Avoiding Xiaomi in 2019 is like avoiding potholes on Mumbai roads during monsoons… not happening.
Both show up with something new every year and even if you don’t ride the brand-wagon, you’ll be surrounded by people who are discussing it. However, unlike potholes, Xiaomi is a sight for sore eyes. Its predatory pricing has easily pulled every wallet-clutching Indian to buy its products and now that list of products has expanded.
From your palm to your living room, smartphones to tellies, headphones to soundbars and even from air purifiers to dust masks. You're not wrong in feeling like the tech giants abandoned you with prices that will wipe your savings deposit squeaky clean and demand your firstborn. Xiaomi’s stretching its legs in every direction and keeping prices as low as that sinking pothole. ₹4,999 for a soundbar is frankly ridiculous!
This white rectangle could very well exchange eyeballs for audio. It’s a looker with a sombre grey finish fabric for the front grill and white plastic body. Speakers so good that they disappear in the background? Not here.
Even though the white colour on this soundbar is blaring under a black telly, mounting it on a white wall does make your living room feel a bit sophisticated. Albeit, it’s still an attention seeker.
It just about runs the full length of a 43in telly and it’s also quite tall. Meaning, it obstructs the lower bezel and a little bit of the frame when placed below the Xiaomi 55in 4K telly on a stand.
Believe it or not, there’s no HDMI input here but what you get in exchange is Line In, AUX, Bluetooth, S/PDIF and Optical In. Pretty basic with the inclusion of Bluetooth which interestingly changes the way you use a soundbar.
Other than the ports themselves the functionality is quite limited. There’s no remote to control the audio so you’ll have to physically get up and adjust the volume if you’re connected to the telly with anything other than Bluetooth. Xiaomi thinks it imbibes necessary workout for couch potatoes.
It doesn’t even connect to Xiaomi’s Home app where we frantically searched for a remote control that would relieve us of our duty.
Because of its Bluetooth 4.2 connection, it’s easier to stream Sunday tunes from your phone while cooking lunch or sipping on pina coladas. So, you can take a break from its taskmaster volume controlling issues and use it as a Bluetooth speaker which is probably a better sell for this soundbar.
Strangest Thing by The War on Drugs sounds a bit underwhelming. Adam Granduciel’s relaxed voice is far more excited because of a steeper focus towards mids and highs on this soundbar. In the last two minutes, the drums get mixed, muddled and don’t deliver the thump needed to capture the band’s Pink Floyd-esque routines.
The pulsating background score by Hans Zimmer in Interstellar was produced crisply. The decent clarity in the mids and highs support the desperation in Matthew McConaughey’s performance with zeal only to be betrayed by the lack of detail in times of high-octane scenes.
Where you really feel bad for your skimpy wallet choices is in how poorly the audio retains the frequency separation for a home entertainment unit. The Xiaomi Soundbar doesn’t really surround your senses with great audio, it just feels like a loud Bluetooth speaker that fits under your telly. Nevertheless, it won’t stop many from picking this up because of how low the price is and for that, and that alone, this soundbar offers a temptation like no other.
For the price, there’s nothing that beats this soundbar. The build quality is good enough although the lack of a remote or an app to control the audio is very disappointing.
It’s a conflicting question of how well you want your audio to represent a home entertainment system for the price. It delivers decent mids and highs but lacks depth and detail with ear-poking treble at times. Bass is present but doesn’t pack enough punch to commemorate the soundbar into the home entertainment sphere. Albeit, this will definitely produce better audio than most budget tellies out there and if you’re looking to get more volume for less then, like all Xiaomi products, this is your best budget bet.