Gadgets JBL_SB450

Published on April 4th, 2017 | by Greg


Get 4K Ready With JBL’s 2.1 Cinema SB 450 Soundbar

It’s a big night for television- and we’re not talking about the latest Netflix release or season finale. After a crazy month of March Madness, the NCAA Men’s Basketball champions will be crowned tonight, and whether you’re cheering for Gonzaga or North Carolina, we hope you enjoy the unexpected lineup. And while you could go to a sports bar for your viewing pleasure, it’s often way more fun to have a party at home- where you can choose the beer and not have to worry about finding a seat. You probably have the screen itself well-covered, but have you thought about the other half of the experience?

Far too many people rely on their TV’s mediocre speakers. We suggest moving on- to the JBL Cinema SB 450 Soundbar, a 2.1 unit that consists of a classic soundbar along with an external eight-inch wireless subwoofer to ensure you’ll be able to hear every explosion (even if it’s just the slamming sound of a ball against a backboard). And it’s not just for sports, of course- this unit was built to handle 4K high-definition content so you’ll be able to enjoy the latest movies in great visual resolution, and audio resolution as well. There’s Dolby Digital decoding and virtual surround sound, and though it’s not built to replace an home theater receiver, the SB 450 has three HDMI inputs to allow you to switch between your cable box, streaming device, and your gaming console.

There’s Bluetooth as well, so you can stream music (or videos) directly from your phone or tablet. Even the remote is pretty sophisticated- it features a TV remote control learning function so you can replace your other remotes with the small, credit-card sized one in the box. The last time we checked out a JBL soundbar, the Boost TV, it was more compact and perfect for apartments- the Cinema SB 450 is the much bigger brother, ready for rooms and televisions of basically any size. With 44o watts of total power, this is one of the most powerful soundbars with separate subwoofers we’ve tried, and outperforms most traditional 2.1 systems in bass performance- plus, it requires less setup and hassle due to the wireless nature. It can be mounted or sit on a stand, and wall brackets are handily included.

There are a couple of small oddities, like the lack of an onscreen display that shows up on your TV, the lack of remote control over the subwoofer, and the remote itself that we found a bit fiddly. The soundbar’s audio can tilt towards coldness and isn’t much to look at, especially compared to the distinctive rounded shapeliness of the Boost TV. But JBL packed in quite a few intriguing additions, like dialogue enhancement (good for films, but turn it off for music listening) as well as JBL Connect capability, which allows you to pair other speakers in the line (Flip 3, Boost TV, Charge 3, etc). If you have the space, and want a top-notch soundbar to match your big screen, this is the fastest path to excellent, bold and brash audio with a floor-shaking low-end. Available now, online and in stores, expect to spend around $499.99 for the Cinema SB 450.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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