I have rather happily received an Evolve Audio SB-2500 soundbar, fortunate because my 10 year old flat screen television has truly poor sound output. I think we can anticipate a favourable outcome since most new (and old flat) TVs these days have speakers included as an afterthought.
- Subwoofer does a good job
- Remote control has a good feel
- Wireless elements work nicely
Not So Good
- There are lots of soundbars out there
- Headphones are functional but acceptable
Out of the substantial box there is an ultra-slim (and it is very thin) remote controlled soundbar that presents mid and high range sounds. This soundbar connects wirelessly to the sub woofer that generates the bass sounds. There is then a rather stylish remote control and two different power supplies for the bar and the sub that need to be installed the correct way round, though the labelling is very clear.
There are then included a two RCA 2 channel cables and an optical cable if you have the right equipment. Also included, to my initial bewilderment but eventual interest, is a pair of wireless headphones.
There are also two wall mounting brackets included.
The design of this Evolve Audio SB-2500 soundbar is simplicity itself. Connecting to your TV RCA or optical output or in my case optically from my Sky box (for various complicated reasons) is a breeze. The connections are all discretely at the back, as are the power connections. The soundbar is basically remote controlled and this is all, so far, seamless, with the remote control being particularly nice to the touch.
The sub and the headphones are paired at the factory reading the manual all of which makes set-up very easy indeed. The sub can be placed anywhere within 10 meters of the bar although proximity is probably better. Being wireless there is a degree of welcome flexibility that comes when negotiating with partners and black boxes.
An interesting innovation with this soundbar is that it has Bluetooth for streaming music using the aptX codec. The soundbar supports CD quality streaming, 16 bit and upto 48kHz sampling.
The Evolve Audio SB-2500 soundbar itself is very slim but weighs a fair bit which gives you a reassuring hint of quality. There is a hint of MDF about the subwoofer though this maybe excused as fundamentally its job is simply to move air, which it does very well indeed!
The remote control is nicely designed and ‘feels’ like it has had some thought put into it. It has thus far worked very well indeed through set-up and operation.
The soundbar does a fine job of presenting a full movie sound to the listener, it is easy to use and pleasant to listen to. There are various options to vary the sound including a base adjustment function and various pre-programmed settings such as 3D, Music, Movie, News, Sport. They all do a job but it is a very subtle change to be honest, the news does accentuate the vocal nicely, however. In the round the low frequency bass is substantial thanks to the impressive subwoofer and the vocals are clear enough. It’s not going to blow your head off when a helicopter comes through the screen but at this price, that’s not going to happen anyway.
If you’re looking for a bit of peace an quiet from the kids or a book reading partner whilst the Rugby World Cup final is on (you get my drift though) there is a set of wireless headphones that mute the soundbar and allow you to follow the action in isolation. The headphones themselves are acceptable sonicaly, comfortable and come in useful at night-times when kids are falling asleep.
Another feature I really like from this Evolve Audio SB-2500 soundbar is that you can Bluetooth into it directly. And it very easy to do. I’ve been listening to the my radio streamer whilst watching sports action (cricket) and the delay on the stream almost matches the delay on the Sky output. Otherwise you can stream Tidal with Bluetooth CD quality to match. As I say, the sound is acceptable, given this is not why you buy your soundbar.
My final (and favourite) feature is that you can turn the light indicators off and on from the remote so if you’re watching a movie in the dark, there is no annoying light blaring at you. Excellent thinking.
In conclusion some very nice features incorporated into a good sounding sound bar that will certainly add to the listening experience from most most modern flat screen TVs.
Available in the UK now, the Evolve Audio SB-2501 soundbar has a UK SRP of £199.99 inc VAT.
Evolve Audio was created in 2013 and is a brand of consumer electronics products own exclusively by Janky Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of satellite products. Headquartered in Taiwan yet heavily influenced by European design and consumer habits, Evolve Audio products currently include soundbars for TV sound enhancement.