Panasonic TX-32AS500: Sound Quality
The suspicion with any TV nearly as slim as the 32AS500 is that it won’t leave enough room for any decent speakers. However, while the 32AS500 doesn’t do anything particularly good sonically nor is it demonstrably poorer than some chunkier sets in town. Voices sound clear if a touch hissy, treble detail levels are high without sounding excessively harsh (at sensible volumes anyway), and the mid-range is just about open enough to avoid sounding muddy during action scenes.
Bass is pretty limited, but this is only to be expected really, and at least the set doesn’t try to put in more bass than it’s really capable of producing – a common budget TV practice that leads to nasty distortions and ‘phutting’ effects.
Other points to consider
While the 32AS500 doesn’t ship with a second remote like some smart TVs, you can control it if you wish via Panasonic’s nicely designed new Viera remote control app for Android and iOS.
When it comes to gaming concerns, it’s great to find this screen measuring only 33ms of input lag, a figure low enough to mean the time it takes the screen to produce its pictures will have negligible impact on your gaming abilities.
Should I buy a Panasonic TX-32AS500?
If you like the look of My Home Screen and its personalisable interface, then the 32AS500 is worth a punt at £300. Especially as its pictures look decent enough with bright, ‘daytime’ footage of the sort that may make up much of its usage time in a second-room environment.
However, a lack of contrast means the set struggles as a movie display, and as a likely second-room screen it’s a shame the catch up services on offer are more limited than those available from most rival brands this year.
The 32AS500 looks the part and its good to see Panasonic getting involved with some truly aggressive pricing this year. The set passes muster as a ‘casual’ daytime TV screen with its picture quality too. But a lack of contrast hurts its appeal to more discerning movie lovers and its TV catchup services are disappointing even for the price.
Score in detail
Smart TV 8
Image Quality 7
Sound Quality 6