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First Look: Toshiba SBX4250: A ho-hum sound bar that's surprisingly well-featured

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First Look: Toshiba SBX4250: A ho-hum sound bar that's surprisingly well-featured

2:39 /

The Toshiba SBX4250 won't wow you with its looks or sound, but it features built-in Bluetooth and a bevy of ports.

-Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and we're gonna take a look at the Toshiba SBX4250. This is a budget sound bar with a wireless subwoofer and it's currently selling for around $270. Overall, this is a pretty generic-looking sound bar. It has a black plastic cabinet with a matte finish and it feels a little cheap when you pull it out of the box and there's almost no styling to differentiate it from other sound bars. At 2.2 inches deep, it's not ultrathin, but it will fit comfortably on most TV stands. There is a display on the front panel which is nice, so you can get some visual feedback as to what input you're on or how loud the volume is. The included remote is actually quite good. It has a clean, simple design. It also has a substantial feel plus you get direct access to bass, treble, and subwoofer controls right on the remote. The included subwoofer is wireless, although it does need to be plugged in to a power outlet, and again, the design is pretty pedestrian except for the accented silver bass port on the front. What makes the SBX4250 unique is its extensive feature set. To start, it has built-in bluetooth which makes it easier to wirelessly stream audio for most smartphones and tablets. There's also a ton of ports on the back panel including two HDMI inputs, two optical inputs, an analog input, and a mini-jack input. Now, all those inputs may sound nice especially if you have a lot of home theater gear, but they're not absolutely necessary. A lot of sound bars these days expect you to connect all your devices directly to your TV then use the TV's optical output to get audio to the sound bar. So, the extra ports on the Toshiba are nice if your TV doesn't have that many inputs, but for a lot of people, they're not the most important feature. As for sound quality, the SBX4250 is about average. It's gonna sound a lot better than the built-in speakers on your TV, but when we put it up against other top performing sound bars, it didn't compare quite as well. The Toshiba has a clear detailed sound, but the subwoofer isn't as powerful as some other systems. So, it lacks some of the impact you'd want from a true home theater experience. So, overall, the sound quality isn't bad, but you can find better sounding systems at this price. So, altogether, the real reason you're buying the Toshiba over other sound bars is its feature set which is a cut above most sound bars. Personally, I think most buyers are gonna be better off prioritizing sound quality or design especially if you end up using your TV to switch between devices, but if you want a lot of inputs, the SBX4250 is worth checking out. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Toshiba SBX4250.

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