JBL Cinema SB100 Review

JBL Cinema SB100 Review

JBL Cinema SB100 review Soundbar Speaker System - Black

Features and Specifications

  • Peak 30 Watts Of Amplifier Power
  • Power Requirement 100V-240V
  • Frequency Response 80Hz-18Hz
  • Ported Enclosure
  • 1 Subwoofer Output
  • 1 Optical Input

JBL Cinema SB100 is one of the most non-conventional sound bars on the market for a plethora of reasons.

Harman, the company that manufactures the JBL line, has gone to great lengths to distinguish the device from its competitors. Even though the JBL SB100 isn't yet a household name, its transparency in providing more information than usual to the consumer is refreshing. The soundbars produced by Harman have reached some of the highest price points in the field but back up this tag by offering a wealth of features in each unit.


  • No extra speakers needed with the 'Plug and Play' concept which can have everything up to speed in 5 minutes or less
  • At 9 pounds, SB100 is an easily moveable unit
  • A remote that can fit in the palm of your hand, but with no compromise on functionality
  • Dual-position equalization ensures sound is crystal clear, no matter where the device is mounted
  • Hard hitting Bass boost
  • 'Volume Learning' for the unit to learn the infrared code of your regular remote so using multiple remotes is rendered unnecessary
  • An included wall mounting bracket to arrange bar in the perfect spot in the room


  • Better equipped for smaller rooms as the sound isn't as robust the more square feet there are (minus the bass)
  • When volume is minimal auto-shut down tends to kick in
  • Toslink digital input plug can fizzle out over time requiring a replacement
  • Only optimal for TVs in the 27-40 inch range
  • Curved shape of the bar can create a frustratingly uneven display with other electronics

Caveats When Setting Up

The SB100 soundbar is a straightforward device to get going. If a person is even remotely technology savvy, this sound bar takes just minutes to bring robust audio to fruition.

The wording in the manual is a little suspect at times. For instance, it states that the SB100's optical port can connect to a person's cable box optical port. This statement is inaccurate. While compatibility overall is fine, you cannot swap out cords on a whim and expect a seamless stream of audio.

Additionally, the remote has a delay of around half a second from when a button is pressed. This isn't an enormous issue, but something to think about nonetheless.


Cinema SB100's appearance is unique. The all black sound bar bows out at the bottom creating a bit of a boomerang effect.

The looks are easy on the eyes, which is essential since soundbars are placed along with elegant flat TVs.

Where does the JBL Cinema SB100 Shine?

Low-frequency performance is the biggest standout. This means more clarity in quieter dialogue in movies.

While this nuance may not be enough to excite audiophiles, the bass definitely will. Said bass is particularly impressive when playing movies, specifically with explosions and bangs.

Obviously, this is not critical to every entertainment viewer, but if an individual is a big fan of the cinema, the aptly named Cinema SB100 soundbar will satisfy them wholeheartedly.

There is a reason that movie theaters and stadiums have used the JBL brand. The sound is crisp and bass-filled and works well in particular with 40 inch TVs. It is appropriate that 'cinema' is in the name of this device, as it works very well with movies, especially those in the action genre.

Where does the SB100 Lack?

The larger the room the sound bar is in, the less useful it is. Sound travels quickly, but dimensions of a space influence the audio either positively or negatively. With the Cinema SB100, big rooms have an adverse impact on the bar, causing a tiny bit of reverb, but nothing overwhelming.

One drawback to the unit is that mixing and matching with previously owned cords will result in a headache, as it is not very compatible with other parts from different companies. This of course is only an issue if you lose or damage any of the SB100's components.​

What's Our Verdict?

The SB100 is a conundrum because its sound is showcased in several outdoor venues, but the brand itself is not as popular as other less reliable competitors. In that regard it is almost a hidden gem for audiophiles and casual movie watchers alike.

In almost every JBL Cinema SB100 review, one can find comments on a solid audio experience. Any negative feedback is usually surrounding irregular shipment or the small size of the remote, not the actual output of the model itself.

Harman produces some very expensive technology, but the JBL isn't out of this world in its price demands. The Cinema's design is a little out of the ordinary, but the sound has the capability to be extraordinary given optimum dimensions in a room. If adequate bass during films and television shows is a point of emphasis, the JBL is a front runner to a genuinely visceral home theater experience.

Links To User Manuals


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