Friday, November 11, 2022

Motorola MT80-HT51 Is A Good Buy But Only For Entry Level Home Theatre Enthusiasts: Detailed Review

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Sound
Features
The Motorola MT80-HT51 is a 5.1 channel home theatre featuring a soundbar design, Bluetooth 5.0, HDMI ARC, Optical and AUX connectivity. Its 80 Watts deliver clean sound at low-mid volume but cracks up at high volume and bass. It is high on features and suited more for entry level home theatre enthusiasts than music and bass lovers.

Summary

The 80 Watt Motorola MT80-HT51, part of the AmphisoundX range of home theatres, was launched in June 2020. Separate subwoofer, two rear surrounds and an integrated soundbar make it a 5.1 channel home theatre. It has an impressive features list. It can be connected using HDMI ARC IN, optical IN, USB IN, AUX IN and Bluetooth 5.0. FM radio is a cool feature. With Pro Logic, 2.1 content can be converted to 5.1 content. Volume level of individual speakers can be set as per your preference. It allows for customizable bass and treble as well. It delivers decent sound at upto medium volume and bass level. Motorola MT80-HT51 is best suited for entry level home theatre enthusiasts only.

USB input allows only audio playback, not movies. Upto 32 GB of USB can be used. Motorola MT80-HT51 runs on HDMI version 1.4.

  • Compact soundbar design
  • Good clarity and low-mid volume
  • Individual speaker volume setting
  • Custom bass and treble levels
  • FM Radio
  • Pro Logic converts 2.1 to 5.1
  • Front stereo separation not great
  • Sound loses clarity and high bass and high volume
  • Not great for quality music

Introduction

Motorola launched its AmphisoundX range of home theatres in June 2020. The AmphisoundX range includes 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1 variants of home entertainment and home theatre systems. These are available only on Flipkart. The Motorola MT80-HT51 is an 80 Watt (RMS) 5.1 channel home theatre system with front soundbar, rear satellite speakers and a subwoofer. It has multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth 5.0 and HDMI ARC for connecting all kinds of devices. It is high on features like FM radio and Pro Logic sound. The MT80-HT51 has been priced at Rs. 7,499 and is available online only on Flipkart. Sound output is adequate for small to medium room size. For those wishing for more watts, check out the Motorola MT160DSB 160 watt 2.1 channel soundbar.

What is in the Box

  • Sound Bar (1)
  • Subwoofer (1)
  • Satellite Speakers (2)
  • AC Adapter (1)
  • RCA to 3.5mm AUX Cable (1)
  • Remote Control (1)
  • FM Cable (1)
  • User Manual (1)

No HDMI cable or Optical cable has been provided.

Key Features and First Looks

The front of the Motorola MT80-HT51 is available in black. It constitutes a sound bar that houses three speakers- front left, centre and front right. The soundbar is made of glossy black ABS plastic with black metal mesh grill and displays the Motorola logo in the centre. The three speakers are housed in separate but connected enclosures in this one compact soundbar.

Eight rubber pads have been provided for slip-free placement.At the rear, 4 screw-holders have been provided for hanging on the wall. Just one set of wire comes out from behind the soundbar. There are no input or output jacks anywhere on the soundbar. 

The two surround rear left and right speakers are made of glossy ABS plastic with a metal mesh grill in the front. The surround speakers have rubber cushioning at the bottom and can be placed on tabletops. They can also be wall mounted with the help of a single screw. The surround speakers also have the Motorola logo.

The Subwoofer is made of engineered wood (MDF) with metal front mesh grill. Matte finish has been given to wooden surfaces. Motorola logo has been provided on the sub-woofer as well. The sub-woofer is tall and not like a cube.

Towards the top and behind the metal grill, a small LED display has been provided. The bass driver is 5.25 inch and gives 30 Watt. One bass port has been provided on the left side of the sub-woofer cabinet. The sub-woofer unit carries all the input ports and control buttons. 

Motorola MT80-HT51

In comparison, Creative Technology’s Creative Stage V2 Soundbar offers greater ease of connectivity and better sound.

At the rear of the subwoofer are the HDMI ARC IN, OPTICAL IN and RCA AUX IN ports. There is also a provision for separate audio component inputs which means you can connect audio separate OUTS from your DVD, Blue-Ray or TV to this home theatre system via RCA cables. This is useful if you have neither optical OUT or HDMI out in your DVD, Blue-Ray or TV. This is an additional input provided.

All the speaker outputs for front left, front right, centre, surround left and surround right have been provided at the rear of the subwoofer. The FM antenna port and power ON/OFF switch has been provided. 

Front top of the subwoofer has a USB IN port along with 4 control buttons for source selection, play/pause, volume+ and volume -. The volume control buttons also double up as forward/ next track and reverse/previous track.

Rubber cushioning has been provided at the subwoofer bottom.

Remote is a compact unit with adequate functions. 

Installation and Wiring

The installation of Motorola MT80-HT51 is easy. You can place the soundbar on the TV cabinet or hang it from the wall. Having one single soundbar housing the front three speakers is convenient and looks neat as well. 

Since all connections go into the sub-woofer, it can be categorised as wired because all the speakers and soundbar are connected physically through wires . In comparison, the Blaupunkt SBW100 Soundbar has a wired passive subwoofer powered and controlled through its soundbar unit.

It is best to place the subwoofer on the floor rather than on the cabinet or table. This will help dampen vibrations.

The two surround speakers can be placed on any side table or they can be hung from the wall using single screws. 

Next connect the speakers to their respective RCA jacks at the rear of the sub-woofer. 

Next, connect the Motorola MT80-HT51 to an input source.

For enjoying 5.1 sound, connect via either HDMI IN or OPTICAL IN. 

For 2.1 sound, connect via either Bluetooth 5.0 or RCA to 3.5mm AUX IN.

Review

Sound

Bass and treble can be separately set using BASS and TREBLE buttons on the remote. Both bass and treble can be set from -4 to 6 levels.

One very good feature of the Motorola MT80-HT51 is the option to change the volume level of individual speakers. This allows you to balance out the sound output from the speakers. This can be done using the SELECT button on the remote control. 

Another useful feature is the option to switch between 5.1 and 2.1 mode using the PRO LOGIC button on the remote. This is useful because all audio content is not 5.1. You can convert a stereo audio to 5.1 audio with this option. 

You can choose Bluetooth, FM, OPTICAL, HDMI, AUX or DVD through the SOURCE button on the remote. 

At low to medium volume level, the sound is very clear and nice. 

The treble or highs are clean. Mids and vocals are very good considering the drivers are housed in ABS plastic. 

The lows or bass are fairly OK and sufficient for small to mid sized rooms. If the bass is set to maximum, then the sound just transforms into jarring vibrations and bass loses all clarity.

Sound clarity is good at low to mid volume level. But at high volume the sound becomes jarring and jumbled. This is expected because the plastic cabinets do not offer sufficient damping. 

For best clarity and listening experience, set the bass and treble both at ‘0’ level.

Overall, the sound is clean and clear but it lacks depth. You can make out that the sound is coming from plastic-enclosed speakers.  

Motorola MT80-HT51 is suitable for those wishing to try out an entry level 5.1 home theatre experience. It gives decent experience of how a surround sound movie experience can be like. However this home theatre will not satisfy the needs of those looking for a good home theatre experience. 

This is not that great for those preferring quality music. Bass lovers should look somewhere else as well. 

Do you think Sony makes better audio equipment? Read detailed review of Sony HT-S20R 5.1 Channel Home Theatre System.

HDMI Version

The MT80-HT51 runs on HDMI version 1.4. This should not be of much concern since version 1.4 allows upto 4K video upto 30 fps (Frames per second). It is 3D compatible as well.

The latest HDMI version is 2.1 which allows 4k upto 60 fps, HDR (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby vision). This version is found on high end home theatres. For normal home theatre purposes at the budget range in which MT80-HT51 operates, version 1.4 is more than sufficient. The peripheral devices such as TV, FireTV etc. have to set up accordingly.

Bluetooth

Motorola MT80-HT51

The Motorola MT80-HT51 has Bluetooth v5.0. You can connect your TV or mobile to the home theatre using the SOURCE button on the remote as well as the SELECT button on the sub-woofer. 

Sound output through Bluetooth is smooth and without issues. 

Remote

The infrared remote is small and handy. All available features can be controlled using the remote. 

Individual bass and treble levels can be set with the help of dedicated BASS and TREBLE buttons. Using the SELECT button, individual volume levels of all speakers can be set.

Buttons of remote however do not give a great tactile experience and feel just about adequate, if not cheap.

Verdict

The Motorola MT80-HT51 can be considered a good buy as an entry level home theatre for those on a budget. Its soundbar allows for compact installation while at the same time giving you two satellite speakers and a subwoofer for the 5.1 cinema experience. It has HDMI ARC and Optical connectivity which is good and offers better quality. It also has FM radio which some buyers prefer. The Motorola MT80-HT51 delivers clear sound at low to mid volume levels but loses clarity at high bass level. It is suited more for entry level home theatre enthusiasts than music lovers.

Read about how to set up you own home theatre within your budget.

Specifications

FeaturesSpecifications
No. of SpeakersTotal 5 active speakers : 3 in soundbar, 2 satellite speakers, 1 subwoofer
Subwoofer- 5.25 inch
Soundbar- 2.25 inch x 3 nos.
Satellites- 3 inch x 2 nos.
Speaker Power Output80 W RMS
30 watt subwoofer
and 4 nos x10 watt drivers
SubwooferYes. Wire-connected with all speakers
Input PortHDMI ARC IN, USB IN, RCA AUX IN, OPTICAL IN
HDMI Version1.4
USBOnly audio playback. Upto 32 GB USB size allowed
Output PortNIL
BluetoothYes, v5.0
Frequency Response120 Hz-20,000 Hz
FM RadioYes

Recent articles

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

3 COMMENTS

  1. […] It has multiple connectivity options including important ones like Bluetooth 5.0 and HDMI ARC. Other features include FM radio and Pro Logic sound. The MT150-HT51 was launched at a price point of Rs. 10,999 but is available at discount during festive seasons. It is available online only on Flipkart. The AmphisoundX range includes 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1 variants of home entertainment and home theatre systems. Know more about Motorola MT80-HT51. […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here