Sunday, September 11, 2022

Blaupunkt SBW100 Soundbar: Detailed Review

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Sound
Features
Value for Money
The 120 Watt Blaupunkt SBW100 2.1 channel soundbar with external wired subwoofer offers great value through HDMI ARC, Bluetooth 5.0 but no Dolby Digital and its highlight is its 6.5 inch subwoofer driver which delivers clean and accurate bass. At this price point this is the perfect Soundbar for those who want an external subwoofer to enjoy both movies and music.

Is Blaupunkt SBW100 worth it?

SBW100 is a great entry level soundbar for both music & movies with 120W total & 70W wired sub, HDMI ARC, BT 5.0, USB & 3.5mm AUX but no Dolby Digital/ DTS.

It has an external wired 70 watt subwoofer with 6.5 inch driver that delivers clean and accurate bass. At around Rs. 7,000 price point this is the perfect Soundbar for those who prefer an external subwoofer to enjoy both movies and music.

  • Clean and accurate bass
  • HDMI ARC and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Bass and treble levels can be adjusted
  • No Dolby Digital/ DTS

Introduction

The 2.1 channel Blaupunkt SBW100 with external subwoofer is an entry level soundbar from the well known German consumer electronics brand. The Soundbar was launched in India in March 2019 with an MRP of Rs. 12,990 and is available online for around Rs. 7,000.

In India, Envent World Wide Pvt. Ltd. is licensed to use and sell Blaupunkt branded gear. Envent sells its own-brand gear as well.

See how Blaupunkt SBW100 compares with Xiaomi MI Soundbar.

Why Should You Buy Blaupunkt SBW100 Soundbar

You should buy this soundbar if-

  • You are looking for a soundbar at around Rs. 7,000 having HDMI ARC and Bluetooth 5.0
  • You wish to have a budget soundbar with separate subwoofer
  • You wish to avoid complex speaker installations

What is in the Box

  • Soundbar (1)
  • External subwoofer (1)
  • Remote Control (1)
  • 3.5mm male to male Aux. Cable (1)
  • Dual RCA-male to 3.5mm male Aux. Cable (1)
  • Wall Mounting Bracket (2)
  • Wall Mounting Kit having wall-fixes (4) and screws (4)
  • AAA Battery (2)
  • Instruction Manual (1)

No Optical cable has been provided. No HDMI cable has been provided.

Key Features and First Looks

Unlike other soundbars which come in an L-shaped packaging, the Blaupunkt SBW100 comes in a fully rectangular packaging. The components are also packed securely inside with sufficient packaging material.

The Blaupunkt SBW100 available in India are made-in-China units. The import, marketing and after sales service is handled by an Indian company, Envent World Wide.

Soundbar

The soundbar unit of Blaupunkt SBW100 is made of ABS plastic with glossy black top and black metal mesh grille. The Blaupunkt logo adorns the front left of the Soundbar. 

Blaupunkt SBW100

An LED console is placed centrally. Two 25 Watt speakers are embedded towards the left and right side.

The left side of the Soundbar is bare.

4 buttons on the right side for POWER, VOLUME+, VOLUME- and SOURCE. The right side also has 3.5mm AUX IN and USB IN.  

The rear of the Soundbar has two protruding pegs for wall mounting on the provided brackets. The wall hanging provision is different from other soundbars.

The rear has one input for HDMI ARC IN. there is also a SUBWOOFER OUT for connecting and powering the external subwoofer. 

The soundbar is 81 cm long and can fit comfortably under your TV.

Two long rubber pads at the bottom allow for slip-free placement on table tops.

Middle of the soundbar has LED indicators.

Subwoofer

The 70 Watt external wired subwoofer is vertical type. It is made of MDF and has a 6.5 inch driver on the right side with one large air vent port at the front.  Blaupunkt logo adorns the front. There are no controls or buttons on the subwoofer. 

Blaupunkt SBW100

At the rear, a tethered cable has been provided to connect with the soundbar. The subwoofer is powered through the soundbar unit itself through this cable. The cable is around 2 meters in length which is sufficient to allow convenient subwoofer placement while being attached to the soundbar unit.

As compared to the Blaupunkt SBW100, the sub-Rs. 10,000 Creative Stage V2 Soundbar has a 40 Watt subwoofer.

4 rubber pads have been provided at the bottom.

Installation and Wiring

You can keep the soundbar on the TV unit. Two rubber feet allow for slip-free placement on table-tops.  

Blaupunkt SBW100

Alternatively you can hang it on the wall. In other soundbars, only two screws are needed to hang soundbars. The wall hang mechanism is different for Blaupunkt SBW100. Mount the 2 wall brackets (provided) on the wall using 2 screws each (total 4 screws). Then hang the soundbar on the brackets with the help of two pegs that are fixed at the back of the soundbar. This installation is sturdier than that of other soundbars

Next we have to connect it to the audio source. 

Blaupunkt SBW100
Courtesy: Blaupunkt SBW100 User Manual

Step 1: Connect subwoofer to the soundbar unit using the tethered cable. Insert the cable into the “SUB OUT” socket at the back of the soundbar unit.

Step 2a: Connect to TV with HDMI ARC (or HDMI): using a high speed HDMI cable, connect the HDMI ARC OUT of TV to the HDMI ARC IN at the back of the Soundbar. If all components have HDMI ARC, you can play multi-channel audio content.

Step 2b: Connect to TV without HDMI: using 3.5mm AUX male to male cable (provided), connect the 3.5mm OUT of the TV to the 3.5 mm IN stereo jack provided at the right side of the Soundbar. Press the LINE button on the remote. Alternatively press SOURCE button to select LINE.

Step 3: Connect the AC power cable tethered to the soundbar unit with wall power socket. There is no separate laptop-like DC adapter, making the installation relatively clean.

Review of Blaupunkt SBW100

Connectivity Options

The Blaupunkt SBW100 has HDMI ARC input through which you can enjoy multi-channel audio through a 2.1 channel setup. Alternatively, you can hook up the soundbar using Bluetooth 5.0. It also has 3.5 mm Stereo IN and USB IN as well to play music stored in USB pen drives.

Blaupunkt SBW100

Bluetooth

To connect with Bluetooth, press BLUETOOTH button on remote or press SOURCE on the soundbar unit till ‘bt’ flashes on the display. Select “BLAUPUNKT” on the Bluetooth audio divide and pair the Soundbar. No password is required for pairing. The Playback buttons on the remote can be used to browse soundtracks, play-pause, forward-reverse and choose next-previous track. 

The Bluetooth connection is fairly straightforward. It gives nearly 10 m of unobstructed range. The audio quality is also good over Bluetooth. 

However, only one device can be paired over Bluetooth at a time. There is no Bluetooth memory function. 

Remote Control

The IR remote is small and light with dedicated connectivity buttons for HDMI, USB, Bluetooth and Aux. (Line). Bass (BASS+/-) and Treble (TREBLE +/-) adjustment buttons have been provided. 

4 preset EQ buttons have been provided for SONG, CINEMA, DIALOG and FLAT.

For USB playback, track FORWARD, REVERSE, PLAY & PAUSE buttons have been provided. 

VOLUME+/- buttons have been conveniently placed but are small considering their frequent use.

Sound: Music

Audio output through HDMI or Bluetooth is much better and louder as compared to 3.5mm stereo IN. For a more lively experience, the SONG EQ preset can be selected using remote.

The soundbar does a fine job of playing Indian Bollywood and Pop even at high levels. Hard rock though sounds thin and harsh.

The frequency response of the Soundbar is just about adequate. The bass level can be changed using the remote. At peak bass levels the Soundbar holds well. 

Bass: Bass is very tight and accurate considering the price point of Blaupunkt SBW100. It is not boomy which I personally feel is good and easier on the ears. The 6.5 inch bass driver is loud enough to cover small to mid sized room with ease.

Stereo soundstage is not great considering the limited spatial placement of the left and right speakers within the soundbar. 

Stereo sound dynamics are OK. The soundbar can play at loud volumes and is just about able to fill a small to mid sized room. You can tweak the bass and treble levels as per your preference.

Sound: Movies

For enjoying movies, the CINEMA EQ preset can be selected through the remote. The display will show ‘CINE’ selection. For a balanced sound,I suggest to leave the EQ preset alone and watch the movie through FLAT EQ only.

The movie experience is better than music experience and HDMI ARC greatly improves quality. The action scenes are more enjoyable because of the clean and tight bass delivered by the subwoofer. Explosions and crashing sounds remain controlled and don’t overpower other action sounds. The front left and right speakers also do not feel under-powered against the 6.5 inch subwoofer.

The Blaupunkt SBW100 does not have Dolby Digital or DTS which takes away a bit of the extra sound clarity you may wish while watching movies with Dolby Digital content. But at this price point, the Soundbar delivers adequate movie performance. 

All in all, for a mid sized room, the Soundbar delivers excellent value for money while watching movies.

Sound: Daily Usage

For daily usage like watching news or sports, DIALOG EQ preset can be selected using the remote. The Blaupunkt SBW100 delivers great value and is a very good upgrade to your TV speakers.

It does not have a NIGHT mode though which comes handy as it reduces sound dynamics and bass levels to ensure a quiet late night watching experience.

Specifications of Blaupunkt SBW100

FeaturesSpecifications
No. of SpeakersSoundbar: 2 active speakers
Subwoofer: 1 active speaker
Speaker Power OutputTotal: 120 W RMS
Soundbar: 50 Watt
Subwoofer: 70 Watt
Driver SizeSoundbar: 2.25 inch (5.7cm)* 2 drivers
Subwoofer: 6.5 inch (16.5cm) * 1 driver
SizeSoundbar (L x D x H): 800 mm x 67 mm x 67 mm
Subwoofer (L x D x H): 162 mm x 240 mm x 445 mm
WeightSoundbar+ Subwoofer: 5.95 Kg
SubwooferYes, Wired, Powered through the soundbar
ImpedanceSoundbar: 8 Ohm
Subwoofer: 4 Ohm
SPL (Sound Pressure Level)84dB±3dB (1W/1m)dB
Frequency ResponseSpeaker Drivers: 75 Hz – 20,000 Hz
Subwoofer: 32 Hz – 132 Hz
Input PortHDMI ARC, USB, 3.5mm AUX
Output PortNIL
BluetoothYes, v 5.0
FMNo

Is Blaupunkt a good brand?

Blaupunkt is a brand of German origin with a very interesting history. It started in the 1920’s in Berlin as the “Ideal” radio company and produced only headphones. Quality control was important and each set of headphones that passed its final test was indicated by a blue circular sticker. Customers began recognizing the Blue quality control sticker and began asking for “Blue Dot” headphones. This symbol became the trade mark, and in 1938, the company name.  This is where we get the name “Blaupunkt” – “Blue Spot” in German.

Blaupunkt SBW100
Courtesy: Blaupunkt

Blaupunkt was owned by Bosch from 1933 to 2009. The company went through a bad phase from 2009 to 2015. It went bankrupt and was eventually liquidated in 2016.

At present, Blaupunkt’s trademark rights are being managed across various countries by GIP Development SARL of Luxembourg. 

In India, Envent World Wide Pvt. Ltd. is licensed to use and sell Blaupunkt branded gear. Envent sells its own-brand gear as well.

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