New-age flat-panel televisions offer excellent picture quality but end up compromising on sound. In case you are not happy with your TV's built-in speakers and looking for a clutter-free, easy-to-set-up solution, soundbars could be great alternatives. Xiaomi has recently launched the Mi Soundbar in India (alongside two LED TV models), which is incredibly pocket-friendly but still offers an immersive audio experience.
Although most flat-panel and CRT TVs and even the latest soundbars come in black or dark grey, Xiaomi has been bold enough to continue with the 'Mi look' with a pristine white body and a grey, mesh-like fabric grille at the front. Physical controls for volume and source selection are on the top while ports and the power button are placed at the rear. The soundbar features two 20-mm dome tweeters for higher frequencies, two 2.5-inch woofers for lower frequencies and four passive radiators for low and enhanced bass. It feels light at 1.92 kg and can be easily mounted on a wall or placed on a flat surface.
As this is Xiaomi's first foray into the home audio segment in India where the company follows an aggressive marketing strategy, the soundbar is not restricted to the Mi brand of smart TVs. Instead, it has added as many as five connectivity options to make it compatible with new and old TVs as well as other smart devices such as smartphones or iPads.
There is a standard AUX for 3.5-mm audio adaptor cable connectivity, Bluetooth for wireless connectivity along with line-in, optical and S/PDIF which makes it compatible with new as well as older TVs, including CRT TVs.
Setting it up was quick and easy - I just plugged in the power cable and selected the source from the top. When the soundbar was paired with the Mi TV (non-Android) using the S/PDIF cable bundled in the box, I had to switch the 'sound' option to S/PDIF from TV speakers. However, I was able to control the soundbar's volume or audio settings from the TV remote itself. The sound quality was impressive, with clear vocals, powerful mids and deep bass. The Mi Soundbar infinitely enhances entertainment, movie watching and gaming experience. When paired with TV over Bluetooth, there was no lag and I was able to control it using the TVs remote. But there was a slight loss in clarity due to wireless transmission of sound. The Mi Soundbar also lacks a remote control, USB plug-and-play and HDMI ARC support, but keeping in mind the pricing, we should not complain.