Before I begin this review, there is one main variable I ask that you keep in mind - and that is to consider the price of this soundbar! OK, so now that price has become ingrained in our mind-set, let''s move on to what many of us hope (or have hoped) this soundbar can...
Before I begin this review, there is one main variable I ask that you keep in mind - and that is to consider the price of this soundbar! OK, so now that price has become ingrained in our mind-set, let''s move on to what many of us hope (or have hoped) this soundbar can do.
Sound quality - above all - is the reason that many of us purchase these soundbars and let''s face, these Chinese manufacturers make plenty of them, and oftentimes they are clones of other models on the market. As a matter of background information, we have an older (but exceptionally nice) 59" Samsung Plasma set which we purchased some 12 years ago. The sound quality is horrible - more akin to am AM radio of olden days. I have a special sound base which we purchased some 6 years ago (a ZVOX model) that we use to watch movies due to the superb sound capabilities of that unit, but we don''t use that for everyday TV scenarios.
As time went on, we realized that we needed something we could listen to every day TV scenarios (and be able to make out voices - along with better sound, etc). Let''s face it, there are many sound-bar or sound-base choices out there ranging from $39.95 to $3000, but it all depends initially what you''re willing to spend - but more so, what you standards are for sound quality. After looking over a range of these soundbars, we elected to take a chance and purchase this Chinese made VMAI soundbar which was priced at only $79.95. OK, I thought, how good could this soundbar be for that very low price? I was sooooo hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
When it came, it was very easy to setup. We used the optical inputs for connection and it''s small (slim) size fit perfectly for what we had in mind. I was starting to get excited because the build quality of this unit is actually very nice (again, consider what the price is of this soundbar).
Now on to the meat of the matter - the sound quality. Now keep in mind I used to be a higher end audiophile and had invested thousands in high-end audio gear years ago. Those days are over, but my standards for sound quality have not diminished. I did a series of sound tests on this sound-bar - from regular TV scenarios, to Blue Ray Disk recordings, to Streaming HD video from NetFlix and Amazon Prime. And boy was I DISAPPOINTED!
The one redeeming factor with this soundbar is that the speakers face forward, making voices easier to understand, but the overall sound quality is not much of an improvement over the cheap, built-in speakers. At first I thought that surely I must have done something wrong here with regards to how I connected them - but no, everything was just fine, and the optical input is typically the best way to connect devices such as these (even used some higher end optical cables which I had on line to do so).
On the movies with exceptional audio content, the only differences I managed to hear were a slight (and I mean slight) improvement in the higher frequencies, and the bass had just a tad bit more detail (and we''re talkin'' miniscule here) than the built-in speakers. Fidelity-wise, this sound bar''s quality could still pass for the every-day built-in speakers that come with various older TV sets - bummer!
So in the end, my quest goes on and what a disappointment this soundbar is. The claims and advertisements made by the manufacturer imply that we can expect noticeable improvements in sound-stage, audio quality, and more. But alas, this is not so. When I went back to read the various consumer reviews of this unit, I came to realize that everybody has different standards for how things should sound. But for this price, one would expect a significant (if not noticeable) improvement in overall sound quality.
I will give this soundbar to my grandson and chaulk it up as a poor investment. But in the meantime, I realize that in most cases, the ole'' adage, "you get what you pay for," really applies here.
I realize now that I will have to pay more to get something better than this.
Thanks for listening (errr, reading that is).
Fuquay Varina, NC