Xioami introduced their line-up of televisions about a year ago and has proven itself as a successful manufacturer. The line-up of TV’s has only grown ever since and over the past year, the brand has updated and launched more variants to aid the requirement of the market. The brand is now looking to further enhance the TV experience with the launch of the new Mi Soundbar in India at a very reasonable price.
The Mi Soundbar is not very different from most other Xiaomi products that we’ve seen in the past. The soundbar comes with a very classy design and looks very attractive to the masses. The Mi Soundbar is a huge speaker and comes in a white plastic body with grey mesh fabric cover concealing the speaker unit. The branding of Mi is minimal, and can bee have seen on the top right of the soundbar. The choice of colors on the soundbar makes it very appealing but catches dust and other dirt very easily. A black variant of the soundbar would probably be a choice for many including us.
In terms of functionality, the soundbar comes with very easy controls for switching between Bluetooth, Aux In, Line in, S/PDIF and Optical. There are also dedicated buttons to control the volume. The lack of a display means we cannot see the volume level and we need to keep pressing the volume button till you reach the level of your choice. The lack of remote is another major disadvantage. The inclusion of a remote would have hugely impacted the ease of use to adjust the volume from the comfort of the seats while watching a movie on the TV.
The soundbar weights in about 2 kilograms and the weight distribution are very even making it comfortable to transport. The Mi Soundbar can be installed under the television on television or be mounted on the wall. The box also includes all the required mounts and screws that are needed to mount the soundbar to the wall. The Mi Soundbar comes with rubber feet on the bottom to keep it stable on the table top. This not only prevents slipping on the table but also helps absorb some of the vibrations from the speakers. Overall the Mi Soundbar has a very good design and basic functionality, the only major downside is the exclusion of a remote control.
The Xiaomi Soundbar comes with multiple connectivity options and can easily be connected to your TV, Smartphone, Laptop or any portable audio device. The Mi Soundbar comes with Bluetooth and can wirelessly connect to all supported devices. For a higher quality audio streaming experience, you can shift to the wired streaming options. The wired connectivity options include 3.5mm AUX, Mono – Red- white input, S/PDIF port for co-axial input and an optical port. The most common connectivity options are all present in the Mi Soundbar and it is very easy to connect it to the TV.
The ports are arranged clearly and are easy to identify, the input can easily be switched using the buttons mentioned above. There is an LED indicator indicating the source of input. There is a power rocker that needs to be flipped to turn on, the box packaging doesn’t come with all the necessary cable attachments and the user is expected to buy them as per requirement.
The Mi Soundbar doesn’t come with HDMI or USB ports, this was a major disappoint for us as it means lack of support for HDMI ARC. The HDMI ARC connection hugely simplifies connectivity and the presence of a USB port allows for direct streaming from a pen drive.
Coming to the most important, the sound quality of the Mi Soundbar, Xioami promises to deliver a cinematic experience and we were very impressed with the soundbar as it stuck to the promise. We connected the Mi Soundbar to some of our smartphones and Laptops, the connectivity was seamless, and the audio quality was exceptional for the price. While the sound quality is not the best when listening to songs the Mi Soundbar does great in almost every other situation. The Mi Soundbar does get loud with decent treble and bass, the soundstage isn’t well balanced and can be easily noticed while playing music.
The bass is very heavy and takes over the vocals while Playing the song Skyfall by Adele, the bass was so high and overpowering that we could barely hear the vocals. The music listening experience could have been greatly improved by adding an equalizer option.
We then connected the Mi Soundbar to Mi TV 4X Pro to watch some movies. The soundbar doesn’t let you down here and makes you enjoy your favorite shows a little more, the audio experience in movies is rich, wider and helps get closer to a full cinematic audio experience. The soundstage is very much balanced here and the dialogues, sound effects, and other frequencies are distinctly identified. The MI Soundbar is loud and provides a much more improved audio experience as compared to the TV’s speakers.
We feel that Xiaomi has done a very good job in tuning the MI Soundbar for an overall home theatre experience on a budget, the soundbar sounds very good for movies and can be a little overwhelming for music. If you are a lover of Heavy Bass, then the Mi Soundbar will leave you very satisfied. There are a few shortcomings including the lack of a remote and limited I/O options, however, the sound quality of the speakers more than makes up for the imperfections.
The Mi Soundbar is one of the best options available in the market right now, there are other soundbars from F&D and Phillips that offer a similar sound experience. The Mi Soundbar has very elegant aesthetics and a well-distributed weight. The bass is powerful, and the treble is very clear making it a perfect choice for movies.