What is the AEGO Soundbar?
Connections & Control
Features & Specs
Setup & Testing
The LEDs on the front of the subwoofer will show which input is being used – white for digital, orange for analogue and blue rather appropriately for Bluetooth. In terms of sources we connected a YouView box, a Blu-ray player and an Apple TV to the Sound3ar using various connections and we also used a Bluetooth connection for our iPhone 6. We tested the AEGO with TV, film and music content. When using the Sound3ar, the four white LEDs indicate when you turn the volume up or down and there is an audible beep when the maximum volume has been reached. The same four white LEDs are used when adjusting the bass level.
AEGO Sound3ar Video Review
The Sound3ar also gave a good account of itself when it came to movie soundtracks, with the soundbar and subwoofer combination delivering the effects with some style and producing some lovely bass energy. We pulled out a few big hitters like Pacific Rim and San Andreas and the little AEGO handled both surprisingly well. The bass was controlled and never over-powering, complimenting the soundbar itself with a good sense of cohesion. However the small size of the soundbar did result in a rather narrow front soundstage, that lacked the immersive quality of larger soundbars. The sound certainly seemed to emanate from the TV but you rarely got a sense of the sound expanding on either side of the screen. In addition, whilst the Sound3ar has enough amplification for a small room, it will struggle in larger sized living rooms where the 65W just isn't enough.
The Sound3ar didn't only impress with TV programmes and movies, it also managed to sound very good with music as well. In fact it is one of those rare soundbars that actually could be used for listening to music in a critical way and not be found wanting. There's no doubt that Acoustic Energy's experience in this area has paid dividends and we certainly enjoyed listening to David Bowie's Backstar with the AEGO. The diminutive nature of the soundbar itself did limit the amount of stereo separation but the clarity and detail that it managed to deliver from the complex arrangements of Bowie's last album was certainly impressive. There's no doubt that the AEGO Sound3ar makes a great all-round soundbar for anyone on a budget and although it is aimed at smaller screen sizes and smaller rooms, we used it under a 55-inch TV without any issues at all.
- Nicely balanced sound
- Decent bass presence
- Great build quality
- Simple to set up
- Narrow soundstage
- Limited connections
- Will struggle with larger rooms
- Remote is a bit rubbish
Acoustic Energy AEGO Soundbar Review
Should I buy one?
The Acoustic Energy AEGO Sound3ar is a great budget soundbar and subwoofer combination that delivers a winning combination of performance and value. The design is attractive and the build quality is excellent, whilst the smaller size of the soundbar means it can fit easily under the majority of modern TVs. The subwoofer houses all the amplification and connections, which means there are only two cables running to the passive soundbar, keeping things tidy around your TV. The connections are limited but Acoustic Energy do include cables, which is handy, and although the remote is a bit rubbish, it does get the job done.
Setting up the AEGO Sound3ar is very simple and once everything is connected there are LEDs on the front of the subwoofer that indicate which input you are using and the volume setting. Acoustic Energy may have built the AEGO to hit a specific price point but they certainly haven't compromised in terms of sound quality, with a performance that is anything but budget. The Sound3ar delivered a lovely detailed sound, with a nicely balanced tonal quality and plenty of bass. The mid-range and high frequencies are also well rendered and the sound had plenty of dynamic range, considering the size of the soundbar.
The smaller dimensions of the soundbar did mean that the front soundstage was a bit narrow, lacking the enveloping nature of larger models, and the amplification will struggle in larger rooms but in a normal sized living room it has more than enough power. Overall we found the Acoustic Energy AEGO Sound3ar to be a very capable performer with TV, movies and music, making it a great choice if you have a limited budget and worthy of recommendation.
What are my alternatives?
The sub-£200 soundbar market is a competitive one but models with subwoofers are relatively rare, giving the AEGO Sound3ar an advantage in terms of performance. The lack of HDMI is also standard at this price point, so Acoustic Energy have certainly positioned themselves well in terms of features and the build quality is a cut above the norm. In terms of alternatives, the Yamaha YAS-105 is an obvious contender because it also costs £199 and has a similar set of connections but you do get a better controller and a handy remote app. The YAS-105 doesn't include a subwoofer, so the Sound3ar has the edge when it comes to the low-end, but the Yamaha has a much wider front soundstage and more power.
However in terms of pure bang for buck, the Samsung HW-K450 is the soundbar to beat. It currently costs £199 but includes HDMI, along with a wireless subwoofer, great build quality and plenty of features. It has an open front soundstage, excellent bass and plenty of amplification, making it an impressive all-rounder. For sheer value for money, the Samsung remains the soundbar of choice but in terms of build quality and performance, the AEGO Sound3ar punches well above its weight.
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