More often than not we find ourselves dreading the phase of our tests where we have to put small, thin TVs through their audio paces. Especially nasty, usually, are relatively cheap TVs like the Panasonic L32E6 with extremely narrow bezels. But the L32E6 left us with our hearing and sanity surprisingly intact.
The key to its success is simply that its speakers are powerful and dynamic enough to produce a quite open mid-range without the speakers sounding overloaded. This means that voices have the space to sound credible and well rounded while the soundstage has enough headroom to shift through a few gears when an action scene kicks in.
It’s worth adding, too, that the speakers appear surprisingly sensitive, proving able to pick out lots of the sort of subtle details packed into the best sound mixes.
There isn’t a great deal of real bass to provide the soundstage with a rich foundation, but then again neither do things sound as thin and flat under duress as you might expect with a small TV. All in all, then, as with its pictures, the Panasonic L32E6’s audio is comfortably above-average.
With its 32-inch screen, space saving design and impressive picture and sound, the Panasonic L32E6 could be a clear favourite with bedroom gamers. So it’s good to find it recording a solid input lag figure for the screen of 35ms – though we should add that we did also record a few rogue measurements of 60ms.
The only other small point to raise is that the standard remote you get with the Panasonic L32E6 is starting to feel a little outdated for the Smart TV age in terms of the balance and placement of its buttons, though it is very easy to use.
So long as a 32-inch TV is big enough to serve your (probably second-room) needs, it’s hard to think of many reasons why you shouldn’t seriously consider buying the Panasonic L32E6. While Panasonic’s higher-end LCD TVs tend to be on the expensive side, this model is actually great value at £360 when you consider the picture quality, design standards and level of smart TV support it offers.
We haven’t seen many 32-inch TVs so far this year (we’re in the process of rectifying this as we speak), so picking out potential rivals is tricky. If you want something even cheaper that’s decent on the picture front though some distance behind where smart TV features are concerned, there’s the £300 Finlux 32F8030. Otherwise really all we can suggest based on our review of the Sony 42W653 is the £390 Sony 32W653.
Want more choices? Check out our best TVs of 2013 round-up
Although its affordability inevitably means it’s not by any means perfect, the Panasonic L32E6 is still an excellent all-rounder for its money. Its pictures are cleaner, bolder, more contrast-rich and generally just more polished than those of the vast majority of sub-£400 32-inch TVs, and its smart features are passably fulsome and exceptionally presented. That it looks good is just one more reason to recommend it.