JBL Cinema SB250 Review

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JBL Cinema SB250 Review

JBL offer a magnitude of both professional and consumer audio products. One of the newest additions to their Cinema series is the SB250 soundbar and subwoofer combo.

​The name and price suggests that the SB250 is a follow-up to the SB200, but there are some significant differences indicating that this is not entirely correct. Firstly, the SB250 is a two unit soundbar/subwoofer combination, while the SB200 is a single unit soundbar. Secondly, the design of the 250 soundbar differs in size, weight and looks compared to the 200.

The new soundbar looks slightly more contemporary with its almost cylindrical shape and curved edges, and the metal trim running along the edge of the metal grille covering the front adds to the overall visual appeal. It looks very clean apart from the JBL logo on the front and a cluster of control buttons (Power on/Standby, Source selection, Volume, Surround mode, Bluetooth source/Pairing) on the top surface.

JBL Cinema SB250 soundbar

Judging by the design and configuration, JBL is clearly targeting customers that want an all-in-one solution that not only looks nice but also sounds good and is easy to install and use, and don't necessarily want to spend an excessive amount of money. The package includes everything you need to set it up and to start enjoying it; soundbar, wireless subwoofer, power cords, remote control (no batteries), 3.5mm analog cable, optical digital cable, bracket for wall mounting and a Quick Start Guide.

​The back of the soundbar features a recessed area for the various cable inputs while also allowing for some cable management. The connectivity is limited to say the least and apart from the input for the power cord you will find a digital optical input, an analog 3.5mm AUX input, a USB-A port for software updates and an EQ switch (Wall/Table). You'll also find two slots for wall mounting. The SB250 has no HDMI, but it does offer bluetooth for wireless connectivity with mobile devices and such.

JBL Cinema SB250 inputs

​The soundbar is equipped with two-way dual driver left and right speaker modules, each with one 2.5" (55mm) full range drivers and a 1.25" (32mm) dome tweeter. The subwoofer is equipped with a 6.5" (165mm) driver and the black enclosure has a traditional cube-shape with rounded edges and feet. In the back is a fairly large reflex port along with a phase switch (180°), a soundbar pairing button and a LED status indicator.

According to the spec sheet the Cinema SB250 system has a frequency response ranging from 45Hz to 20kHz and 200W of total power.

Additional Features

​Bluetooth connectivity lets you connect and play music directly from your smartphone or computer and the SoundShift function allows for quick and easy switching between TV and bluetooth devices. The Harman Volume is another convenient feature that keeps your sound levels consistent during commercial breaks during TV shows, and the soundbars ability to learn remote commands allows you to use your existing TV remote control to operate the soundbar. Independent volume control of the subwoofer also gives you more flexibility to cater the sound to your liking and personal preference.

JBL Cinema SB250 subwoofer
JBL Cinema SB250 subwoofer back
JBL Cinema SB250 subwoofer driver

Powerful and Dynamic

Setting up the soundbar is surprisingly quick and easy and it takes up less space than you'd imagine considering the 32.7" width. The subwoofer is equally quick and easy to connect to the soundbar by pressing the buttons on the back of the two units. To squeeze the best possible performance out of this system, we advice you to experiment with the placement of the subwoofer to find the optimal position.

Once you’ve found the perfect spot for the subwoofer you can sit back, relax and enjoy – the improvement SB250 brings to the sound quality is significant compared to most TV speakers. Movie soundtracks feels very spacious with well-placed sound effects, and the upper frequencies are clear and detailed, while the midrange is nicely balanced and somewhat mellow. Low frequencies are on the other hand powerful and dynamic, making action movies and blockbusters like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ a pure joy to watch.

With a focus on size and power rather than elegance and grace, the SB250 may lack the sophistication and the finer details of some its competitors, but paired with a decently sized screen it does a very good job at creating a riveting cinema experience in the living room.

Music playback is delivered in the same vein as movies, with a powerful and dynamic sound combined with a nicely defined width and depth - as long as you use the Stereo mode instead of the Surround mode.


For less than $300 we can't do anything but conclude that the JBL Cinema SB250 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a significant upgrade to the sound of their TV. It's a very uncomplicated solution for those who want to enjoy movies and music without any hassle.

  • IN ThE bOX

Brings cinematic sound to any thin-profile TV
The JBL Cinema SB250 fits any modern flat-panel TV, bringing stunning, cinematic sound.
All-in-one wireless solution
Complete all-in-one solution with compact 6.5" (165mm) wireless subwoofer.
One-cable connection
Simple one-cable connection to your TV with analog or optical.
TV remote learning
Simplify your experience by using your existing TV remote control to operate your soundbar.
JBL SoundShift™
Works with your TV and wireless mobile device at the same time to allow you to automatically switch between the sound from your TV and the sound from your phone or tablet.
Dolby® Digital and Harman Surround
Cinematic sound with Dolby® Digital and Harman Display Surround sound. Harman Volume
No more loud commercials—Harman Volume keeps your sound levels consistent.

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Old Price: $169.95
Current Price: $299.95