The trickle down effect was a dubious part of Reganomics, but the effect of advances in consumer electronics on affordable devices is huge. The Goodmans Aspect is a £99 bluetooth soundbar, and is magically not a hunk of junk. In fact it manages to look and sound pretty great for the price and even throws in a couple of unique touches with its dual format design.
The Aspect can be installed as a conventional soundbar, or with ease, flipped and converted into a tower unit. This is great if space is a massive issue (which we assume is why you’re buying a soundbar in the first place). A little magnetic base pops off and will hold the Aspect in place vertically or horizontally. It’s quick and easy to do, and unless your living room is constantly changing configuration ala Virtual Insanity, you probably only need to do it once.
The unit comes in a dapper, yet unassuming grey cloth with metallic panels on either end. There’s no room in the swathe of grey cloth for a display panel, and I’m guessing the constant change of orientation made that more hassle than it was worth.
You can connect to your TV via the standard supplied cables, but you can also use the Aspect as a Bluetooth speaker, with NFC pairing – a fun bonus at this price. For music, performance was adequate. Not quite room filling sound, but more than enough to keep a party full of people entertained. Unless they were audiophiles. In which case they wouldn’t be at a party.
When you take Aspect to the movies, things become a little less … well just a little less. Sound is certainly amplified but lacks the punch you want when watching a big screen blockbuster (or any movie with really great sound design). There’s no menacing bass rumble, and things tended to lack the clarity of more expensive systems. Not that performance was bad – it was decent. But it didn’t significantly enhancing viewing on my top of the line Samsung TV. Which is of course not the point – if you’re using a high-end TV you probably shouldn’t pair it with an affordable speaker. There’s a wine analogy here that I’m not well read enough to make. However, when hooked up to systems with slightly less powerful inbuilt audio the Goodmans made a world of difference, and I was much more forgiving of its flaws. At £99 the Goodmans Aspect won’t give you everything, but it will give you more than enough.
Out now from Goodmans