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Xiaomi Soundbar 3.1ch Review: A basic soundbar with well-stocked links

Xiaomi Soundbar 3.1ch Review: A basic soundbar with well-stocked links

The soundbar 3.1ch has an average dimensions of 86 x 11.5 x 6 cm in a completely standard format. With the exception of the metal grille that protects the speakers on the front, the quality of the plastic used here is desirable. The top takes fingerprints easily and is slightly reflective, which can create discomfort when turning on the TV.

With dimensions of 21 x 29.7 x 37 cm, the box is very suitable considering the size of the bar. However, it is much better designed than its counterpart because it is all decorated with wood. It has a downward-pointing speaker and a vent Pass reflex Turned backwards.

As an accessory, we found two power cables, a very short HDMI cable (1 m), a remote control and a wall hanging system. An optical cable would not have been too much … A rare element in this type of product, the power supply unit bar is not integrated: it may be eye-catching, but it makes it easy to replace in the event. Fracture.

Fingerprints are very difficult to remove with a dry cloth and require the use of a cleaning agent.

Fingerprints are very difficult to remove with a dry cloth and require the use of a cleaning agent.

For unpretentious soundbar, Xiaomi has spoiled this soundbar 3.1ch with great connectivity. On the back, there is an HDMI input and output, S / PDIF optical input, S / PDIF RCA input and a USB-A port. By querying, we can blame it for the lack of mini-jack input, but the variety is still commendable. Soundbar also has a 3.1ch Bluetooth wireless connection, but ignores WiFi, so all connected functions (not AirPlay, Chromecast, etc.).

The HDMI ARC port is compatible with the HDMI CEC protocol, which enables you to manage the soundbar 3.1ch with the TV remote control.

The HDMI ARC port is compatible with the HDMI CEC protocol, which enables you to manage the soundbar 3.1ch with the TV remote control.

One of the HDMI sockets supports ARC functionality, which allows you to send sound from the TV to the menu. Soundbar 3.1ch is capable of decoding Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital +, DTS Digital Surround and LPCM formats in stereo and multichannel. However, it does not support HD streams such as Dolby True HD and lesser 3D formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. This soundbar is not capable of decoding 4K / 120 streams, but understands HDR10 and Dolby Vision well.

User experience

Soundbar 3.1ch is very easy to learn and use on a daily basis. It has four buttons on its upper face to power on, change sources or manage volume. To go further, the bar comes with a very simple, but complete remote control. This way you can switch between different listening modes, enable Bluetooth connectivity, manage / move playback between tracks in this last connection mode, or operate at speaker level. With the remote control, you can set treble and pass levels or access advanced settings to manage audio / video sync.

Xiaomi is not compatible to supply two AAA LR03 batteries for the remote control.  So you have to get it yourself.

Xiaomi is not compatible to supply two AAA LR03 batteries for the remote control. So you have to get it yourself.

Xiaomi’s Soundbar offers a small screen to its right, fully readable and displays a lot of information. Attached is the NFC chip on its upper right side to connect the Bluetooth device while flying – only works on Android smartphones.

Unlike its general production quality, the Soundbar 3.1ch does not shine particularly well with its sound performance. For listening to music in music mode or surround virtualization in cinematic mode, Bar offers unbalanced rendering.

Frequency response measurement (normalized to 85 dB SPL at 1 kHz per 1 m).  In music mode, speaker level 0 in black, speaker level-4 blue, without speaker in orange.

Frequency response measurement (normalized to 85 dB SPL at 1 kHz per 1 m). In music mode, speaker level 0 in black, speaker level-4 blue, without speaker in orange.

Regardless of the listening mode selected, the first blow when listening to and reading the frequency response curve is the absolutely frantic power that the loudspeaker can provide with its magnitude. Of course, the depth and foundation of the bass are not clear, but the desired effect is not fully mastered. They are completely overgrown and significantly obscure the remaining reproduced spectrum. Adjusting the speaker level to -4 or -6 immediately on the bar parameters is the only solution to save a little tomorrow and keep the minimum readability. As always – but even more so in this case – care should be taken not to place the speaker too close to the wall (or worse, in a corner) so as to control the vibration and thunder of the bass as much as possible. .

Measurement of harmonic degradation (normalized to 85 dB SPL at 1 kHz per 1 m).  In music mode, the speaker level is red at level 0 and the level of the speaker level is blue at level -4.

Measurement of harmonic degradation (normalized to 85 dB SPL at 1 kHz per 1 m). In music mode, the speaker level is red at level 0 and the level of the speaker level is blue at level -4.

Soundbar 3.1ch Other frequencies are not reproduced. The sound signature is very unnatural with a “pinched” feature that affects many elements and is especially audible on vocals or guitars. The brilliance of the conversations is well established, but we know better. This behavior, mainly due to the dip located around 1.5 kHz, creates a lack of bonding between low-middle and high-mid, and has the effect of exposing higher frequencies. Unfortunately, these are far from being reproduced with the highest precision and the most detailed details, for example, clearly reinforcing the metal aspect of cones, shakers, tambourines and other beads.

Measuring the reactivity of membranes at 500 Hz demonstrates the comparative mastery of media.  Accuracy is not perfect, but still acceptable.

Measuring the reactivity of membranes at 500 Hz demonstrates the comparative mastery of media. Accuracy is not perfect, but still acceptable.

The lack of bar control also affects the rendering of the sound stage, which is very suppressed without any depth here. The reproduction of surround effects is, at the very least, an event. The side effects never extend beyond the physical boundaries of the bar and in no way create the high-speed sound bubble guaranteed by the DTS Virtual: X virtualization algorithm. Last annoying thing: Xiaomi has made the strange choice of shifting its center speakers to the left, which inevitably creates a small change in the center channel. Conversations and other resources that should be in the center of the screen are therefore located slightly to the left.

Strong points

  • Very easy to handle (full controls, front screen).

  • Complete link.

Weak points

  • Very transparent speaker, unrestricted bass.

  • Abnormal sound reproduction (pinch, metal feature).

  • Slightly offset center channel, insignificant reproduction of surround effects.

  • Basic and confusing design.

How does the ranking work?

Despite its simplicity and complete connectivity, Soundbar 3.1ch weighs in with its transcendent production quality and a sound signature thunderous bass and unnatural rendering. The first sound bar sold in France by Xiaomi did not shine through the reproduction of surround effects, they were completely indistinguishable.

Supplementary notes

  • Production

  • Connectors

  • User experience

  • Audio

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