Since the days that TVs began to be more than those big boxes dominating your living room, transforming into sleek panels that hang on your wall, there has been a need to match sound to the visual experience. As TVs moved from the normal cathode ray tube technology to LCD to Plasma and LED, and at the same time became bigger and bigger—16-inch, 19-inch, 21-inch, 24-inch, 32-inch, 36-inch and 42-inch and on and on—sound systems began to be developed to complement this huge increase in picture clarity and viewing experience. The home theatre system was born. And everyone wondered how this viewing experience could be bettered, short of going to the cinema halls.
Well, TVs are in an ever increasing quest to become better— more pixels, better longevity, 3D, etc—but sound systems haven’t sat on their heels, either. The conventional sound systems for home theatre systems usually comprise a sub-woofer and 4-5 satellite speakers. While this worked beautifully to convey the feeling of surround sound, it was also an inconvenience. Long wires had to be hidden and accommodated. And an added problem was that, the longer the wire, the worse the clarity of sound. So, the next generation of sound systems was born—the sound bar. These horizontal, long speakers did everything a home theatre sound system is supposed to do—incredible bass, treble, clarity and, with the right device, impressive surround sound.
Intex’s 2.1ch Soundbar System IT-MEGABT29, priced at around R5,000, is certainly a cheap addition to the soundbar market. And the fact that it comes with its own remote adds great utility to the product. But, overall, it is a disappointing product as far as quality and design specifications are concerned. While the speakers can certainly pump out volume, enough to vibrate the table it was on, there is a significant loss of clarity as you raise the volume. Whether this is because the internal wiring isn’t capable of handling high-fidelity signals or the speakers themselves aren’t good enough, it raises a problem when trying to use the speakers during a party.
Which brings us to the design flaws. It is brilliant that the speakers come with Bluetooth connectivity—in this wireless age, it would have been a travesty if this feature wasn’t there. But, it seems Intex has got carried away with the wireless features. A huge shortcoming of the Soundbar is that it doesn’t come with the regular 3.5 mm jack that connects to your iPod, phone or any MP3 player!
Why would Intex choose to go this way? That cable is so ubiquitous, it surely can’t have raised input costs appreciably. The Soundbar does come with a cable to connect it to your TV, but that’s all. Overall, Intex’s Soundbar is cheap, and that’s always an attractive feature, but if you can muster up some additional cash, it’s worth getting something else.
* Back panel: Glossy plastic, similar colour effect to Dull titanium.
* Side panel: Electronic plating
* Cloth grill: Transparent
* LED light: Blue/Green
* RMS: 20W*2+40W*1
* Remote Control: Standby, Mute, Volume +/-, Bass+/-, Treble+/-, Source
Estimated street price: Rs. 5,000