A Humax Soundbar 

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While entertainment devices generally have their own built-in audio output, it is not always of the highest quality. This next product offers to improve the audio output.

As well as its well respected reputation for the development and manufacture of digital Set Top Boxes (STB), especially those with FreeSat support, Humax also develops a range of audio devices.  Following on from the release of the “World’s Slimmest Soundbar”, Humax has released its STE1000BSW soundbar product.

Opening the rather large outer box reveals a collection of other boxes including, as with the earlier offering, two boxes that are empty and whose sole purpose is to act as support padding for the subwoofer unit while in transit.  Once all the various boxes have been divested of their contents you are faced with the soundbar unit, subwoofer, remote control with button battery, support stand for the soundbar, paper template, screws and rawl plugs in case you opt to wall mount the soundbar, power lead with central brick adapter plus audio and optical leads.  There is also a well set out illustrated Operation Manual.  Humax is one company that still supports the use of paper based documentation using a reasonable type face size.

Once the initial decision has been made as to whether the soundbar will be free-standing perched on its support stand, or wall mounted, setting up this kit is relatively straightforward.  All the supplied leads are of a generous length to help when it comes to positioning the soundbar and subwoofer.  The longest lead is the two-piece power lead with its brick adapter.  This lead measures 270cm (including the brick adapter).  Slightly shorter at 256cm is the lead that is permanently attached to the subwoofer.  Around 140cm in length are the audio lead with 3.5mm jack plugs at each end and an optical lead for linking to a television or STB unit. 

All the various leads attach to the rear of the soundbar. Both the power and subwoofer, with the latter using a proprietary type plug connection, are located towards the left of centre on the soundbar.  The other two connections options, audio and optical, are tucked away in a recessed area which has a similar appearance to a battery compartment.  Due to the positioning of these two connection sockets, it is best to attach these leads prior to positioning the device as it will make access easier.

With dimension of 1000 x 44 x 20mm (W x H x D), the soundbar is decked out in matte black.  Situated in a central position on the front of the soundbar is the unit’s control panel.  On the left of the control panel is the IR receiver for when using the small remote control device to control the soundbar from a distance.  Line of sight is required for this purpose.  Arranged from left to right are touch-sensitive controls for Bluetooth pairing, volume up increase and decrease levels, bass booster, surround sound and power.  The various touch-sensitive controls are duplicated on the remote control unit which also features a mute button for those instances when you want to deactivate the audio output temporally for whatever reason.

In common with the soundbar, the subwoofer is predominately black apart from the matte silver Humax logo on the front.  The box-shaped passive subwoofer has dimensions of 195 x 266 x 265mm (W x H x D).  The subwoofer has an output of 100W with a further 60W coming from the soundbar element.

The Humax STE1000BSW soundbar can be connected to multiple devices via the combined use of Bluetooth, AUX and optical options.  While all three connection types can be implemented, the soundbar only delivers from a single source depending upon its pre-set priority list of the order in which audio input will be allowed.  Leading the way in priority is a Bluetooth connection.  Second in line is any device connected via the AUX and audio lead option.  That leaves the optical connection in third and last place.  The Humax soundbar will accept and deliver the audio source that rates the highest priority rating.  As not all television sets have an optical connection, you can use the supplied headphone socket on the television and connect it to the AUX connection via the supplied audio lead.

I was impressed with the sound quality delivered by this soundbar.  It adds depth, bass and increased volume to whatever output its delivers.  This is especially noticeable when I connected my television via the audio lead as mentioned earlier.  This soundbar should be able to enhance audio delivery for family rooms in many small to medium households.

The Humax STE1000BSW is priced at £179.95.

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OverallHumax STE1000BSW Soundbar rated 80 out of 100

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