Sky Soundbox evaluate: the all-in-just one Television set speaker that is not going to annoy the neighbours

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Sky has partnered with French audio-agency Devialet to produce the Soundbox, an all-in-1 Tv set speaker that guarantees to squeeze complete-range, impressive audio into a smaller box that, in concept, will not annoy the neighbours.

What is it?

The Sky Soundbox is essentially a squeezed into a black speaker box just 37.5cm huge and 21cm deep, which would make it a single of the smallest all-in-one speaker programs obtainable. Arguably that is the Soundbox’s greatest strength as it’s hardly larger than the Sky box that it’s made to be plugged into.

It has a whole of 9 speakers of various sizes and orientations, which operate jointly to make a huge soundscape, hidden behind the black cloth mesh, and a lower out in the back that hides absent two HDMI ports, an optical input and the energy socket.

At 4Kg the Soundbox is remarkably heavy, but it has a large rubber foot on the bottom to cease it moving about or shaking your Tv set cupboard.

Environment it up

sky soundbox review Just one HDMI in, one HDMI out and a ability plug is all which is required to hook up the Soundbox to your Sky box and Television, producing it a two-moment career. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

Hooking up the Soundbox is unbelievably straightforward. Plug a single finish of the HDMI cable coming out of your Sky box into the speaker. Plug the integrated HDMI cable into the output of the speaker and into the again of your Television.

To route other Tv sound by means of the speaker, just join an optical cable. Plug in the power and the box mechanically recognises the speaker, and your Tv will most likely exhibit a message expressing its designed-in speakers have been turned off.

Working with it

The Sky Soundbox The Sky Soundbox arrives with a small distant that mimics the seem of the Sky Q contact remote. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

There is a tiny distant equipped with it, for adjusting quantity and altering inputs among HDMI, optical and the Bluetooth relationship, which performs just like most Bluetooth speakers.

If you’ve got a Sky box – and I’m not absolutely sure why you would buy the Soundbox if you did not – you will just use your regular Sky remote to regulate volume. Hooked up to a Sky Q box you also get what Sky phone calls “Q Sound”, which mainly indicates audio tuned to the variety of information your seeing.

You can also activate exclusive sound modes, this sort of as vocal enhancer and late night time manner, which additional modify the audio. Vocal enhancer was genuinely wonderful for boosting the in some cases muddy voices from comedy panel shows, while late night method is effectively dynamic array compression – generating much more of the audio all one particular quantity indicating you can much better hear the silent bits and cut down the volume of loud bits at night time.

As extra of us stay in ever nearer confines with other individuals, late night manner is additional practical than you could imagine. In point, the Soundbox much more or fewer solved a person of the largest irritations I have with Tv audio – amazingly variable volume.

Though still preserving suspense and array in the audio, the Soundbox taken out the have to have for continual quantity jockeying to be equipped to hear the dialogue but not blow the ears off the neighbours with seems of gunfire and explosions.

What does it audio like?

sky soundbox review The Soundbox has a much more substantial sound phase if you location it in very clear air with place either side for the speakers in the finishes. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

The Soundbox unquestionably sounds amazing for its dimension, matching soundbars of a identical value devoid of a sub, and cranking up the volume to concentrations higher than I would be snug sitting in entrance of. It can not quite match the bass of a unit with a dedicated sub, having said that.

The digital encompass worked rather nicely if the speaker was positioned higher ample in the home, say on top of the Television set cupboard with place possibly side of it. Placed on the ground seem was substantially far more immediate. I would not rather connect with it an “immersive 360-degree” working experience, but it experienced a wider soundscape than some a great deal much larger soundbars I’ve listened to.

Flicks and songs sounded pretty great with good separation – at no stage did the motion all blend into one. It sounded ideal with sport, having said that, bringing a new dimension to soccer, and where Sky’s Q Audio genuinely seemed to pay out off.

Observations

sky soundbox review The Soundbox is comparatively monotonous to look at, but kind of the place. It is a little box that will get out the way. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

At 9.5cm tall, the Soundbox may well be a minor also tall for your Tv stand, blocking the base of the image The Soundbox announces supply changes and Bluetooth units connecting and disconnecting, which can be a little bit distracting The soundscape is drastically restricted if you set it in, relatively than on top rated of a Tv cabinet You cannot put anything on top rated of it and cannot place it on leading of a Sky box (according to the guide) It does not aid Dolby Atmos, only Dolby Digital Moreover

Value

The Sky Soundbox prices £799 for non-Sky consumers, £299 () for Sky prospects and £249 for customers.

For comparison, the Cambridge Audio Television2 soundbase costs £200 (), the Q Acoustics M3 all-in-one particular soundbar fees £299 () and the Sonos Playbase expenditures £699 ().

Verdict

The Sky Soundbox is a bit of a one of a kind beast: a compact, all-in-a person box that spits out comprehensive-selection seem marking a sizeable enhance to your Television set-watching experience. Most competition are a lot more substantial, being both lengthier soundbars or much larger soundbases, and most arrive with a sub you have to set someplace.

So the Soundbox fills a specialized niche properly – for those people that want additional than tinny Tv set speakers but that don’t have a large amount of space. The oddity is that it is way overpriced at £799 for non-Sky buyers, but exceptional worth priced at £250 for Sky Q Multiroom consumers.

It is not excellent, with a couple connectivity choices and some quirks. But the Soundbox’s simplicity, capability to really a lot get rid of the have to have for regular quantity jockeying and compact measurement make for a very compelling product or service, specially for all those making an attempt not to annoy the neighbours.

Pros: compact, strong sound, simple setup, Q Seem modes, great late evening mode, no have to have for a separate sub, Bluetooth

Downsides: cannot place just about anything on leading of it, requires to be placed in the open, no wifi or multi-room audio, no Dolby Atmos

sky soundbox review Buttons on the prime turn the Soundbox on or off, switch inputs or manage the quantity, but most will never want them thanks to the involved remote. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

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