Slim and Wide
The soundbar, which is the subject of this review, is the STA-1200BSW which offers a range of connectivity options including Bluetooth. Opening the outer box revealed a further three boxes and a separate subwoofer unit. The longest of these three boxes, measuring 205 x 100 x 1240mm, was the container for the actual soundbar element, various leads and a button battery remote control unit. The other two boxes (480 x 200 x 200mm) were totally empty. The only reason for their presence was to act as padding to help secure the subwoofer, which sat between them, during transit.
Developed by Humax, a company I usually associate with the development and manufacture of digital set-top boxes, the STA-1200BSW is a soundbar which certainly qualifies with regards to its slimness claim. It has a depth of 20mm and a height of 37mm. However as the size of the packaging might indicate, the width of this product is something else. This soundbar stretches out over 1200mm.
Decked out entirely in matte black, this soundbar can be free-standing as it perches on the supplied plastic mount or attached to a wall. I feel the latter will probably be the preferred option due to the span of this audio device and the amount of space it will require. Where ever you decide to position the STA-1200BSW, it will need to be within 270cm of an available power source when using the supplied two-piece lead.
Taking up a central position on the soundbar’s grilled front is a touch-sensitive control panel. This control panel contains the IR receiver for the remote control, Bluetooth indicator, power button and audio volume adjustment features including turning of the subwoofer. A total of four speaker units, providing 80W of output, are arranged along the front of the soundbar. Adding to this output is the box-shaped passive subwoofer (195 x 266 x 265mm), appropriately coloured black to match the soundbar. The subwoofer, with 100W output, can be linked to the soundbar by a permanently attached lead.
Using a proprietary type connection plug, the subwoofer connects to a socket located at the rear of the soundbar to the left of the control panel. Sitting alongside the subwoofer socket is the main power socket. Towards the rear right of the soundbar are jack sockets for AUX and Optical connections. These two connections are tucked away in a recessed compartment. Along with the previously mentioned subwoofer and power connection leads, Humax has included an optical lead for linking to a television or STB (Set Top Box) device and an AUX lead for use with audio equipment with a 3.5mm jack output socket.
Setting up the STA-1200BSW is straightforward as you just need to make the necessary connections to the devices that are the source of the audio content. Bluetooth pairing is amongst the quickest processes that I have encountered. For those who opt for the wall-mounting scenario, Humax has included wall brackets, screws and rawl plugs in the box – you need to supply the screwdriver - plus a wall bracket install guide.
The soundbar can be controlled from its front panel or the small remote control unit. This latter item has buttons for pairing mode, power, volume increase/decrease, turning on/off surround sound, doing the same for the subwoofer, and a mute button.
When more than one device is connected to the soundbar then a set priority list comes into play. A Bluetooth connection will always take priority over any other sources with an AUX connection taking second place. This leaves the Optical connection with the lowest place in the priority list.
Sound quality delivered by this soundbar is good as it adds depth, bass and increased volume to the output. This product should suit somebody setting up a small home entertainment centre for use in the family room. Priced at £199, the STA-1200BSW will be available from Humax Direct and selected independent traders including John Lewis.
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