Audio visual products are getting slimmer every day. We have LED televisions with their thin frames and rears, DVD players barely bigger than the discs they play and of course hi-fis. There are even 5.1 surround sound systems with speakers the size of 50p coins now.

Humax are bringing what looks like the world’s slimmest soundbar to the table and it has lovely virtual surround sound.

The company is very much holding their own in the PVR market. This is their first break into the audio world.

As you can see from my pictures, I have it set up the ‘Blade’ below my Samsung LED television. The Humax soundbar is a beautiful piece of equipment. It also comes with a wall mounting kit so you can sit it just under your mounted television to give a sleek against the wall finish.

On receiving the soundbar myself I straight away hooked it up to the television. First I decided to test the waters on a standard broadcast channel. Sound was good, big bass sounds, especially with music. It wasn’t until I put on a Blu-ray that the sound really shone. Of course the standard broadcast has a stereo sound format, but digital surround d sound is a different ball game all together.

First film I tested it against in digital sound was King Kong. The rich tones and the wide spatial sound gave the film an edge that higher priced soundbars and even some 5.1 kits can’t touch. The mix of high tones and bass tones merged beautifully. I could hear every last sound detail of the film.

Secondly I tested the remastered edition of Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back and again there were huge deep base tones, rich depth, and again, an edge other systems can’t touch.

There is a built-in Bass Enhancer for different bass levels. This is used to turn the bass up and down depending on what you’re watching. Unfortunately there is only a low, medium, and high setting, but these are in fact good enough to find a decent bass level.

There are some additional features to the Humax ‘Blade’ Soundbar such as a Bluetooth connection for your mobile phones, SPDIF, and an AUX cable for anything with a headphone input.

It ideally needs an optical connection to take advantage of that full virtual surround sound experience. Without this you will be stuck with standard stereo sound as the only other input is a 3.5mmm jack-to-jack cable, same as a headphone connection. As long as your television has these then this soundbar will be a great investment for any small to medium sized rooms.

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Stef Murphy

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