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Pioneer SBX-N700 review

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Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700
  • Pioneer SBX-N700

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Loads of features
  • Good build quality
  • Sound quality without wireless sub

Cons

  • Sound quality with wireless sub
  • No HDMI inputs
  • Some sound modes only accessible onscreen

Key Features

  • Wireless subwoofer
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Miracast and Wi-Fi Direct
  • DLNA file streaming
  • YouTube with Send To TV support
  • USB media playback
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer
  • Review Price: £349.99

What is the Pioneer SBX-N700?

It’s a soundbar system with a neat twist. Not only does it deliver big sound from a compact speaker but it also streams media wirelessly over a network and sends YouTube video content straight to your telly. This extra functionality is reflected in a slightly higher price tag than most soundbars, but it’s not outrageously expensive and throws in a wireless subwoofer for the money that isn’t included with the £250 SBX-N500 and £170 SBX-N300.

SEE ALSO: 6 best soundbars you can buy

Pioneer SBX-N700

Pioneer SBX-N700 – Design

The SBX-N700 is by no means jaw-dropping, but it’s attractively styled in a matt black finish with grey mesh on its angled front section. A black display panel in the middle shows selected inputs, volume levels and other info in seven-segment digits, while various lights above it tell you which sound modes are active. On top is a row of slim buttons to control volume and input selection.

It’s a chunky and robust soundbar, but its 900mm width doesn’t feel intrusive and makes it a perfect partner for 40 or 46in TVs. At both ends are bass reflex ports that manage airflow from the built-in subwoofers.

As for the wireless subwoofer, it’s relatively tall but smartly styled in black with a curvy port at the front. Thankfully it’s quite slim, which should make it easy to slot beside the sofa or TV stand.

Pioneer SBX-N700

Pioneer SBX-N700 – Connections

On the front is a USB port (something of a rarity on soundbars) that allows you to play media from flash drives, and a 3.5mm audio input to hook up portable devices on the fly.

The rest of the connections are found in a recess on the back. They include an ARC-compatible HDMI output, which not only outputs DLNA/internet content but also receives audio signals from the TV, eliminating the need to rig up a separate optical cable. Audio from sources connected to your TV is passed to the Pioneer through this ARC connection.

Great, but we’d have liked a few HDMI inputs too. This would have allowed you to pass your Blu-ray deck or Sky box through the Pioneer to a single HDMI input on your TV, and switch between them. As it stands, the Pioneer has to be connected to one HDMI input on your TV, while your Blu-ray deck is connected to another.

Pioneer SBX-N700

The downside here is that you have to switch to a different HDMI input every time you want to view the Pioneer’s online content or visit the setup menu. That’s a pain because a) you have to stop watching your movie and b) it cuts out the ARC audio connection.

For those without an ARC-compatible TV, there are two optical digital inputs. The SBX-N700 boasts built-in Wi-Fi, which lets you connect to your network wirelessly, but there’s an Ethernet port too. Finally, there’s an input for the supplied infrared extender, which is useful if the soundbar blocks your TV’s receiver.

ly121688

December 19, 2013, 3:41 pm

Is the SBX-N300 essentially the same soundbar minus the woofer and smart functionality as the n500? thinkning of purchasing that one, is there a way to add a sub that works better?

Gambler

December 19, 2013, 4:58 pm

The SBX-300 does not have the networking features that you find on the SBX-N500 and SBX-N700 - you only get bluetooth audio streaming. It is also not quite as powerful. The N500 gets all the network and streaming features and then the N700 adds a subwoofer.

Adam Thomas

December 24, 2013, 5:17 pm

I Just picked one of these up. Absolutely awesome bit of kit. It shows its newness with useful features like DLNA and WiFi which AFAIK aren't included on most sound bars.

Sound quality is fantastic. I do see what the writer means about the sub woofer, however I wouldn't say for £100 it's a complete waste of time (well, I had a voucher so £50). It's does indeed not have the same crispness of the built in subs. However, I often entertain a few guests using this sound system -- and thats when the authority of the sub really comes in handy for a sort of party atmosphere. Ultimately, it does depend on your music taste and preference for bass as well.

My only complaints are

1) switching between the in built sub and the wireless one is a bit of chore and requires changing your TV input to the soundbar, entering settings menu etc. Why not just have a button? Could even add this in as it supports firmware upgrades (long press of sub voume button for example?).

2) The ARC s really buggy. I'm pretty sure this is my TV though (LG 42LN578V) and not the sound bar. It seems to want to constantly switch the soundbar to the tv even if I've told the soundbar to go to bluetooth mode or settings mode for example. In addition, sometimes there's just no output at all. Its a shame, but I use optical now.

Overall. Great. 8.5/10.

Phil Hardman

May 7, 2014, 11:35 pm

I have an sbx-n700 and initially had a similar experience with the sub until I experimented with its position. I find having it as far away as possible gives the best effect. Use the phase settings in the setup to specify the speaker distances and it will blow your socks off.

Moos Jinan

September 2, 2016, 7:04 pm

I have sbx -n700 but that speaker bar have power problem..oneday i tried to ON the speaker bar the power is not ON then i showed it to repair store n they told some IC problem..can any one help me in getting it fixed or is there anyone selling parts of that speaker to Maldives..feel free to contact me on +9607776302 and the same number i used in viber..looking forward for a fast reply..thank you!!

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