The demand for wireless products and peripherals has grown in the last couple of years and one of the main sectors that benefited from this wire-free technology is the audio and music industry.
It used to be that wireless audio was limited to portable speakers and earphones, products which are a bit more expensive than the usual pair of cans. But not until companies like Sembrandt came to life.
What we’re taking a look at right now is the Sembrandt SB750 — a wireless soundbar that aims to live in the livingroom without breaking the bank. It is currently one of the most affordable soundbars in the market, so we decided to buy it and test it out.
In case you’re not fond of reading, feel free to watch the video version of our review of the Sembrandt SB750 down below.
Design and Build Quality
The Sembrandt SB750 looks a bit identical to a typical soundbar. It does look a bit chunky and thick than others, but that’s because it houses more speaker drivers than the usual.
When compared to the Samsung K360 soundbar that I have at home, the SB750 has a bigger footprint. This is because it houses three speaker drivers inside it. There are two tweeters, and a subwoofer, all encaged in this wide body.
But still, it’s relatively more portable as my K360 needs to have an external standalone subwoofer to improve sound quality.
The Sembrandt SB750 has a triangular shape, so the speakers are directly firing at a 45-degree angle. The front is covered by metal grills, with both sides made with matte-coated plastic. Along with that, the back side has a glossy black finish.
All the physical buttons are on the right, just in case the included remote control runs out of battery. They offer decent tactility when pressed, although the actual buttons are just tiny and a bit mushy.
You can also spot the pre-attached wall mount at the back. I did stick it up on our wall, and it sits pretty well below my wall-mounted TV. But if you chose to have it stationary on a console table, the two foam feets will prevent it from scratching the furniture.
However, it doesn’t isolate the vibrations really well. Like I said, the subwoofers are built-in on this soundbar. I did try putting it on my desktop and I constantly felt annoyed by the vibration. It feels like your phone is persistently ringing when in silent mode.
Going back to the front, you can spot the LED indicator on the far right. The light is a bit big for my liking, but I eventually got used to it over time. And besides, it’s the only way the speaker communicates to you. It turns red when turned off, blue when in Bluetooth mode, green when in Line In, and white when it’s under Aux mode.
But then, you don’t have to memorize all these. You just have to pick which mode you want to be on in the remote, then you’re good to go.
Aside from switching modes, the remote also lets you choose between three different equalization presets. You can also individually adjust the treble and bass. And lastly, you can post, skip, and play the next track.
Overall, I’m impressed by how Sembrandt was able to dress the SB750 despite the price tag. It feels well-made and looks really stealthy so you can focus on your screen.
Inputs, Ports, Connectivity
Besides wireless Bluetooth connection, the Sembrandt SB750 is also equipped with some trusty, wired connectivity options. At the back, there are the old red and white ports for plugging directly into the TV.
It would have been nice to see an Optical port or HDMI in, but I think that’s too much to ask for the price tag.
On the right side we see the 3.5mm port for your non-Bluetooth iPods, MP3 players and what not. During my tests, I didn’t encounter any problems during connection. Sembrandt was also generous enough to include the appropriate cable to handle these ports.
Now, on to the wireless connection. The Sembrandt SB750 sports Bluetooth 3.0 inside it. And as what you might expect, the wireless connectivity on this thing is nothing to write hom about.
Most devices today has at least Bluetooth 4.2 rigged in them, making the version 3.0 really outdated. And during my tests, its weakness really shows.
The initial pairing was a breeze. My smartphone, the media player, stayed connected for as long as it’s in the living room. However, I did notice that the audio transmission is interrupted when there’s an obstruction. Say, you walk past the speaker or there’s a wall in between the Bluetooth-connected device and the unit.
See also: Samsung Wireless Audio 360 R1 Review
To be honest, I’m really disappointed on how poor the Bluetooth connectivity is, but I guess that’s one of the corners cut by the manufacturer in order to maintain its low cost. Anyway, it’s great to see Bluetooth connectivity is here.
Now, on to the crucial part. The Sembrandt SB750 is a 2.1 channel speaker. Like I said earlier, this thing packs two speakers and an extra driver that acts as a subwoofer.
The soundbar doesn’t have the best sound quality. But then again, we have to consider its price. With that in mind, it’s safe to say that this sub-Php3k soundbar does deliver good sound output that justifies its asking price.
The treble is decent, with good highs, and average clarity. On the other hand, the bass levels have depth in it. It feels thumping, making the need for an external subwoofer somewhat unnecessary (depending on your needs). So either you’re listening to rock, pop, or hip-hop, the Sembrandt SB750 can really cope up.
Since this is a soundbar, the SB750 also works very well for watching movies and any other media. The impacts, dialogs, and any other sound effects are audible. However, I did notice some sound distortion at very high volumes.
The soundbar also provides decent stereo separation. You can really tell if the subject is moving from left to right. However, in a typical living room setup, where the speaker is a few feet away from the user, the separation is hardly noticeable. But if you’re a bit closer, like in a desktop setup, the audio movement is really great.
But then again, for the price tag, the Sembrandt SB750 really delivers even in the sound department.
The Sembrandt SB750 really offer a compelling value for the price. With this one, you’re already getting a full-sized soundbar for the price of a portable Bluetooth speaker (like the JBL Flip).
It might not be the best-sounding soundbar out there, but for what you’re paying, it’s hard to find anything else like it in the market. The SB750 delivers decent sound, perfect for listening to music and watching movies. It’s also complete with all the necessary ports and means of connectivity.
And lastly, the speaker has an appropriate look to compliment any type of living room. If you’re looking for a cheap soundbar to upgrade your TV speakers or just an all-around media speaker, the Sembrandt SB750 is worth checking out.
Pricing and Availability of Sembrandt SB750
You can get the Sembrandt SB750 for only Php2,880 at Kimstore but with an additional Php400+ shipping fee (in Cavite). It’s also available online at Lazada with free shipping for around Php3,000. See listing here.