Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

JBL Cinema SB150 Review

Built-in TV speakers are generally good enough for casual TV entertainment. However, if you want to truly enjoy movies on a large screen TV, you’ll find an investment in a dedicated sound system goes a long way to improve your experience. For my recent TV upgrade, I decided to get the JBL Cinema SB150 soundbar.

The JBL Cinema SB150 is an entry-level soundbar, but it does come with a separate subwoofer system for a full 150 Watts of 2.1 stereo sound. It’s light on features, but gets the job done good enough. It’s also very budget friendly.

The soundbar itself is relatively compact, with dimensions measuring 80 x 8.9 x 6.4 cm (WxDxH). It fits under my Samsung 55-inch Ultra HD 4K Series 7 Smart TV. 

The subwoofer is a relatively slim unit that measures 40.9 x 8.9 x 80 cm (HxWxD). A nice feature of the subwoofer unit is that it connects wirelessly to the soundbar, so no cable connections are required between the two of them. You can easily place the subwoofer anywhere in your TV room, as long as there is a power supply available to power it.

The SB150 soundbar supports audio input via optical S/PDIF, 3.5 mm aux, and Bluetooth. There is no HDMI ARC support, and the USB port on the back is only for software updates.

The physical controls on the SB150 soundbar are all located on the top-front edge. The buttons have a nice soft-touch rubber material.

There’s also a LED light below, hidden behind the front grills for status indication. The LED is quite subtle, should not distract from your movie enjoyment.

Sound quality from the SB150 is reasonably good. Home movie experience is definitely improved with the SB150. The subwoofer produces powerful deep bass that you can easily feel. You can independently adjust its volume separately from the main soundbar, but only via the remote control.

There are three fixed equaliser settings, News, Music, and Movie, to choose from. These also can only be selected from the remote control.

Both a 3.5 mm audio cable and optical S/PDIF cable are included in the retail packaging, so you can readily hook up the SB150 to your TV.

Note: The SB150 manual refers to a surround button, and the ability to program the soundbar to recognise your TV remote’s buttons for power and volume control. Unfortunately, the surround button doesn’t exist, and that programming capability doesn’t exist. I’m surprised that JBL could get these errors into their manual.

The JBL Cinema SB150 soundbar has a list retail price of S$299, although you can easily find discounts. I bought mine for just S$178 during a recent promotion.

13 thoughts on “JBL Cinema SB150 Review

  1. Hi Zit, Any comparisons with the Creative Stage soundbar and woofer system? It seems to have similar features, size, price range, and most important of all, it has TV ARC support.

        1. If they were at the same price, or just a small difference, I would pick the JBL SB150. It sounds a little better, and the build quality seems a tad better too. But at that wide a price differential… it may be hard to decide which is more value for money.

  2. Hi Zit Seng,

    I bought SB150 in Nov 2016. Very disappointed. I thought JBL brand was good. The subwoofer is not very good. Recently, the no sound coming from the soundbar. It lasted only 2.5 years. I have contacted the customer service. No reply yet.

    1. Same goes here. JBL Cinema SB150 does not last long.
      Just yesterday, subwoofer and soundbar itself – no sound coming out from them…


  3. I have a similar setup with yours. But I’m having trouble finding the aux port on the Samsung TV. Both the TV and JBL manual is rather useless in this case.

    I already connected the optical cable though. But I’m not sure that’s enough. Coz the subwoofer only gives out a really weak bass. Basically all I’m getting is sound from the Soundbar without the subwoofer.

    1. If you’re sure the subwoofer doesn’t produce any sound, then it might have become unpaired from the soundbar itself. Check the manual for pairing instructions (i.e. between soundbar and subwoofer).

  4. The subwoofer only gives out a really weak, weak bass. I am very much disappointed with this product and the JBL trademark for lettting costumers down.

  5. I can’t seem to pairing the jbl 150 subwoofer with the soundbar. The instruction manual seems to explain that it is automatic upon powering up the soundbar and subwoofer but no luck. I also tried to pair them manually by holding down the Bluetooth button on the soundbar and then the holding down the pairing button on the subwoofer but no luck either. Please help. Thanks.

  6. Tks for the review, Zit Seng. I was initially happy with the sb150 but the subwoofer intermittently does not power on (LED doesn’t light up). I tried a different power outlet but it doesn’t turn on. What could be the issue? Blown fuse? I have it for a year now. Tks!

  7. Hello Derrik

    I had the same power issue with the subwofer, and found out that the fuse needs to be placed properly. All you need to do is unplug its power cord, use a screwdriver to open the fuse compartment, fix it tight into place, then it should work

  8. Hi , I also own a sb150 for 3 years. I was wondering if the firmware can be updated ,pls suggest if any package file is available for this

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