By Don Lindich
Week 49, 2015
Q. In your column a few weeks ago you mentioned the Insignia NSB-314 soundbar as a bargain. It was, Black Friday price was $49! I can now understand the dialogue in Outlander! Best Buy doesn’t sell an Insignia subwoofer to go with it. Do you have a suggestion for a cheap wired subwoofer?
-Paul Yamshon, San Ramon, CA
A. You can use any powered subwoofer with an RCA input. You are on the right track asking for a cheap one, as adding a $200 subwoofer to a $49 soundbar does not make sense. I definitely would not spend more than $100 on a sub to go with it.
The Polk PSW10 10-inch powered subwoofer can be found for $95. It is a very good buy at the price. www.polkaudio.com
OontZ Angle 3XL TV sound follow-up: A week ago I wrote about the OontZ Angle 3XL Bluetooth speaker. One of the things I described was the ability to pair two of them together and use one connected to the TV with the included miniplug cable, and the other as a remote speaker placed anywhere up to 33 feet away. The manufacturer recommended using them this way, saying TVs with Bluetooth tend to work best with paired Bluetooth products from the same manufacturer. This has often been my experience as well.
I was recently visiting friends and they had a common problem I am often asked about: Nate could hear the TV fine, but his girlfriend Jacke could not. I happened to have the Angle 3XL speakers in my bag so I took them out to try the dual speaker mode. Unfortunately the TV did not have a headphone jack or Bluetooth. Looking for another solution, I checked his Dish satellite box, found a Bluetooth option and the Angle 3XL paired effortlessly.
To say it worked great is an understatement. The audio synced perfectly with the picture, and as we watched the Clemson/North Carolina game we discovered the speaker does a stellar job reproducing vocals and dialogue. Besides the very clear vocals, listening to an excellent small speaker from a few feet away is infinitely better than listening to weak speakers from across the room. The battery power lets you move it around with you, and speaker volume is controlled by two buttons on top. It couldn’t be better.
The downside to pairing the Angle 3XL to your satellite or cable box is you only get sound with the set-top box, not with your antenna or disc players. You may also have problems with pairing or audio/video sync, depending on your service provider and model of set-top box. There is a money back guarantee if it does not work in your specific situation, but for now I can confirm it works extremely well with the Dish Hopper. Based on my very positive experience I would not hesitate to try the Bluetooth with other set-top boxes, or even with the TV itself so all your playback devices play sound through it. Regularly $129, through December 31 you can get 15% off with the code ANGLE3XL at www.theoontz.com. Before you buy, check the TV and set-top box to make sure at least one of them has Bluetooth if that is how you intend to use it.