Space has always been at a premium when trying to fit any kind of home cinema equipment into any modern living space. Nobody wants to have to change their whole living room around to accommodate some speakers. This is why Panasonic have come up with the SCSB1.
It identifies itself as a soundbar but without the normal size that accompanies that title. It’s minute by soundbar terms at only 430mm x 130mm x 52mm. Within the small frame is a compliment of 40w of power that will surely be a massive improvement over your TV speakers.
Hooking it up to your TV is done via HDMI using ARC (audio return channel). One thing I just don’t understand is that fact that there is no digital optical input. Not all televisions use ARC and in my experience optical always seem to be a bit easier to connect. Maybe this is the way all soundbars may go in the future. Either way, Panasonic have also added a 3.5mm input so there’s still a few ways to connect it up if ARC isn’t an option.
Dialogue is one thing customers always complain about when using speakers in their TV. So why not start with some normal Freeview channels just to see how it goes. It’s a massive improvement over the TV alone as speech is clearly more defined and isn’t bogged down by the background noise that accompanies so many TV shows.
Switching across to something with a bit more going on in a Transformers movie will really put this to the test. Again dialogue is something which stands out. There isn’t a massive amount of bass and it lacks a bit of punch but from something so small, it’s better than expected.
Bluetooth, which is standard these days, is quick and easy to set up from a tablet. I streamed across a bit of Johnny Cash and it was an enjoyable listen. It won’t compare to something slightly bigger as the sound can be held back a bit, but overall it’s handled the tracks well without blowing you out of the water. Panasonic have also introduced a music streaming app which will work with the SCBS1. Sadly it’s only for Android users so any Apple users will have to use the standard Bluetooth. Still, a nice little touch. Added in are also a few different sound modes. You can switch between movie, standard, music and voice settings. I prefer the standard one as it seems to be a bit smoother, but each to their own.
All in all a good little unit from Panasonic that fills a gap in the market. I still keep coming back to the lack of optical but if you can get around that, then it’s a good space saving solution.
Want to come see for yourself? Then pop down to your local Richer Sounds store for a gander.
Author: Bradley, Plymouth Store