JBL SB400 Review

Energetic Soundbar/Subwoofer combo

JBL SB400 review

The wireless subwoofer is larger than standard, and adjustment of frequency, voulme level and phase switch at the back makes the bass sound easily adaptable to the room. Delay and distance can not be set, so you may need to move the subwoofer around until you get an optimal cohesion with the sound bar.

JBL SB400 remote

The JBL sound bar is of simple design. It has no built-in blu-ray player and there is no display or menu system. Three HDMI inputs and optical digital input is however plentiful for such a device. The subwoofer and sound bar connects wirelessly with the press of a button. The system is controlled by a small remote control (that could have been bigger), where you also can choose between standard stereo and "quasi-surround". What is annoying is that the LEDs that show what is selected is located on top of the bar and not on the front, so it is impossible to see which mode is active when sitting down on the couch.

​I do not like that the subwoofer shuts off when it is completely silent and then back on again a second after the speaker starts to play. It is somewhat annoying when listening to music and skipping between songs.

Sound Quality​

JBL SB400 has a surprisingly tough style of play, with plenty of power in the critical midrange. In this area, the dialog emerges nicely in the mix. The subwoofer takes care of the heavy bass register in a much more convincing manner than we can remember hearing from any other sound bar at this price. Impressive.

​The treble does not have the airiness and gloss like some other sound bars in this price range and the surround effect is much more moderate. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between stereo and "surround". JBL, on the other hand, has better control in the bass and the dynamics are also better in general.

​SB400 works fine even with music and surprises with rhythm and a really lively style of play. But the stereo width is limited by the width of the speaker, and it sounds pretty tight. Nonetheless, it is highly recommended!


  • IN ThE bOX

• Plug-and-play solutio
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Analog and optical digital audio inputs
• HDMI connectivity
• Exclusive HARMAN virtual surround sound
• Dolby Digital decoding
• Powered, wireless subwoofer
• Full bass control
• Dual-position equalization
• TV-volume “learning” capability

1 Comment on JBL SB400 Review

  1. Found the treble response was really poor. Zapped up my input source’s graphic equalizer on the 14khz range and heard absolutely no difference in the output! The stereo stage effect is pretty minimal, and surround sound is just annoyingly reverberating. Bought it cheaply, as there seems to be a lot of units with hard electronic faults which could have been eliminated at source by a better electronic design. If I had paid full whack for this system I would have been absolutely gutted! Considering the high tech signal processing chipsets inside, it would have been nice to have a graphic equalizer so the user could set up personal preferances….but all that is offered is a bass boost. (And bass is definitely not in short supply!) After repairing the unit to make it functional, I eventually changed the tweeters for a cheapish pair of Piezo tweeters. This transformed the system and made the sound a lot more open. The delay to the bass (and to some extent the main unit) is very annoying. Fixable if you are an electronics tech and hard wire the sound enable, but so annoying for the average user. Bottom line….great if you bag one at a bargain price, and change the tweeters.
    JBL….you haven’t impressed me with reliability…my iPhone dock packed in with electronic problems. This sound bar has a poor breakage reputation. Need to sort it fellows!

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