Lenco SB-100 £140

20th Aug 2011 | 09:30

Lenco SB-100

An affordable soundbar has us surrounded with audio

TechRadar rating:

3 stars

A great 3D sound for enveloping music, but it's not suitable for everything

Like:

3D sound effect impresses for music; Dialogue is clear; Sound effects make a big impact;

Dislike:

Overall sound is artificial and metallic at mid-frequency; 3D mode unsuitable for speech; Big;

The Lenco SB-100 soundbar claims to deliver a 5.1 surround sound experience through the magic of its so-called 3D sound feature, despite not being equipped with digital inputs or any kind of surround sound decoding.

The only sockets are one set of stereo phonos and dual 3.5mm line inputs. Analogue signals are processed by circuitry licensed from Sonic Emotion and delivered to your ears via the SB-100's room-filling multiple drive units.

There are six full-range tweeters and a 20W subwoofer that offer a combined 80W of power output, which is four times as powerful as most TV screens' built-in speakers.

The 3D effect really does create an enveloping sound. When listening to classical music it's as if half the orchestra has gone home when you disengage 3D.

With action-packed Blu-ray movies such as 300, dialogue is clear and strong, while individual effects have terrific impact compared with a TV's own speakers.

However, the Lenco SB-100's overall sound feels artificial, with a metallic edge to mid-frequency sounds.

Also worth mentioning is the 3D mode is not suitable for speech, which sounds lispy. Reserve the room-filling 3D mode for rich, multi-layered soundtracks.

The Lenco SB-100 has no hope of physically squeezing into the gap between the bottom of your screen and TV stand, and the company's website shows the bar itself being used as a stand. That's not an option for pedestals with a larger footprint than the soundbar's own (540mm wide x 165mm deep x 110mm high), so placing the bar could be awkward.

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