on 30 January 2013
Due to lack of space I decided to give up my Onkyo 5.1 surround sound setup and have made do with my LG TV's internal speakers for the last year or so. This wouldn't have been so bad if the TV casing didn't reverberate at certain frequencies! Anyway, being a film buff and gamer I always missed that booming sound that only a decent surround sound system with a sub can supply. So I started looking around for something that could deliver the sound quality I wanted, but didn't take up a lot of space and didn't require wires to be trailing all over the room. Sound bars were the logical option, however, a lot of the ones I looked at were a bit on the large size, wider than my TV unit itself! Then I spotted the Mini 3D. After a bit of research it was receiving favourable reviews and looked to meet my requirements. So I decided to take the plunge and I couldn't be more pleased with it! For such a little unit it packs a mighty punch, with a superb 3D surround effect that really fills the room. It is a pretty simple setup, with just three different pre-set levels for movies, music and games, plus the ability to turn the 3D effect off...although I'm not sure why you would want to. So if you're looking for something that's easy to set up, sounds great and isn't going to dominate your room then this is the right gear for you.
on 7 October 2013
I got this a couple of days ago so am posting initial findings.
It has a great array of connections. I had initially thought to connect each of my devices (apple tv, youview STB, ps3) via the optical, RCA and bluetooth connections. Whilst I had no problem connecting my apple tv via an optical connection, I could not pair my PS3 via bluetooth. To be fair, I'm not sure this is actually possible but considering you can connect BT headphones to a PS3 I thought it was worth a shot.
As I wanted to watch a DVD via my PS3, I quickly decided to try and hook it up via the optical cable I had previously attached to my Apple TV - but it didn't seem to work. However I couldn't get any sound out of it but this is obviously down to some setting on the PS3 that I couldn't fathom.
In the end, I realised I could save myself a whole lot of trouble and just connect my tv to the Toshiba unit via a coaxial digital cable, and so all sound that goes to the tv is passed to the Toshiba. Now I don't have to worry about what input I've got selected.
And on that note, as others point out it's impossible to know just what input you've got selected at any given time, short of cycling through them with the remote (or the button on top of the unit) - so having just one attached makes perfect sense.
As for the sound, it's quite astonishing how much presence it has given its size, but whether it's great compared to other units, I couldn't say. It's definitely acceptable though, and a huge step up from my tv's built in speakers. There's three "modes" of sound; Movie, Music and Game - but I imagine most people will leave it selected at Movie. You can also toggle 3D sound on and off with any mode selected. In the On position, a large amount of reverb seems to be applied, resulting in a full, relatively immersive sound field. However, in my limited experience with the unit, it seems to be at the expense of dialogue clarity, and is definitely bass heavy at the expense of treble. Turning 3D off focuses the sound back to the centre and dialogue is much easier to follow. Some reviewers question why you'd ever want to turn 3D off but I found it overkill for the kind of programming I've watch since setting this unit up.
My purchase decision was solely based on size, as I have a relatively small tv (a 32") and limited cabinet space. My only gripe is that the sound levels cannot be tuned (ie bass levels are fixed), but all in all for the price, and considering its size, it seems to be a good purchase.
on 9 December 2013
If you're looking for a quality boost to your LED TV's usually very average sound then this provides it. I have a 50" Samsung on the wall and was looking for a boost, mainly for movies and music or sport programmes. However, I didn't want a huge (relatively speaking) soundbar and wires everywhere.
The unit itself is neat and compact, amazing when you consider the sound that comes out of it. It is more than enough for the fairly large living room we have. I'm no expert audiophile, but as an "ordinary" punter I know the difference between a basic good and bad sound. This unit fills the immediate area with a wall of sound, crashes and thuds come through much more clearly than through the standard LED TV speakers. We leave the "3D Effect" switched on, as this just seems to produce better overall sound.
Initial set-up out of the box, as other users have commented, is pretty much instant. You simply turn the unit on and that's it. We have an Optical lead (not supplied) hooked straight into the Sky HD box and the Toshiba supplied leads straight into the Blu-Ray. I think DVDs, Blu-Rays and HD Movies are where this comes into its own. As an example, "Monsters University" on Blu-Ray sounds excellent, with all the shrieks and shouts of monsters whizzing around. A similar experience with "Skyfall", it really utilises the soundbar's capabilities to the full.
Users have commented on the remote control. We haven't found any issues with it. Granted it's not a high end-type remote, but then you don't expect that at this price-point. The important point is that it works!
People have also mentioned the lack of a display to show which input is selected. Whilst this would be nice to have, there are only three or four options to cycle through, so it doesn't take long until you hear the sound coming out! If you're like us, you'll be watching through the TV/satellite most of the time anyway, so the input doesn't need to be changed.
In summary, if you're looking for a noticeable boost in sound quality, without the expense and intrusion of hardware and wires, then you can't go wrong here. I tried a few out in stores (at a similar price point) and unless you have ultra-sensitive hearing or are exceptionally picky, you will not notice any difference in quality between this and some units which are twice the price.
on 10 March 2014
OK, reading through the many reviews, I was umming and rrring...
There are a few points raised in the buyers reviews that are to the point - This is GOOD, but it has its flaws with the design of operation...
Ignore the problems, as you will get used to the flaws quickly, but only after trail and error - then you will find how BRILLIANT this sound-bar is, it is OUTSTANDING for the price.
I have now in a couple of days tested it out on 2 TVS, a 24" Toshiba and a 42" Samsung... In BOTH cases the performance of this sound-bar enhanced the viewing experiences through vastly improved sound quality.
In both cases different levels of performance was experiences, so lets give you a review in each case...
On set up, it wasnt possible to use a digital cable, so had to use the 3.5mm jack option, as the Toshiba TV hadn't got a digital output (yes a coax one but not digital)
The sound improvement of the TV sound was INCREDIBLE...
The TV sound was tinny very distant, and distorted, with the Sound-Bar - the Sound was in the ROOM with you!!!
So a 1000% BETTER!!! - So Buy it
Samsung 42" 3D TV 2011
This was a bit more difficult to distinquish the sound difference, as the Sound on the TV comes with surround sound, but once I had got used to the controls, using the Digital cable, the difference was say 40% improvement!
However, the performance was far better than the Samsung internal speakers, but not as remarkable as the Toshiba, TV where the difference was DRAMATIC and STUNNING!
- via Motorola Xoom and Blackberry Playbook
Easy set up, pairs immediately, sound quality IMPRESSIVE...
The learning CURVE - the Controls
As many reviews report, the controls are limited, basic, the controller is pathetic... It seems that someone designed an excellent sound-box, but then used the cheapest controller available, with the limited of limited visual reference to what you are doing!!!
So lets explain the problem...
The sound-bar is controlled via the INPUT you use, so rather than an Auto-detect on the Soundbox, you have to select which Input you are using... This makes for confusion as there is NO way of seeing what input method you have selected, other than when you hear the sound... This is POOR, because IF your Volume is set low or muted, on the output device - you cannot Hear any sound...
If you use the 3.5mm jack input, this is evident, as the jack cuts off the sound to your TV, whereas with the Digital fibre cable, the sound is piped to both the TV and the BOX, this has advantage later, where you can quickly switch between TV and BOX sounds.
BLUETOOTH, is controlled by the Bluetooth button, again is a simple ON/OFF device, so simple to use, but you have to have PAIRED devices...
This is where it gets fun... with the Digital cable, you can MUTE either the TV or the BOX, you can as well play Bluetooth Music over the TV sound...
This is really Impressive, to test it, switch on or off the 3D sound button, with 3D sound, sound appears to come from the side and behind your TV, whereas without the 3D being on the sound is localized and comes directly from the small speaker, and sound dull and muted as well as a bit tinny...
The CONTROL, as said is LIMITED, basic ON OFF button controls, which you will have to go through in sequence, but as said easy to understand, BUT the WORST thing is, is that VISUALLY you do not have any reference of what is ON or OFF, as there iss ONE LED Light, that shows only::
RED = device switched off
GREEN = Device switched on
BLUE = Bluetooth enabled
Thats the BIGGEST DOWNSIDE to the overall piece of kit
If you can live with this limitations,then this piece of KIT IS WELL WORTH IT - So BUY IT!
It works not only with your TV, but you can use the OTHER INPUT methods to ADD other devices, so you could add your HiFi system, and other devices alongside your BlueTooth devices....
So If you can LOOK at the POSITIVE POINTS, and LIVE with the negative point of limited on/off only controls - then this is a BARGAIN
BUY it, enjoy it - then write a REVIEW!
on 7 May 2013
Had been looking at sound bars, but was struggling to find one that would fit on the shelves under the tv. I bought this for its compact size, expecting the sound to be better than the tv, with the added advantage of playing my ipod, but I was amazed at the quality of sound produced by such a small speaker. Really pleased with this, would highly recommend.
on 5 March 2014
the rating for this product is only because its outstanding. the sound is enhanced as well by using an optical lead. My neighbours are happy as well, they can hear so clearly!! The subwoofer is ideal and movies are near cinema sound. love it! love it!
on 2 March 2013
I done a fair bit of research before deciding to opt for this little system.And like other reviewers have said it might be small but what great sound comes from it.Everyone in my house are amazed by it.The sound from it is incredible .
Really simple to set up, I bought an optical cable for it in place of the one supplied .Unlike a few other ones I looked at it seems quite well made.
A good thing about it is the option to have it sitting off centre if need be ,which might be useful for some people .
But probably the most popular feature it has in my house ,is being able to play the music from our iphones easily.
Like another reviewer I bought mine from Crampton and moore, who were selling even cheaper on ebay.Their service was top notch I have to say.
So to round up if you don't want a large sound bar, but better quality sound for your TV and easy bluetooth, I can fully recommend this little one .
on 10 September 2014
For the money, this is a great little soundbar. Love the Bluetooth connection. Ripped all my CDs to laptop and happily listen to music with far less effort than when we had a cd player. There are some niggles which others have described - but overall, I recommend this soundbar.
on 15 January 2014
Bought to compliment an existing Toshiba TV and having done some digging around to ensure that it rated well the SBM1W has certainly exceeded expectations. The bass is very strong from such a small unit and in our setup the cabled subwoofer was not a hindrance.As per previous reviews the mid to high frequencies from the bar itself are clear as a bell at low volumes but can distort at higher volumes, although this is only when cranked right up so I don't consider this a significant shortcoming in a <£150 unit. I have been really impressed with the ability to stream directly to it from iPad or laptop via Bluetooth in adjoining rooms, and would recommend it for this feature alone. Easy setup and a really useful feature. Best sum-up: the wife thought it was a real bloke's investment but now loves it as much as I do for giving a bit of welly to films and TV dramas.
on 14 February 2014
Okay, so as a TV sound bar, which this is mainly marketed as, it's a great little piece of kit. The LFE and bass is quite punchy for such a small driver and the mid-range response is clear and very even. Top end is a little lacking but not to a really noticeable degree. Turning on the 3D sound system is highly recommended at it's very effective and gives a really 3D sound effect.
As a sound bar for a computer monitor, which is what I was after to replace the dire sound from my LCD display, this isn't such a great buy though. After 10 minutes of no input it goes automatically into standby with no apparent way to turn this feature off, so if you're browsing around the Internet and come across a video or sound clip you want to play, you end up having to turn the darned thing on every time, which gets quite irritating after a while.