JBL BAR 9.1 - Wireless Dolby Atmos Soundbar

brownie221

Active Member
You can't.....
Okay.. why do I get the feeling that 5.1 -> 9.1 they crippled a lot of controls? Why would they think levels of 1 to 5 is better than 1 to 10?
They also took out HDMI inputs, 9.1 has only got 1 where previous one had more.

Still love the soundbar, just frustrated.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
Okay.. why do I get the feeling that 5.1 -> 9.1 they crippled a lot of controls? Why would they think levels of 1 to 5 is better than 1 to 10?
They also took out HDMI inputs, 9.1 has only got 1 where previous one had more.

Still love the soundbar, just frustrated.
I didn't have the 5.1 so don't know any different. I assume the justification for only 1 HDMI input is that the bar supports eARC. An extra input would've been nice though.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
Here's what their support said in regards to HLG passthrough:

Unfortunately HLG pass-through is not supported by the JBL Bar 9.1 at this time. We have however passed this information on to our software team.

They will review this and determine if this is something that should be added to a future firmware update. I am not able to speculate on whether this is something they will implement, but if they do, it will be sent as an automatic update to you bar when that happens. In the meantime, all I can advise is to connect the Sky box directly to your TV.
 

Bill Decker

Standard Member
Spoke to a JBL technician today via work and can share a few useful bits of info.

* If you want to know what software version your Bar 9.1 is running, you can get it to display on the device without having to use Google Home - hold down the source and volume down buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds and it'll appear on the bar's display.

* Software updates tend to get pushed on Friday nights

* Having the device connected to Google Home seems to be the only way of having automatic updates sent to the device

* As SmAShY says, HLG isn't currently supported, but it sounds like they're looking into it - might not be a huge leap seeing as it already supports HDR10
 

Bill Decker

Standard Member
I have a couple of questions of my own for other Bar 9.1 owners out there.

I can't get Dolby Vision to work when connecting up an Apple TV 4K directly to the Bar rather than the TV (when the ATV is connected directly to the TV DV works fine).

I think the problem may be my TV (a Recent Toshiba OLED) as it isn't able to do Dolby Vision with an Xbox One either.

Secondly, one for Sky Q owners, is anyone having problems with their main Q box waking from sleep when using the bar? I keep having to do a full power cycle in the morning with the Sky box when I switch it on from standby as it doesn't display any picture and seems to be locked in a frozen state as the on/off button doesn't work.

Pictures are still sent to Mini boxes around the house so its a weird one. The problem has only started happening since I started using the Bar 9.1, however the issue has coincided with the recent HDR update for Sky Q, so I'm wondering which of the 2 is the culprit.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
I have a couple of questions of my own for other Bar 9.1 owners out there.

I can't get Dolby Vision to work when connecting up an Apple TV 4K directly to the Bar rather than the TV (when the ATV is connected directly to the TV DV works fine).

I think the problem may be my TV (a Recent Toshiba OLED) as it isn't able to do Dolby Vision with an Xbox One either.

Secondly, one for Sky Q owners, is anyone having problems with their main Q box waking from sleep when using the bar? I keep having to do a full power cycle in the morning with the Sky box when I switch it on from standby as it doesn't display any picture and seems to be locked in a frozen state as the on/off button doesn't work.

Pictures are still sent to Mini boxes around the house so its a weird one. The problem has only started happening since I started using the Bar 9.1, however the issue has coincided with the recent HDR update for Sky Q, so I'm wondering which of the 2 is the culprit.
You might find the HDMI port that the soundbar is plugged into on the TV doesn't support DV. The HDMI ARC port on my Philips doesn't support HDR for example.

No problems with Sky Q here. I turn the Sky Q box on using my remote and it turns my TV and soundbar on.
 

SmAShY

Well-known Member
Spoke to a JBL technician today via work and can share a few useful bits of info.

* If you want to know what software version your Bar 9.1 is running, you can get it to display on the device without having to use Google Home - hold down the source and volume down buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds and it'll appear on the bar's display.

* Software updates tend to get pushed on Friday nights

* Having the device connected to Google Home seems to be the only way of having automatic updates sent to the device

* As SmAShY says, HLG isn't currently supported, but it sounds like they're looking into it - might not be a huge leap seeing as it already supports HDR10
I couldn't get the software version to show?
 

Bill Decker

Standard Member
Sorry, forgot to mention that you need to hold down the buttons on the box itself rather than the remote to get the software version to display.
 
Worked in the end. Had to hold them down 10 seconds though.
Same here, 10-ish seconds.

And to get it to pull the latest firmware update, I had to completely remove it from Google Home and reset it with the speakers attached. Hopefully the new update fixes the power/freeze problem I've been having.
 
Well, my power/lockup issue is far worse after the firmware update. It was just occasional, every few days it just wouldn't turn on. But now I can't get through a single TV show without it crapping out on me. If the source is stereo PCM, it will just suddenly stop playing audio and start making a humming/buzzing noise. Bar completely frozen and unresponsive to the remote or buttons on top. If the source is 5.1 PCM, it just stops making sound at all. In both cases it keeps passing video from HDMI IN to ARC, which it doesn't do when the bar is working normally but powered off. I can go back and play the same video again and it won't happen, so I don't think it is a source problem.

When it works it sounds great. But my free return window closes Sunday, and it still isn't working well enough to keep. I guess it is going back. Maybe I'll buy another one in a few months if they can work the bugs out.
 

nickkuk

Standard Member
Mine pulled a firmware update as soon as I connected the ethernet cable. (I couldn't get it to connect to wifi until after that first update) It has pulled at least 1 more update I am aware of.

If you connect it to Google Home, you can view the current firmware version by clicking the Device Settings icon and scrolling all the way to the bottom. Mine is showing System firmware: 20133180 with Cast firmware: 1.40156411

It will download the firmware update on it's own, but it will only install the update when the rear speakers are connected to the bar.

As an update to my earlier comments, I think I traced the random unresponsive-to-power-on issue to a CEC signal problem. I was playing around with the CEC settings on the Shield TV and Sony TV, trying to get my Harmony startup and shutdown activities working right, and the JBL bar went dead several times. It seemed to only happen after a power off command was sent from one of the other devices, though it wasn't every time. I disabled all of the CEC options on both devices, and haven't had a single problem with the soundbar since.
It seems there has been another firmware update, I reconnected the soundbar to WiFi today and got another update, firmware 202005180 cast is the same version as previous 1.40.156411.

I noticed they have added a feature if you press the rear button on the remote it used to be low, med, high now it is low, mid, high, off.

Nice to see they are adding updates.
 

joaste

Standard Member
Thanks to you guys, I was able to get the latest update (in France). I did have to perform a reset in order to get the update though. According to Google Home, the device country went from FR to WW (World Wide I suppose).

I love the bar but do have some small issues I hope will disappear with updates:

1) sometimes a loud sound when changing sources or powering on.

2) when batteries are low, the message appears on screen (this is expected). However, when plugging in micro USB cables, the red LED goes on and the rear speakers charge, even while watching a movie (which is great considering that when docked to the bar, they will only charge if the bar is on standby, which I was shocked about). However, even though they are charging when on micro usb, the message still appears on the bar's screen indicating low batteries. I would prefer that the message no longer appears while charging by cable as I find it distracting to have the message appearing all the time. I did not yet check if the latest update solves that.

3) Why on earth is there no companion app for this bar? I do hope one is being developed.

4) Why did I have to do a factory reset just to get the update???
 
Last edited:

SmAShY

Well-known Member
Thanks to you guys, I was able to get the latest update (in France). I did have to perform a reset in order to get the update though. According to Google Home, the device country went from FR to WW (World Wide I suppose).

I love the bar but do have some small issues I hope will disappear with updates:

1) sometimes a loud sound when changing sources or powering on.

2) when batteries are low, the message appears on screen (this is expected). However, when plugging in micro USB cables, the red LED goes on and the rear speakers charge, even while watching a movie (which is great considering that when docked to the bar, they will only charge if the bar is on standby, which I was shocked about). However, even though they are charging when on micro usb, the message still appears on the bar's screen indicating low batteries. I would prefer that the message no longer appears while charging by cable as I find it distracting to have the message appearing all the time. I did not yet check if the latest update solves that.

3) Why on earth is there no companion app for this bar? I do hope one is being developed.

4) Why did I have to do a factory reset just to get the update???
I agree with point 3, such a shame!

Update worked fine for me in the UK.
 

nickkuk

Standard Member
Thanks to you guys, I was able to get the latest update (in France). I did have to perform a reset in order to get the update though. According to Google Home, the device country went from FR to WW (World Wide I suppose).

I love the bar but do have some small issues I hope will disappear with updates:

1) sometimes a loud sound when changing sources or powering on.

2) when batteries are low, the message appears on screen (this is expected). However, when plugging in micro USB cables, the red LED goes on and the rear speakers charge, even while watching a movie (which is great considering that when docked to the bar, they will only charge if the bar is on standby, which I was shocked about). However, even though they are charging when on micro usb, the message still appears on the bar's screen indicating low batteries. I would prefer that the message no longer appears while charging by cable as I find it distracting to have the message appearing all the time. I did not yet check if the latest update solves that.

3) Why on earth is there no companion app for this bar? I do hope one is being developed.

4) Why did I have to do a factory reset just to get the update???
I think your second point is fixed with the latest updates, at least definitely when the soundbar is in standby mode. I left my rear speakers unplugged a couple of days ago and when their batteries were running low I got the connect/charge message, as soon as I plugged the rears in to charge the message disappeared straight away.

I definitely agree that a companion app would be handy, I left a review on JBLs website and mentioned it, hopefully if enough people ask it they will consider it.
 

joaste

Standard Member
I think your second point is fixed with the latest updates, at least definitely when the soundbar is in standby mode. I left my rear speakers unplugged a couple of days ago and when their batteries were running low I got the connect/charge message, as soon as I plugged the rears in to charge the message disappeared straight away.

I definitely agree that a companion app would be handy, I left a review on JBLs website and mentioned it, hopefully if enough people ask it they will consider it.
Thanks. I don't recall that behavior when docked, but will check if the issue is still present when the rears are plugged to a micro USB cable. I just installed the update and my batteries were fully charged so I'm just waiting for the charge message to be displayed on the bar before plugging the cables back in. I'll let you guys know if it is fixed or not.
 

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