AV Systems Guide
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Physique and Features
The Sound Of Wireless
The long Christmas vacation is just around the corner, and for those who would prefer to stay home, what would be the best way to kill time? If you happen to have a high definition television or a multimedia projector, the answer would be, of course, is to have a movie marathon. However, since the experience of watching movies is not purely visual, you would need a damn good speaker system to fill the aural part. Sadly, home theater systems are normally on offer at lofty price points. JBL’s more affordable solution: the SB 300 soundbar that goes with a 150-watt subwoofer system.
Technically, the SB 300 is a 2.1-channel speaker system. But instead of following the traditional setup in which two separate satellite speakers and a subwoofer are involved, the satellites are integrated into a single soundbar (SB300CNTR). Given this form factor, the satellites can either be discreetly installed under a wall-mounted high definition television or simply placed on a table. Maintaining its 2.1-channel disposition, the soundbar still connects to and synchronizes with a subwoofer. But instead of using unsightly, snaking cables, the soundbar establishes its link to the subwoofer in a wireless manner. Both the soundbar and the subwoofer are equipped with a switch for pairing. During the pairing process, the blue light indicator on the rear side of each component blinks, and settles once they are paired.
The fancy-looking subwoofer (SB300SUB) is the largest component of the entire setup. Oblivious onlookers would easily think that it is a home decoration. It looks like a ziggurat or the head of one of the famous villains of the Star Wars saga, Darth Vader. It does not look like a subwoofer because its driver and opening are obscured underneath, which means the subwoofer is a downfiring type. Hence, the quality of bass that it would produce might depend on the type of the material it is sitting on. In our setup, the subwoofer sat on a solid concrete floor.
Although the communication between the soundbar and the subwoofer is wireless, the SB 300 still requires cables so you could connect it onto a sound source. JBL has bundled the SB 300 with a left and right composite cable that you could use to connect the speaker system to a compatible television or a Blu-ray player. The SB 300 does not come with a composite audio cable with a 3.5mm connector to make work with a computer or a portable media player, but this should not be a big deal since such a type of a cable is already ubiquitous in electronics stores these days.
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