This is the first time we’ve had a soundbar from Toshiba in our test rooms.
And it’s a solid effort, combining average sound and design with excellent connectivity. For the price, however, we’re not entirely blown away.
It looks nice enough, if a bit generic. We doubt many will remember this design, but it’s not as bland as the Boston Acoustic TVee 26, say.
And despite its hard edges and boxy outline, it’s not a very large unit. It will happily sit directly in front of most TVs without blocking the screen.
There are hints of design flourishes: silver-trimmed drivers peek out from behind the black mesh at the front.
A large rectangle in the centre implies a sizeable display, but the actual display (somewhere behind this sheet of plastic) is smaller than an average USB stick, with barely enough space to show what input you’ve selected.
It’s unremarkable at the front, then, but thankfully the back of the Toshiba makes up for this. The SBX4250 is one of the better-equipped budget soundbars.
There’s one each of analogue stereo and 3.5mm inputs, and two each of optical digital and HDMI inputs.
There’s also an HDMI output, as well as Bluetooth for wireless music streaming.
Elsewhere, we are glad to see Toshiba has made an effort with a proper chunky remote control handset instead of the typical card-like variety.
The unit is easy to use with a neat layout and large, clearly labelled buttons. We particularly like having the ability to fine tune the treble and bass levels, and the subwoofer volume via the handset.
When it comes to sound, the Toshiba SBX4250 is adequate. Much like its design, there’s nothing special but it will get the job done if that job is to sound better than your flatscreen TV.
The sense of scale is pretty good, but we wouldn’t recommend it for anything like a house party.
The sound gets wider still if you trade in a bit of detail and turn on the virtual surround mode – indeed, it’s fairly effective at spreading sound.
We also like its clarity. Mix in a good level of detail and there is ample texture and definition to effects. Dialogue is sharp, but it feels a little insubstantial and is in need of more body.
It lacks firm support from the bass, which feels flabby and lightweight, struggling to convey the sense of power and the kind of kick we’re looking for.
Move up the frequency range and the sound gets a bit thick and closed in. This isn’t helped by an unruly treble. It’s not over the top, but there is a definite hint of brightness.
The Toshiba SBX4250 is a decent enough package, but we don’t find ourselves particularly excited by it.
Despite its good selection of connections, the sound and looks are average at best.
And then there’s the price tag: £200 is a lot of money to spend on something that struggles to thrill. At this price, we would suggest looking elsewhere.