MI Soundbar

One of the biggest disadvantages of TVs going slimmer is that the quality of audio from them has deteriorated. Thankfully, this gave birth to a new category of products that worked as a plug and play accessory to the idiot box. These products, called soundbars have gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. Xiaomi has brought a soundbar for us i.e MI Soundbar.

Specifications of MI Soundbar

Hardware
USB Type Micro  
Dimensions 87 * 72 * 830 mm
Interface Type Rectangle
LED indicators Yes
Weight 1900 g
Connectivity
Bluetooth Version 4.2
AUX in Yes
Audio and Performance
Frequency Range 50-25000 Hz
Impedance 6 Ohm
Power Input > 14W X 2 @1 kHz, THD < 1%
  No. of speaker drivers   Two 20mm Dome Tweeters + Two 2.5 inch Woofer Drivers + Four 70x55mm Passive Radiators  

Box Contents

  • Mi Soundbar
  • User Manual Adapter
  • SPDIF cable
  • 2 screws
  • Expansion Crews

About MI Soundbar

Soundbars come with a wide range of prices, with many of the popular options costing more than Rs. 10,000. The MI soundbar from Xiaomi stands out in the budget segment. Talking about it, Mi Soundbar has eight drivers, including two 20mm dome tweeters for the highs, two 2.5” woofers for the mids and four passive radiators for the lows and enhanced bass and in addition to Bluetooth, it also has Line-In, AUX, Optical and S/PDIF input options.

MI Soundbar

Review

Design

Despite having a low price, the Mi Soundbar checks most of the boxes for a proper soundbar eight drivers spread across the 83cm length of the unit. The Mi Soundbar contains two tweeters, two wide-range drivers, and four passive radiators handling different parts of the sonic frequency range. It has a fabric cover over the front that hides the drivers. There are no sharp edges, and rounded corners all around the speaker. The controls can be found at the top, while the back has the inputs and power switch.

MI Soundbar

Overall, the construction of the soundbar is solid and the look especially with the front fabric is quite premium. At first glance, one wouldn’t think that this is a 5k soundbar.

Specifications

The Mi Soundbar is supporting Bluetooth 4.2, and its physical inputs include optical as well as coaxial S/PDIF, stereo RCA line in connectors, and a 3.5mm socket. It has a frequency response range of 50-25,000Hz.

And you can wall-mount the soundbar, and the right screws and plugs for this are included in the box and there is no additional subwoofer unit, as the passive radiators provide the bass output. The Mi Soundbar looks good and feels solid enough, although it would have been nice to have had a few colour options. Furthermore, the soundbar is relatively tall.

Operating the MI soundbar is simple enough — the power switch at the back turns it on with the last-used source selected. And if you’re using the soundbar primarily with a single source such as your TV then you can use your TV’s remote to control the volume, the only thing you need to get up to do is turn it on and off.

And hence, switching to the source you want is easy; you just have to press the button for each one at the top of the soundbar, and a small indicator light above it will show that it’s now active.

Performance

Soundbars are meant to give you an upgrade over the sound output of TV. And hence, the Mi Soundbar did succeed in improving sound quality, and it did so well enough to justify spending on it.

The biggest improvement came in the volume, the Mi Soundbar was audibly louder than what we’d expect from most TVs, which have a rated output of around 20W. With the use of the front-firing drivers of the soundbar and the eight distinct drivers had a positive effect on the sound quality.

The tuning of the soundbar is geared for typical TV viewing; the mid-range is as defined as the lows and highs, and this ensures that you can hear voices clearly. Voices did tend to sound a bit sharp, particularly high-pitched ones, but in general, we were able to distinctly and clearly hear dialogue and vocals in music better on the Mi Soundbar than through the TV’s speakers.

It contains four passive radiators which do to some extent make up for the lack of a subwoofer. While bass and low-end rumble aren’t quite as good as compared to more expensive soundbars such as the JBL SB250, the difference in quality is entirely forgivable considering the price. Action and thriller shows on Netflix such as The Umbrella Academy and Nightflyers, which rely on strong bass and deep, ominous background music for dramatic effect, sounded good enough on the Mi Soundbar.

Turning the volume up too high had a detrimental effect on sound quality, which causes a fair amount of distortion in the mids and highs. We can say that it was best used at reasonable volumes in our experience, where sound quality benefited from the use of multiple drivers and can also be used for music through any of its inputs.

Ports and Connectivity

MI soundbar has the speaker which has 1 Aux port at the back, 1 Line in port, 1 S/PDIF port and 1 Optical port. It also supports Bluetooth connectivity. The power port is also at the back and everything is neatly laid out. The soundbar doesn’t come with a remote control in the box. instead, all the input selections are neatly laid out at the top of the speaker along with the volume controls. And also, there is a white LED indicator to show which source is currently in use and when it comes to Bluetooth connectivity, the soundbar can only remember one device at a time which is a bummer.

Features

There are plenty of connectivity options on the Mi Soundbar. You get Bluetooth 4.2, Aux-in, Coaxial line in, SPDIF and Optical in. One of the more commonly found input options – a USB port is missing here. You get a pair of 2.5-inch drivers, a pair of 20mm tweeters and 4 passive radiators for the bass, each measuring 70 x 55 mm in dimension. The rated frequency response ranges between 50 Hz and 20 kHz. The output power is rated at 28 Watts RMS.

Key Features of MI soundbar

  • Room Filling Sound
  • Multiple Connectivity Options
  • Minimalist Design
  • 30-second easy setup
  • Enhanced bass
  • Clear treble that compliments the surging bass
  • Amplifies the bass for your enjoyment

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Well-tuned for TV sound
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Dialogues sound loud and clear

Cons

  • No remote
  • Only a single Bluetooth device can be remembered at a time
  • Only S/PDIF cable included in the box

Price

The price for MI Soundbar in Nepal is Rs 9,500 and in India, it is estimated to be at Rs. 4,999.

Also Read about JBL Flip 4.

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