Mi Soundbar vs JBL Cinema SB110: Which Is The Better Audio Device?
These two affordable soundbars have their pluses but feature wise, they are similar. So which one is worth buying?
Most soundbars, especially the good quality ones, cost as much as Rs 15,000, but the Mi Soundbar and the JBL Cinema SB100 come across as affordable options most buyers have been yearning for priced under Rs 8,000 in the market.
We’ve used both these soundbars extensively, to gauge their quality, the overall feature set, and what exactly separates one from the other. Here’s a detailed comparison of these two soundbars, which will help you in making the right buying decision.
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 tend to betray its price range. The control buttons are at the top, and you have the ports neatly tucked behind the speaker.
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. Looks can be deceiving with this one, and it’s fair to say that the Mi Soundbar isn’t too big or heavy.
You can get the Mi Soundbar in white and black colour options, for the same price as before.
In terms of quality, JBL takes a different route compared to the Mi Soundbar, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The Cinema SB110 sports a plastic body, with glossy finishing, but the overall construction feels rugged, and elegant at the same time, which is necessary for soundbars. It comes in black colour only, but the dimensions are wider than of the Mi Soundbar (950x90x55mm vs 830x72x87mm for the Xiaomi).
Features on Board
With the Mi Soundbar, you can choose to connect 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. The soundbar has to stay plugged in if you want to use it, but it doesn’t consume too much power.
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.
Talking about the JBL Cinema SB110, you get support for Bluetooth and an optical cable as well. However, what JBL does offer with the Cinema SB110 is a remote control. While initially, we didn’t mind Xiaomi offering the Mi Soundbar without a remote, but after using the JBL soundbar, we realised the convenience of having a remote and preferred it over the former.
What do They Sound Like?
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 that does 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.
The moment you pair the soundbar with a mobile, the audio quality is milder, but still not a deal-breaker by any means.
Moving onto JBL Cinema SB110, it gets two 2.5-inch built-in sub-woofer and two full-range drivers backed up by Dolby Digital. This might not sound like a lot, but the resulting quality, because of Dolby, offers a marginally better audio output, which you tend to notice while dialogues are being read out on some TV show. Even for music purposes, the SB 110 manages to pack an extra punch, which is expected of a soundbar with a Dolby badge.
The Better Soundbar?
Mi Soundbar is a solid product looking that feels like 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 TVs.
You get all this for Rs 4,999, which is quite an impressive pricing for a product in this category. As we’ve mentioned before, it comes across as a no brainer for people, who’re on the lookout for an affordable soundbar and don’t want to stretch their budget beyond Rs 5,000.
But if you relish using a soundbar with a remote then the JBL Cinema SB110, now selling for under Rs 7,000 over here, is worth the extra two grand. It not only comes with a remote control, but also supports Dolby Digital for better audio output.
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