Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Pioneer SBX-N500 Review



rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star rating-star


  • Superb feature list
  • Discreet design
  • Loud, room-filling sound


  • No HDMI inputs
  • Could be more composed at loud volumes
  • Some sound modes only accessible onscreen

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £249.99
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Miracast and Wi-Fi Direct
  • DLNA file streaming
  • YouTube with Send To TV support
  • Dual built-in subwoofers
  • Built-in Bluetooth

What is the Pioneer SBX-N500?

It’s a soundbar that kicks weedy TV audio into touch and allows you to stream music, videos and photos through its built-in Wi-Fi connection. We reviewed the step-up Pioneer SBX-N700 recently and were hugely impressed by its generous feature list and design, but its wireless subwoofer’s imposing performance let the side down badly and didn’t justify the £100 premium.

Well, the good news is that the SBX-N500 is identical to its bigger brother but ditches the subwoofer and sells for more reasonable £250, which could turn out to be a remarkable bargain. Let’s find out if that’s the case.

SEE ALSO: Best Soundbars round-up

Pioneer SBX-N500 – Design

The SBX-N500 is a good-looking and reassuringly robust unit. Its black plastic bodywork with a grey metal speaker grille is classy yet discreet, designed to sit on your TV stand without drawing undue attention. The gently angled front face is a nice touch.

In the middle of the speaker grille is an LED display panel, either side of which is a 3.5mm minijack input and a USB port for on-the-fly media playback. The LED clearly displays selected inputs and volume levels, while a row of lights just above the panel indicates which sound modes are selected. For up-close control, a row of buttons runs along the top edge, offering volume, input selection and power. It’s all very clear and straightforward.

Close-up of Pioneer SBX-N500 soundbar's connectivity panel.

At 900mm wide, the SBX-N500 is a little small for TVs over 50 inches – it looks best in front of a 40 or 46in set. When placing the unit on a TV stand, you can make it 20cm higher by fitting the supplied feet to the bottom.
If the Pioneer blocks your TV’s the infrared receiver, the SBX-N500 features a pair of built-in IR repeaters that fire commands from the back. But if that doesn’t work for you, there’s an IR sensor cable in the box that can be placed in a more suitable location. If your TV is wall-mounted, you can hang the Pioneer on a pair of screws using the holes on the back.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words