Toshiba launches three budget soundbars for 2014

Toshiba has announced three new budget soundbars for 2014, which are due to hit the UK induringthe 'second quarter' of the year.

The three-strong line-up includes the Mini 3D Sound Bar II, a small speaker and sub for £150, and two larger soundbars, the £100 E1 and the £180 M1.

At only 29cm long, the Mini 3D Sound Bar II is the smallest model in the series and is designed to be a compact solution for those with limited space.

The compact soundbar offers wired connections via its 3.5mm, optical and HDMI inputs, plus wireless Bluetooth, and NFC compatibility for easy one-touch pairing.

Dishing out 90w of power, the Mini comes with a wireless subwoofer that adds 30w to the total output.

Sound processing comes in the form of 'Absolute 3D Sound by Sonic Emotion', promising an immersive audio experience. With the Mini 3D soundbar costing just £150, we'd manage your expectations on that one.

Either side of the Mini is the entry-level SB3950E1 and range-topping SB3950M1, both of which follow the more traditional soundbar design.

At 90cm long, they can sit in front of your TV or be wall mounted using the kit supplied. Both introduce LED displays to Toshiba's soundbars, so you can see the source input and volume.

The E1, the cheapest of the two soundbars at £100, has DTS TruSurround and can decode Dolby Digital and DTS 2.0 channels.

It has a 40w output, but no accompanying external subwoofer. Connections are limited to 3.5mm and optical inputs for a simple plug 'n' play set-up.

The M1 is the most feature-packed model, priced at £180. As with the Mini, Bluetooth and NFC functionality provide wireless connections to your TV, while the optical and 3.5mm inputs are joined by an HDMI connection.

A 150w output is boosted an extra 70w by the wireless subwoofer. It has DTS Studio Sound, designed to give a larger dispersion of quality sound, and can decode Dolby Digital and DTS 2.0 too.

The Mini 3D Sound Bar II, SB3950M1 and SB3950E1 are the first of Toshiba's 2014 products to be announced.

We saw new Toshiba TVs for the US market at CES, but expect news about its upcoming UK TV and Blu-ray player ranges soon, and reviews of the new products when we get them.

MORE: Best soundbars to buy in 2014

by Becky Roberts

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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.