We audition a slim-line soundbar promises plenty for not a lot
Every now and then a product comes our way that makes us wonder how its maker can possibly be earning any money on it. The Sandstrom S47S13 is one of those products.
Available exclusively from Currys, the S47S13 is a soundbar speaker designed to partner 47in TVs or larger. It carries six drivers – four mid-bass devices and two tweeters – and serves up 60W of power. It also boasts a pleasant burnished black metallic finish offset cutely by the gleaming silver mid-bass drivers, while its connectivity extends to Bluetooth and NFC support, an MP3 input, an optical digital audio input, and a 3.5mm input with provided adaptor.
The price for all this is just £80. It can’t possibly sound good, can it?
Fed the demanding soundtrack to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the S47S13 does struggle in places. The large dynamics of the early dragon attack reveal a fairly brittle bass performance, with only limited lower-frequency extension and a tendency to cramp the soundstage when the going gets tough.
However, with more straightforward material the S47S13 does perfectly well. The mid-range is open and wide enough to handle male and female voices with clarity and authority, and trebles sound clean and seldom harsh. There’s plenty of detail in the soundstage too, and the 2.0-channel sound spreads quite widely without losing cohesion, ensuring the soundstage both matches the scale of your TV pictures and sounds like it’s coming from the screen rather than the speaker bar.
Naturally you can get more features, more inputs and more quality if you’re willing to spend more. But Sandstrom's S47S13 certainly delivers an upgrade on any mainstream integrated flat TV sound system, and that’s probably more than enough in itself to justify the £80 ticket.
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