Tuesday, February 20, 2024

JBL Bar 500 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer Review

I enjoy movies, as do most people. And to bring out the best experience you need surround sound. While TV speakers have improved over the years, let’s face it, they’re still subpar. To get the best viewing experience for movies, or TV, you need more. And for some, a full surround system can be either intimidating, or out of their budget.  A soundbar is a good compromise. Up for review today is the JBL Bar 500.

Features and specs:

General Specifications

Power supply: 100 - 240V AC, ~ 50/60Hz

Networked standby power: < 2.0 W

Operating temperature: 0°C - 45 °C


Audio Specifications

Total speaker power output (Max @THD 1%): 590W

Soundbar output power (Max @THD 1%): 290W

Subwoofer output power (Max. @THD 1%): 300 W

Soundbar transducer: 4x (46x90)mm racetrack drivers, 3x 0.75" (20mm) tweeters

Subwoofer transducer: 10” (260mm)

Frequency response: 35Hz - 20kHz (-6dB)

Audio inputs: 1 Optical, Bluetooth, USB (USB playback is available in US version. For other versions, USB is for Service only.)


Soundbar dimensions (W x H x D): 1017 x 56 x 103.5 mm / 40’’ x 2.2’’ x 4’’

Subwoofer dimensions (W x H x D): 305 x 440.4 x 305 mm / 12" x 17.3" x 12"

Soundbar weight: 2.8kg/ 6.2 lbs

Subwoofer weight: 10 kg / 22 lbs

Packaging dimensions (W x H x D): 1105 x 370 x 475 mm/ 43.5" x 14.6" x 18.7"

Packaging Weight: 16.2 kg / 35.6 lbs


Control and Connection Specifications

USB port: Type A

USB rating: 5V DC, 0.5A

Supporting file format: MP3

MP3 codec: MPEG 1 Layer 2/3, MPEG 2 Layer 3, MPEG 2.5 Layer 3

MP3 sampling rate: 16 - 48 kHz

MP3 bitrate: 80 - 320 kpbs

Bluetooth version: 5.0

Bluetooth profile: A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.5

Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2400 MHz – 2483.5 MHz

Bluetooth transmitter power: <15 dBm (EIRP)

Wi-Fi network: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz/5GHz)

2.4G Wi-Fi transmitter frequency range: 2412 - 2472 MHz (2.4 GHz ISM Band, USA 11 Channels, Europe and others 13 Channels)

2.4G Wi-Fi transmitter power: < 20 dBm (EIRP)

5G Wi-Fi transmitter frequency range: 5.15 - 5.35GHz, 5.470-5.725GHz, 5.725 - 5.825GHz

5G Wi-Fi transmitter power: 5.15-5.25GHz <23dBm, 5.25-5.35GHz & 5.47-5.725GHz <20dBm, 5.725-5.825GHz <14dBm (EIRP)

2.4G wireless transmitter frequency range: 2406 - 2474MH

2.4G wireless transmitter power: 10dBm (EIRP

Video Specifications

HDMI video input: 1

HDMI video output (with Enhanced Audio Return Channel, eARC): 1

HDMI HDCP version: 2.3

HDR pass through: HDR10, Dolby Vision

The JBL Bar 500 came in a great looking box with color images and specs of the soundbar. Opening the box revealed a well-protected product held in place by custom molded Styrofoam. Materials used in the construction was mostly plastic with some metal. Quality of materials used, as well as fit and finish, was very good. Included in the box was the soundbar, subwoofer, remote, cables, mounts, and user guide.

As briefly mentioned before, a soundbar is a good compromise. They are designed for sound. You get better quality speakers, and more of them, as well as a much larger amplifier to power them. And in some cases like the JBL Bar 500, you also get a separate wireless subwoofer. While a subwoofer is not needed, it improves the sound and experience so much! Ever watch an action movie without a subwoofer? The sound without a sub is just…flat.


A soundbar is also less hassle than a full surround system. First, it’s cheaper, as you don’t need a receiver. It’s also much less intimidating and easier to set up. There are a lot less connections, and less wires. And no speakers to place, or mount on the wall.

The JBL Bar 500 is designed with simplicity in mind. As far as speakers, you get the sound bar and wireless subwoofer. No separate speakers to worry about. You simply set the soundbar on your console under your TV, and set the subwoofer on the floor next to the console, or in the corner of the room. And if your TV is wall mounted, you can mount the soundbar on the wall under your TV. For connections you have power, USB, ethernet, HDMI in.  And for TV, you have HDMI for TV ARC/TV eARC. So you can easily hook it up to your TV and internet for all your streaming content. And with the HDMI input you can also use not just a streaming stick, but also cable box, Blu-ray player, or gaming system. There’s a USB port for a flash drive, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity.

The JBL Bar 500 also does a good job on surround sound. It features four woofers and three tweeters in the soundbar, and 290 watts. Thru Dolby Atmos it delivers 5.1 surround sound. A sound test, using the built-in software, tunes the soundbar to your room, to deliver 5.1 surround sound. Even without rear mounted speakers, it employs sound reflections using the walls in your walls in your room, for the perceived 5.1 surround sound. And the wireless subwoofer takes care of the .1 for the bass. Pairing it to my smartphone with Bluetooth was also really easy.  Now that it’s set-up, let’s see how it sounds.


Ready Player One – Race scene:  vocals were very smooth and easy to understand. Highs, with all the mayhem and collecting of coins, were really crisp and clean and the bass with T-Rex and Kong was deep and played with a ton of authority! While I didn’t hear sounds coming from behind, it did sound excellent from the front as well as deep on the sides as far forward as my sitting position.

Greatest Showman – the various musical numbers had excellent vocals. Not only did the soundbar provide good resolution to reveal the texture of the timbre of all the singers, there was excellent harmonics. The imaging was also excellent, as was the soundstage both deep and extremely wide!

Music. Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E: this was another excellent example of great resolution and soundstage. Vocals were silky smooth with excellent texture of the timbre. Trumpet and trombone were also smooth with excellent harmonics and not to brassy. Imaging again was excellent with vocals, trumpet and trombone at different points in space, in a deep and wide soundstage.


The JBL Bar 500 proved to be a great soundbar. The built in amplifier provided sufficient power to deliver good performance from the built in speakers. The wireless 10 inch subwoofer provided not just deep bass, it did so with authority. And thanks to Dolby Atmos and sound calibration, the JBL Bar 500 delivered a good surround sound experience. Connecting up to my smartphone via Bluetooth was easy and worked well.  It’s also well-built to provide years of use. Based on its design, feature, quality and performance, the JBL Bar 500 has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at www.JBL.com.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

ASUS Launches Zenbook DUO, the World's First 14" Dual-Screen OLED Laptop, in Canada

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Monday, January 15, 2024

Automotive and Mobility Safety Company, Provizio, Launches VizioPrime™ 6K Perception Radar at CES 2024, Creating 1km Safety Cocoon for Vehicles

Automotive and Mobility Safety Company, Provizio, Launches VizioPrime™ 6K Perception Radar at CES 2024, Creating  1km Safety Cocoon for Vehicles 

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Las Vegas, 9th January, 2024Provizio, the leading vehicle perception company, has announced the launch of its newest product, VizioPrime™ 6K, at this year’s CES event which kicked off today in Las Vegas. VizioPrime™ 6K is a software defined Imaging Radar perception solution that enables the next generation of L3+ ADAS and Autonomous Driving features at scale.

This groundbreaking innovation revolutionises imaging radar performance, allowing Provizio’s OEM partners to deliver L3+ ADAS and AD without costly and obtrusive LiDAR sensors. VizioPrime™ 6K, the super-resolution digital imaging radar, allows for increased ability to distinguish the difference between adjacent objects, such as cars and pedestrians, in addition to small object detection such as tyres at ultra-long distances. This is achieved with proprietary active antenna technologies, modulation schemes and sparse array designs to vastly expand the antenna resolution at a minimal cost.

“This advancement is a step forward, not only for Provizio but the automotive industry as a whole. Historically some within the automotive industry have been pushing for autonomy, before the tech has been safe to do so - our work at Provizio is reversing this past trend, and setting things right with scalable and cost effective perception. Our belief is that driver safety is paramount, and pioneering innovations centred around this principle will result in impactful transformations in road safety. This goes beyond roads - the technology has already been deployed to make agriculture, industrial machines and mining safer,”  said Barry Lunn, CEO at Provizio, on today’s announcement. 

“The performance characteristics within VizioPrime™ 6K go beyond any active sensors available on the market to date - this is across range, resolution, perception and all-weather performance. Combining the established robustness of radar with extraordinary resolution, VizioPrime™ eliminates the need for obtrusive LiDAR sensors to unlock vehicle autonomy. Another significant aspect of this product is its cost-effectiveness. We want to make this technology accessible for everyone - because if it's not for everyone, it is for no one,” added Dr. Scott Thayer, Perception at Provizio. 

The product is designed to be a primary forward facing active sensor delivering high resolution and accurate 4D data (range, azimuth, elevation and velocity), in addition to  DSP and AI/ML enabled perception, giving it a 5th Dimension. Performance characteristics include perception performance out to >600m, < 0.5° angular resolution and 5cm range resolution. The sensors’ field of view is 120° x 40° and coupled with VizioPlex™ surround radars and 5D Perception® software delivers a 1km safety cocoon around the vehicle. 

Additional technological advancements included in this latest product from the Provizio team include patent protected MIMSO® Active Antenna design which utilises our proprietary chip technology which enables the extraction of 30x more resolution from each physical radar channel, delivering unmatched resolution with 12x less hardware and a subsequent reduction of costs. The product’s patent protected SPTDMA® multiplexing technique improves the resolution, clarity and range available for users, while the 5D Perception® algorithms and neural nets further improve the sensor performance at the signal level, delivering key perception building blocks such as radar-based SLAM, object classification and tracking, and free space mapping. 

“What sets Provizio apart is its innovative approach to radar technology; while radar itself is a well-known concept, Provizio takes it a step further by integrating imaging radar technology with advanced perception capabilities. Radar's imaging capability combined with its cost-effectiveness and reliability have positioned it as a crucial player in safeguarding our roads, eliminating traffic fatalities and addressing the shortcomings of current vehicle autonomy systems. A hidden super power of imaging radar is that it can be mounted inside a vehicle's bumper allowing 360° imaging without negatively impacting vehicle styling. The introduction of VizioPrime™ 6K reinforces the role of radar technology in proactively preventing untoward incidents, and spearheads the direction in which the automotive industry is heading,said Carl Jackson, Head of Corporate Strategy at Provizio. 

Founded by a group of industry experts and entrepreneurs in 2019, the Provizio team is made up of experts in robotics, AI, and vision and radar sensor development. Provizio’s 5D Perception® driving platform offers OEMs the fastest and most reliable path to Level 3+ automation as part of the company’s mission to eliminate all road accidents and deliver a safe path to autonomy. The platform offers the fastest, lowest cost and most reliable path to perception delivering vehicle safety and ubiquitous autonomy; this latest advancement is furthering Provizio’s progress in reaching this goal. 

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Live Demos of 5D Perception® will be ongoing throughout CES. Should you wish to take part in a live demonstration please respond for arrangement. Should you wish to speak with representatives from Provizio about the product or any other aspects of Provizio’s mission,  they will be located at Westgate Hotel (North Tower Entrance) Suite 4118 (Floor 4, Room 118) - 3000 Paradise Road Las Vegas, NV 89109. Please let me know in advance. 

About Provizio:

Provizio was founded by a team of automotive and aerospace industry veterans with a mission to use advanced technology to eradicate road crashes and deliver a safe, scalable path to autonomy. 

Previous to Provizio, our team built products that NASA described as “awesome” and the world’s leading autonomous driving group described as “the gold standard” in automotive radar. Its 5D Perception® Driving Platform utilises proprietary surround 5D Perception® Radar sensors fused with vision systems and other best-in-class sensors to see further, wider and through obstacles, detecting danger in all-weather conditions allowing OEM partners to apply predictive analytics in real-time to augment driver behaviour and deliver safer outcomes.

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