Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Is boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 best entry level? 1150 vs 1160 (all explained)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Sound
Features
Value for Money
The boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 with remote is an entry level budget soundbar for those who prefer loud sound levels and not necessarily desire quality sound. It is a 60 Watt, 2.0 channel, bluetooth soundbar that comes with 4 preset EQs plus allows for custom bass and treble levels.

Verdict

BoAt Aavante Bar 1160 2.0 channel 60W is a good upgrade to your TV speakers at minimum cost. If loud is what you are looking for, this is probably the best you will get at this price point. It has Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm Aux and USB inputs.

3D sound is a marketing stunt. Enhance your budget and go for better options if you are looking for a soundbar for quality music or good movie experience.

Summary

The boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 is a 60W soundbar with Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX and USB connectivity options to enhance your TV sound. It is a 4-driver 2-channel soundbar with remote and no sub-woofer.

It gives 4 pre-set equalizers for movie, music, news and 3D and additionally allows users to set custom bass and treble levels from the convenience of its infra-red remote control.

The 3D sound EQ seems to be a marketing gimmick and should not be considered as a substitute for Dolby sound. The soundbar performs fine at low volumes but loses fidelity as volume increases.

Bass level is just about adequate. Of course, if you are considering buying soundbars at this price point, it probably is to simply upgrade from your TV speakers and not because of your love for music or movies.

  • Very loud
  • Flexibility to change bass and treble separately
  • Loudness comes at the cost of fidelity
  • after-sales service

Introduction

boat is an upcoming Indian company focusing on personal and home tech products. boAt launched its AAVANTE BAR 1160 in June 2020 with very aggressive launch pricing. boAt 1160 is a upgraded version of the boAt Aavante 1150.

Now prices have increased and the sales are driven largely by online customer reviews. the boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 is available at Rs. 3,999, though you can get it at Rs. 3,499 on festive discount as well.

The AAVANTE BAR 1160 is an entry level soundbar with decent features. It does not come with a sub-woofer. It serves its purpose as an entry level replacement of your TV speakers. Like all entry level soundbars, it lacks in sound quality but makes up for it by being among the loudest. boAt Aavante 1190 Soundbar has in-built subwoofers.

boAt’s competition is Motorola’s AmphisoundX range of home theatres MT80-HT51 and MT150-HT51. At about Rs.7,000 price range, the Blaupunkt SBW100 Soundbar offers separate 6.5 inch subwoofer.

Motorola MT160DSB is available for those preferring wireless subwoofer.

What is in the Box

  • boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 (1)
  • Remote Control (1)
  • User manual (1)
  • AUX Cable (1)
  • Mounting Clamps (2)
  • AAA Batteries (2)
  • Screws for wall mounting (2) 

No HDMI cable has been provided since there are no HDMI ports for connection.

Difference between boAt 1150 vs 1160

boAt 1150 has been discontinued and 1160 has been launched as its upgrade. There are no clear differences between boAt 1150 & 1160. Both are 60 Watts RMS & 2.0 channel soundbars. Some units ship with Bluetooth 5.0 whereas some ship with Bluetooth 4.2. The company website says boAt 1160 comes with Bluetooth 4.2.

Key Features and First Looks

The front of the boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 is sleek looking with glossy black plastic and black metal mesh with ‘boAt’ logo placed in the middle. The LED indicator is placed towards the right.

Rear panel houses the power adapter input. The rear has 1 USB IN and 2 3.5mm AUX IN. placed in a neat recess. There is no OPTICAL IN or HDMI IN port. Two wall mounting brackets have been provided.

The right side panel of the soundbar houses a power button (which doubles as an INPUT selector) volume increase/ decrease button and Bluetooth connectivity button.

Rubber pads have been provided for slipp-free and scratch-free placement on cabinets.

The soundbar is 90cm long and weighs 2 kgs, which is in the whereabouts of almost all soundbars in this range.

There is no WiFi, no HDMI IN, no Optical IN, no Sub-woofer but the boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 does come with an IR remote. 

Installation and Wiring

The installation of boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 is simple and easy. It can be placed on your TV cabinet. Rubber pads have been provided for easy placement. Alternatively, it can be wall mounted. Two brackets have been provided which can be screwed-in at the rear for wall mounting.

The manual indicates that 20cm of free space has to be provided above the Soundbar and 5 cm on either side.

The soundbar can be connected with your TV using 3.5mm AUX cable, Bluetooth. Connecting through bluetooth is easy and the soundbar uses TV to display the bluetooth connection. 

The AUX cable provided alongwith the set does not seem sturdy. You may have to replace it with one of your own.

The soundbar goes into standby mode if not used for some time. You have to switch it on again with the remote. 

Review

Sound

If you connect the soundbar to TV using AUX, the sound output is low. But if you connect the soundbar to TV using Bluetooth, the sound output is higher. This is worth mentioning so that you can see its compatibility with your existing TV set.

The boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 has 4 EQ sound options- music, movie, news and 3D. There is no Dolby sound but at this price range asking for Dolby may not be fair. Through the remote, the bass and treble can be increased or decreased. All in all, the soundbar gives a lot of flexibility to the user to set sound to the user’s preference.

Creative Technology’s Creative Stage V2 Soundbar may be better suited if you are looking for something better.

The ‘movie’ and ‘music’ preset EQs sound almost the same. The ‘news’ EQ preset is useful to have because it focuses more on voices. The company provides ‘3D’ EQ maybe with the hope that customers will think of it as a replacement for Dolby sound. The 3D EQ mode sounds very artificial and distorts the original sound to a large extent. The 3D EQ mode is best left untouched and should not be a factor in your buying decision.

The treble or highs out of the soundbar are clean and sharp. Mids and vocals are OK. The soundbar does deliver some lows/ bass. However, do not expect room thumping lows from 2.25 inch drivers housed in a plastic enclosure. The soundbar does not have a sub-woofer but the bass can be increased or decreased using dedicated buttons on the remote. 

The loudness level is sufficient for small to mid sized room and is almost pleasant but not of great quality at 50-60% levels. If you intend to place this soundbar in a large room or hall and use it at high volumes, you will be disappointed. Though the soundbar is loud, it sound gets shrill and distorted as it goes beyond 80% volume level.

Overall, the sound lacks premium feel. The focus has been on loudness rather than quality. Bose Solo 5 TV Sound System is the preferred option for those seeking hi-fi soundbar from a premium brand.

Features

The LED Light Indications below serve as a guide to what input has been selected. 

  • Bluetooth- Blue light flashes during connection and becomes stable once successfully connected.
  • USB- Purple
  • AUX 1- Green
  • AUX 2- Cyan
  • Standby- Red
  • Sound Out- Steady flashing 

Bluetooth

The boAt AAVANTE BAR 1160 has Bluetooth v4.2. The earlier version came with Bluetooth 4.2 though customers received later soundbars with updated features including Bluetooth 5.0. The company website as well as online sellers mention bluetooth 4.2.

You can connect your TV or mobile to the soundbar using (1) the Power button at the right side of the soundbar and (2) the PAIR button on the remote. While pairing, the Blue LED at the front flashes and becomes stable after successful connection. Default password for Bluetooth is ‘0000’.

Sound output through bluetooth is smooth and without issues.

Remote

The infrared remote is small and handy. You can pair bluetooth using PAIR button on remote. Dedicated buttons are provided for the 4 EQ modes- Music, Movie, News & 3D. The bass and treble can be changed using dedicated buttons.

The remote also has volume up/down, pause, play, forward, reverse, track change buttons. At least boAt gives a remote at this price range. Mi Soundbar costs Rs. 5,000 and does not provide any remote.

After-Sales

The company is an Indian brand which is focussing on sales growth and capturing market share. It is striving to give a range of products. Currently the company has outsourced after-sales service and from the looks of it, customers with faulty sets are having trouble getting timely service. In the near future, hopefully the company will work on the after sales service aspect as well. 

Specifications

FeaturesSpecifications
No. of Speakers2 active speakers. Each speaker (left and right) has 2 drivers
2.25 inch x 4 drivers
Speaker Power Output60 W RMS
Size and weight90 x 7.8 x 7 cm; 2 Kilograms
Sub WooferNo
Input PortUSB IN, AUX IN, COAXIAL IN
Output PortNIL
BluetoothYes, v4.2 (some units shipped with 5.0)
Frequency Response80 Hz-20,000 Hz at >=72 dB SNR

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Gizmo Guru is India’s top guide to buying home theatre and hi-fi home entertainment related products.

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