and your tablet or phone quickly. Square in the middle is the power button that lights up and on the left side is the volume down and right side is the volume up. On the front is the JBL logo square and center.
The Boost TV has a height of 3.3 inches and a depth of 4.8 inches. making it a little bigger than a shoe box. It has an optical in connection, 3.5mm jack in, power and micro-USB plug ins. It also has Bluetooth. That gives you a plethora of options for connections.
Ease of Use
Setup for the JBL Boost TV is quite simple. Depending on how you use the device each process is easy to do. For my setup, I plugged the optical cable from my TV to the speaker. That was it. The speaker’s remote worked right out of the box and I was able to quickly jump right into my most favorite video games and TV shows.
Hooking my phone or tablet to the Bluetooth was just as simple and followed the same pairing process as every other Bluetooth speaker. Thanks to the SoundShift I was quickly able to switch between the TV and my iPhone with ease. One other aspect I really liked was that I could pair it with my universal remote. The remote that comes with Boost TV works great, but the added convenience of only having to use one remote makes this sound bar a must have.
As with other JBL speakers, the Boost TV has access to the JBL Connect app. Though, it took me about 20 minutes and restarting my iPhone twice to get it to recognize the speaker. In an otherwise perfect speaker, that was its only pitfall. Not really a deal breaker in my opinion, but the set up process was inconvenient. The software allows you to update speaker software, rename your speaker, and for JBL Connect ready speakers to connect with each other for stereo sound.
Frequency response: 60Hz – 20kHz
Maximum SPL: 92dB
Rated power: 30W
Transducer: 2 x 50mm
Ah yes, the reason you’re here. Who cares about the rest of it if the speaker sounds terrible, right? Well you can relax. The speaker sounds as good as it looks. At low volumes I was able to hear dialogue on my games and shows just fine. At higher volumes the speaker packed one hell of a punch.
I did notice some muddied sounds but that was at the very top limit the speaker had, and let’s face it, we’re not going to have the volume that high 99.9 percent of the time anyway. For me, the bass had the right amount of punch and didn’t overpower the sound. My very first experience with a sound bar was one from Samsung and even at reasonable volumes, the speaker had an annoying vibration to it. I didn’t find that to be the case with the JBL speaker and even at higher volumes, the only thing you hear with the Boost TV is the sound.
When I listened to Spotify, the sound popped and I found myself using the JBL Boost TV speaker to listen to music more often than my other speakers. I don’t know what it is about JBL, but the company can count me as a fan of what it offers.
The virtual surround sound is decent thanks to the Harman Display Sound. Make no mistake, it’s definitely not a replacement for a full-fledged 5.1 system, but JBL does pretty decent with its digital offering and the sound bar has replaced my aging 5.1 system.
The JBL Boost TV comes in at $199.95. For a Bluetooth speaker that would be expensive, but for a small, sleek sound bar it’s not bad. The speaker has a great sound, a lot of features, and it connects to a variety of devices for music playback.
Overall, I was pleased with the JBL Boost TV. The ease of setup and ease of use — other than the JBL Connect app — makes this sound bar a worthy purchase. Throw in Bluetooth, optical-in sound, and small sleek design and it’s a complete package. If you’re in the market for a sound bar, consider your search over. This is the speaker you want. Take my word for it, you won’t be sorry.