The S32HED13 sounds pretty decent – up to a point. So long as you don’t attempt to push it very loud it delivers a surprisingly detailed soundstage, with a mid-range open enough to leave voices sounding believable and avoid the nasty flat feeling commonly experienced with small, budget TVs.
Be warned, however, that if you push volume levels too high – anything beyond the set’s 40 volume setting – then action scenes can become quite excruciating thanks to the harshness that invades the treble end of the mix.
While there’s nothing in the S32HED13’s menus to perplex you, the set’s remote control is pretty unhelpful. Its lightweight, plasticky build quality means it doesn’t feel particularly ergonomic in your hand, the TV’s range/angle of response to the remote’s commands is frustratingly limited, and worst of all the DVD controls are squeezed on tiny buttons in the middle of a bunch of less important, equally small buttons. This makes attempting to use the DVD player in the dark borderline impossible.
Affordable 32-inch TVs with integrated DVD players like this Sandstrøm are naturally often sought after for second-room duties. Second-room duties that could potentially include gaming on consoles and PCs. So it’s great to find it turning in a very low input lag figure on average of 24ms – based on measurements that shift between 30ms at most and just 6ms at best.
One last concern we have is over the sensitivity of the S32HED13’s tuner. We experienced some break-up with digital channels using our usual feed – a feed that usually works just fine. And sometimes changing channels just resulted in a black screen until we changed the channel again.
The lack of an HD tuner in the S32HED13 is the most compelling argument against buying one given that there are other 32-inch TVs around for the same sort of money – the Panasonic TX-L32B6B and LG 32LN540U – that do offer HD tuners.
However, if you’re a movie fan you might find the built-in DVD player more of a draw – though at the same time movie fans will also likely be put off a little by the set’s slight backlight clouding issues.
Overall, though, while there are things about the S32HED13 that could put off some relatively specific types of user, as a general-use second room TV the S32HED13 actually has plenty to commend it.
Despite lacking an HD tuner and suffering a little backlight clouding, the S32HED13 is still a better-than-expected, great-value second room combi TV.