Should You Buy a Soundbar Worth Rs 5,000 For Your Big Screen TV?
Mi Soundbar is one of the only options you get for under Rs 10,000. 
Mi Soundbar is one of the only options you get for under Rs 10,000. (Photo: The Quint)

Should You Buy a Soundbar Worth Rs 5,000 For Your Big Screen TV?

Ever since Xiaomi launched its Mi Soundbar in India, that too for Rs 4,999 I was eager to try the device out and see if its value for that money.

Since I got my hands on the soundbar, I have hooked it up to my 43-inch LED TV and was using it as the sound driver for watching movies and web series on Netflix or Amazon Prime. So has Xiaomi delivered much above its weight (and price) with the Mi Soundbar?

That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about here. Read on to know if this device is worth spending Rs 5,000 on or not.

What’s It Like?

The Mi Soundbar is a smart-looking device and kudos to Xiaomi for keeping it clean and simple, at least with respect to its design. The fit and finish looks like something more expensive and that would be doing disservice for a product that has no competition.

The Mi Soundbar doesn’t look like it costs Rs 5,000. 
The Mi Soundbar doesn’t look like it costs Rs 5,000. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Most soundbars, especially the good quality ones, cost as much as Rs 15,000, but the Mi Soundbar comes across as an affordable option most buyers having been yearning for.

The purpose of a soundbar is to enhance the audio quality while watching on a big screen. It’s primary use case doesn’t include playing music from mobile, but the Mi Soundbar is not too shabby with that either.
The soundbar should come in a black colour option also. 
The soundbar should come in a black colour option also. 
(Photo: The Quint)

Encased over soft touch cloth-like material, the plastic nature of the device is evident, but it’s easy to say that the Mi Soundbar will look pleasing to anybody visiting your house. Having said that, we would have liked to choose between white and black as the colour options.

Looks can be deceiving with this one, and it’s fair to say that the Mi Soundbar isn’t to big or heavy.

What Does It Offer?

Moving from design to functionality, the Mi Soundbar comes through with flying colours here as well. You can choose to connect it via Bluetooth (check if your TV supports it), AUX-in and even Line-in cable for televisions from yesteryear.

That’s not all, Xiaomi has also managed to pack it with a Sony/Phillips Digital Interface (SPDIF) and Optical port, for those who need it for more than regular use cases.

Bluetooth, line and aux-in ports all supported. 
Bluetooth, line and aux-in ports all supported. 
(Photo: The Quint)

The soundbar has to stay plugged in if you want to use it, but it doesn’t consume too much power.

Mi Soundbar doesn’t get a bundled remote.
Mi Soundbar doesn’t get a bundled remote.
(Photo: The Quint)

At the top of the speaker you’ll find buttons to control various modes, sandwiched between the volume buttons. Xiaomi, probably to keep its cost down, hasn’t bundled the Mi Soundbar with a remote and pretty sure people can live with that. Once connected to TV or phone, that’s your way to control its decibel level.

How Does it Sound?

The Mi Soundbar comes with eight drivers, including two 20mm dome tweeters to produce high notes of the music. It also gets dual 2.5 inch woofers to deliver on the mids and four passive radiators to offer a balanced bass output.

If you look beyond the technicalities, the Mi Soundbar manages to pack enough punch for its size and the drivers, all placed towards the front, do justice to what Xiaomi set out to achieve with this device. You notice the difference in the audio quality when you switch between the audio from the TV to the soundbar.

It’s neither too big nor heavy to move around. 
It’s neither too big nor heavy to move around. 
(Photo: The Quint)
The marginal amplification of audio through the soundbar, aided by mid-level bass makes for an audio experience that might appeal to most of us in this segment. 

The moment you pair the soundbar with a mobile, the audio quality is milder. It’s not a deal-breaker. This is a point we’d like to highlight for the sake of nit picking.

Worth Buying?

Mi Soundbar is a solid product looking to break the mould of an expensive soundbar. It supports Bluetooth, Aux and Line-In, optical and SPDIF that makes it work with mobile, LED TVs or even your old, boxy CRTVs.

You get all this for Rs 4,999, which is quite an impressive pricing for a product in this category and as we’ve mentioned before, comes across as a no brainer for people, who’re on the lookout for an affordable soundbar.

Mi Soundbar is a unique product that everyone should look at buying.
Mi Soundbar is a unique product that everyone should look at buying.
(Photo: The Quint)

As long as you don’t expect the world from this device, you’re getting a product that will deliver more than what you’ve got it for. Like how the Mi TV changed the pricing dynamics of television in the country, the Mi Soundbar may force other brands to rethink their product strategy as well.

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