Let’s face it, your smartphone has got a proper weedy speaker. It’s not going to fill a room and, despite what the “yoof” think, walking around the streets with your phone playing tunes at full volume is nothing when compared to the classic ghetto blaster.
When you’re at home, your TV suffers from the same issue in a way. The ultra-thin TV’s have ultra-thin speakers and you’re not going to get a cinema-sound experience to match your cinema TV unless you get some sort of soundbar.
So here’s a soundbar, but it comes complete with a big fat subwoofer too. That’ll rattle the floorboards, but it also usually means lots more cabling.
Ah, not so.
This soundbar and subwoofer combination belches out a massive 80 watts and the subwoofer is wireless, so no need to yank all your carpet up just to try and hide it behind your sofa.
Installing is easy enough. The soundbar itself, as you can see, has a range of inputs. There’s 2 HDMI inputs (perhaps one for your set-top box and one for your DVD / Blu-ray player) and one output which will pipe the images through to your TV. This means you can enjoy great sound from your satellite or cable box, plus you’ll benefit from all those massive explosions and engine noises if you put your games console into the other input.
There’s also an AUX input which are the two RCA / phono ports and the 3.5mm audio input. Not only that, but if you’re “all flash-like”, you can add an optical input too.
Me? I wanted to use Bluetooth, and luckily it does that too. Good huh?
For those of you who want to get to the very “meat” of this article quickly, here’s an intro video..
As you’ll have seen in the video, the remote control lets you easily switch between the inputs and it’s simple enough to pair the speaker with your device. I didn’t really have to think about the magic that connects the subwoofer to the main soundbar – it just worked. There is, if you need it, a reset button so that you can re-sync the subwoofer and soundbar together. The subwoofer is powered by a mains connection and the soundbar by an adapter providing 18 volts.
You can have these positioned quite far apart and, although there’s no maximum distance mentioned in the manual that I can see, I had them on completely opposite ends of the room without issues. By the way, that subwoofer kicks out 50W and the soundbar does 15W per channel, a total of 80W (50+15+15).
The remote control has buttons for increasing / decreasing volume and bass, plus you can hop into one of 4 preset sound modes – Music (for general TV and music use), Night (which removes a lot of the bass so your neighbours don’t complain), Movie (adds a virtual surround-sound effect) and Game (enhances the sound for a “punchier gaming experience”).
You can switch easily between each input directly from the remote or, if you need to, from the top of the speaker itself. It’s from here that you’ll also start the Bluetooth process, as detailed in the video. You can also do it from the remote if you delete the currently paired handset.
The actual soundbar itself car be mounted to your wall, which is ideal if you’ve got your TV fixed that way too. The soundbar is a strong device but it’s got a nice design about it and looks really good.
My TV is weird, and no matter what I did I seemed to be getting the sound coming out of the speakers slightly after the images on the screen. No amount of fiddling on the set-top box changed it, but this has happened with other speakers previously and is a problem with my TV rather than the speakers.
What I can tell you though, is that the sound through the HDMI connectors didn’t seem to be quite as good as the Bluetooth output, which was utterly floor-wobbling. No kidding. I had this sat on the floor during testing (as you saw in the video above) and you could feel the vibrations of the floorboards in the next room. If you do find that the bass from the subwoofer is a tad too much, you can of course adjust it down easily. I also liked the “night” mode, which removed a lot of the heavy bass tones as we mentioned before. Having to turn this up when you’re listening to music channels and then turning it all down again is a bit of a faff, so I was glad to see a button just to drop it down in one go. Likewise, the “music” button would switch it back up again.
The balance of the deeper sounds and higher-end pitch from the soundbar were finely balanced, and I liked the fact that the subwoofer could be placed wire-free anywhere else in the room.
Oh, and I also got lots of complaints from the wife about how loud it was.
So it must be good, right?
Digging around on Amazon, I found it for £200. There’s a great range of inputs, the sound output is excellent and the brand is one I’m begging to value (after reviewing their kit previously). The KitSound people seem to know how music should sound and, likewise, how movies and games should sound too. Take, for example, that annoying moment when you’re watching a film and the music is blaring out but you can’t hear a word of the dialogue. That’s something I didn’t have a problem with here, and it was balanced well.
The Bluetooth connectivity was easy, the setup and remote control was simple and the design was polished.
If you want a soundbar that matches your TV (say a Samsung or Sony one) you could pay just as much, but here you can put Bluetooth into the mix and the noise coming out of this will make your windows shake.
Get more information on kitsound.co.uk