JBL Charge 5

JBL launched a host of new products ahead of CES 2021, the annual consumer technology show normally held in Las Vegas each January. This year’s all-virtual event has many companies making announcements just ahead of the online launch, including audio giant JBL, which revealed the new Charge 5 portable speaker and a long list of headphones.

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New at CES 2021: JBL Charge 5

The new Charge 5, like its predecessor the JBL Charge 4, has a dustproof and waterproof design and the biggest change to the looks seems to be the size and placement of the JBL logo on the face. This iteration does promise “improved audio offerings.”

While JBL doesn’t get specific as to what exactly that means, the company does tout the specs, along with what it;’s calling JBL Pro Sound: “the speaker comes with a racetrack-shaped driver, separate tweeter and dual passive radiators for impressive audio clarity and a deep bass, offering listeners JBL Original Pro Sound in a durable design.

It retains about the same battery life as the Charge 4 and doesn’t look too much different, so it will be interesting to potentially get hands-on with it to really see what’s new.

JBL’s new headphone lineup

JBL also took the wraps off its new headphones, launching four new models from its LIVE line: JBL LIVE PRO+, JBL LIVE FREE NC+, JBL LIVE 660NC and JBL LIVE 460NC. The lineup includes a mix of true wireless, over-ear and on-ear headphones and each one has features that include noise cancelling capabilities with Smart Ambient, and hands-free control with integrated voice assistants.

For the work-from-home set, JBL also introduced the JBL Tour Series, which it says is made for “business professionals who are looking for headphones with advanced technology, smart features and a sleek design”.

The Tour headphones will feature two models; JBL Tour ONE over-ear noise cancelling headphones and JBL Tour Pro+ true wireless in-ear headphones. To block out kids and noise, they feature Adaptive Noise Cancellation, JBL Pro Sound, Adaptive Ambient Aware and TalkThru technology to make phone and Zoom calls sound better.

New sound bar from JBL: Multibeam 5.0

When it comes to home theatre, JBL fans will be glad to learn the company revealed an updated sound bar, the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam.

Touting its “incredibly spacious 3D surround sound experience with the first-ever combination of Virtual Dolby Atmos and JBL’s proprietary beamforming technology – MultiBeam. Built for simplicity, this compact all-in-one soundbar is designed to fit every living space, offering a unique listening experience for watching movies, streaming music and gaming,” according tio JBL’s press materials.

With four passive radiators, JBL says this bar won’t even need a subwoofer. Plus, “Virtual Dolby Atmos” allows the Bar 5.0 to reproduce the 3D and overhead audio dimensions from a movie or TV show, “turning any living space into a 3D personal theater”. We’ll have to get hands-on with one of these sound bars for a review to test the sales pitch.

Watch for all the new JBL audio products to become available at Best Buy and we’re definitely working to get our hands on review models.

Meantime, you can shop all JBL Audio at Best Buy, and check out all the biggest CES 2021 announcements here.

Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog TechGadgetsCanada.com


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