Philips launched two new 2.1Ch soundbars in India – the TAB7305 and TAB 5305 – priced at INR 14,990 and INR 21, 990. These soundbars focus on premium design and will primarily target offline markets. We have had the modest TAB5305 attached to our TV for the last month and have gathered our thoughts and experience in this review. Let’s detail what we liked and what we didn’t.
Philips TAB5305 Soundbar review: Price and specs
|Dimensions and weight||Soundbar：900(W) x 65.5 (H)x 91mm (D)；1.53 Kgs|
Sub-woofer: 150 x 225 x 267 mm; 2.1Kg
|Inputs||Aux-In/Bluetooth/Optical /HDMI (ARC)|
|Bluetooth||Yes, 4.2 (SBC)|
|Soundbar speakers||2.0-inch Full range drivers (15W x 2)|
|Sub-woofer driver||4.5-inch (40W)|
|Power||70W (15W x 2 + 40W)|
|Frequency response||50Hz – 15KHz|
Philips TAB5305 review: Box content
There is no cable in the box (HDMI, Aux or optical) that you can use to connect the bar to your TV. Here’s what you get inside the Philips TAB5305 box:
- TAB5305 soundbar and subwoofer
- Remote control and 2x AAA batteries
- AC adaptor for soundbar
- Power chord for subwoofer
- Brackets for wall mounting
Philips TAB5305 soundbar review: Design and Build
Philips TAB5305 is a slim and stylish soundbar that’s apt for up to 55-inch TVs. It’s 3ft long and measures 65 mm in height, which is to say it won’t block the view for most TVs that are mounted on a table or in a cabinet.
The bar looks premium and the build quality felt perfectly apt for the price. We dig the blade cube shape and there is a metal grill on the front. On the top surface, there is Philips branding at the center and rubberized hard buttons (always appreciated) towards the right corner.
There is only one LED indicator within the bar that lights up in different colors to indicate different controls, inputs, and presets – and consequently, it isn’t easy to comprehend. All ports are present in a recessed alcove at the back.
In contrast to the bar, the wireless subwoofer is rather a plain jane. It measures approximately 150 x 225 x 267 mm in dimensions and there are one-inch stubs at four corners. Yes, this is a down-firing sub and thus can be placed anywhere within the Bluetooth range from the bar, and it’s recommended you position it on the floor instead of your cabinet shelf. There is a LED at the back that indicates when the woofer is paired and connected.
Philips TAB5305 soundbar review: Remote and Connectivity
Philps provides a rather basic, plasticky remote control with the IR LED handing out from the top. It’s comfortable to hold and gets the job done. There are buttons to switch inputs, an EQ button to switch sound presets, playback controls, and volume controls. We are glad there’s a mute button too.
Connectivity options are quite basic. You get an HDMI ARC port, optical in, and aux port. And there’s Bluetooth 4.2.
Since cables aren’t bundled in the box, you will need to buy these separately. We recommend that you connect it over HDMI ARC. I no longer carry audio in thumb drives so didn’t particularly miss the USB port, but I know of people who do.
Philips TAB5305 review: Performance and Sound quality
Philips TAB5305 faired surprisingly well in our analysis, especially for watching movies and videos. There is proper stereo separation and dialogues are clean and clear. The down-firing subwoofer also performed better than expected. The bass isn’t thumpy but it could pick sub-bass frequencies rather well and added the right amount of rumble needed while watching movies.
As for music, it’s hard to expect much from a 70W 2.1 channel system but once again the TAB5305 proved good enough to handle the needs of casual listeners. At the price, Dolby Digital support would have been better.
There are three audio presets – movie, music, and news – and you can switch between them from the EQ button. The color of the LED light is the only indication for different source and audio presets and frankly its gets very confusing. There is also no proprietary app to make the task simpler. The LED blinks white for three seconds for the Music mode, green for 3 seconds to denote Movie mode, and red for the News mode.
Other than that, the Philips TAB5305 performed very reliably. We didn’t run into any performance issues or unexpected glitches while switching between different sources and modes.
Philip TAB5305 soundbar review: Verdict
On paper, many relatively affordable soundbars can match or even supersede the specs the Philips TAB5305 has to offer for INR 14,999. However, what makes it stand apart is that it is solid with the basics. It sounds better than most half-baked products offered in this price segment.
While there is no fancy assistant support, no HDMI pass-through, no half-hearted attempt at Dolby Atmos, but the TAB5305 simply sounds good and functions reliably. It also looks distinct and will add to your home decor. It’s a product that will appeal to casual consumers who can appreciate Philips brand value.
- Great design, solid built
- Reliable performance
- Sound optimized for movies and games
- No USB port
- Cables not included in the box
- No HDMI pass-through