If you have a TV at home, and most people do, you may be missing out if you don’t have a soundbar. It doesn’t matter if it has 2-, 5-, 7-, or 11-channels, it can enhance your experience while watching shows, movies, or even just listening to music.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
While soundbars can be pricey, the Monoprice SB-300 Virtual Dolby Atmos 2.0Ch soundbar offers an affordable experience with four different sound modes, Bluetooth 4.2, great sound, and more. Read on for our full review!
Table of contents
|Video Inputs||x2 HDMI|
|Video Outputs||HDMI with eARC|
|Audio Inputs||Digital Coaxial, Digital Optical, 3.5mm Analog|
|Audio Input Sensitivity||500mV|
|Nominal Impedance||2x 4Ω|
|Frequency Response||40Hz ~ 20kHz|
|Bluetooth Version||Bluetooth 4.2|
|Amplified Power||2x 50 watts|
|Supported Bluetooth Profiles||A2DP, AVRCP|
|Bluetooth Frequency Range||2400 ~ 2483.5 MHz|
|Bluetooth Maximum Transmission Power||≤ 5dBm|
|Supported USB Formatting||FAT32, FAT16|
|Maximum Supported USB Capacity||32GB|
|Supported USB File Format||mp3|
|Remote Control Range||up to 19.6 feet (6 meters)|
|Remote Control Operating Angle||0 ~ 30°|
|Remote Control Power Source||2x AAA batteries (included)|
|Input Power||100 ~ 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz|
|Maximum Power Consumption||30 watts|
|Standby Power Consumption||≤ 0.5 watts|
|Dimensions||39.4″ x 2.9″ x 4.2″ (1000 x 74 x 106 mm)|
|Weight||6.0 lbs. (2.7 kg)|
What’s in the box
- Monoprice SB-300 soundbar
- IR remote control
- x2 AAA batteries
- AC power cord
- Premium high speed HDMI cable
- 3.5mm audio cable
- x2 wall mount brackets
- x4 wall mount screws
- x4 wall mount anchors
- x2 mounting screws
- User manual
Soundbars come in different sizes. In my experience, 2 channel soundbars tend to be on the small and skinny side of things. That isn’t the case for Monoprice’s SB-300 soundbar that comes with Virtual Dolby Atmos. This soundbar measures 39.4″ long and 4.2″ wide. It just fits length-wise on my entertainment stand, so those who may have a smaller entertainment system might have issues.
The top of the SB-300 has six buttons on it, centered towards the front. From left to right, there’s the power, input, Bluetooth, mute, volume down (-), and volume up (+) buttons. As is usually standard, a speaker grill covers the front of the soundbar. There is a hidden LED behind the speaker grill that displays useful information when you power on/off the SB-300, increase/decrease the volume, change inputs, turn up/down the bass and treble, and more. Furthermore, depending on which input you have chosen, you will see a static display of that input. For example, if you put set the input to optical, you will see “OPT” or “HDMI1” and so on.
The back is where you will find all the ports you will be using to connect the soundbar to your TV, receiver, or other devices. Towards the left side, you’ll find the power port connector, optical, coaxial, USB, and an AUX port. Slightly to the right of that are three HDMI ports, with the first having eARC support.
If you’re looking to mount the Monoproice SB-300, it comes with two mounting brackets that you can screw in on the left and right sides of the speaker in the back.
Overall, the SB-300 is pretty lengthy, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s just something I haven’t really seen before for a 2 channel speaker. Other than that, the design is super sleek and minimal.
When it comes to setting up the SB-300 from Monoprice, it’s a simple plug-and-play process, depending on what you’ll be using for inputs, of course. There are three HDMI ports in total, including the eARC port if you plan on using that. The route I went was with an optical cable since that’s my personal preference. Regardless, all that needs to be done for each port is to plug the cables into their respective ports from the soundbar to the TV. From there, head to the audio settings of your TV and choosing the appropriate audio source, along with selecting the same input on the SB-300.
Ease of Use
It’s not difficult to use the Monoprice SB-300 soundbar as it can all be controlled with the remote control. Turning it on and off is a simple press of the power button, and going from there is a matter of turning up or down the volume, bass, or treble to selecting which DPS sound mode you’d like to use.
Since I took the optical cable route, I had to press the “opt/coa” button on the remote once and wait for the sound to pass through the speaker. Once set, I didn’t have to change the audio output.
The thing that I noticed and wasn’t a huge fan of was that the bass and treble reset every time you turn the SB-300 on. It didn’t matter if you were switching to a different mode like Voice or Movie (more on that below), you would have to adjust both the bass and treble back to where you had it before.
Of course, with this being a soundbar review, you mainly came to find out how it sounds. For all those that are wondering, it sounds pretty good. Sure, for a 2.0 channel soundbar, it may not meet everyone’s needs, but if it’s just for a bedroom or loft, it pushes out plenty of sound. And that’s on top of the fact that the soundbar comes with Virtual Dolby Atmos.
The Monoprice SB-300 lets you choose between four different DSP sound modes: Voice, Sport, Movie, and Music. Each sound mode offers its own tweaked sound settings, depending on what you choose. The Voice and Sport options will solely rely on dialogue, the Movie mode will focus on dialogue and sound effects, while the Music setting will offer a better music listening experience.
Breaking down the different modes further to better understand them, we’ll start with the Voice and Sport DSP modes since they’re pretty similar. Both modes turn up the voice clarity meaning there’s more treble in the audio that’s being pushed out while reducing the bass a bit. That being said, the bass is still noticeable and not completely non-existent while in Voice mode. Music mode does exactly as I mentioned before. It offers a better listening experience by enhancing the sound making the instruments easier to hear. By no means does that turn down the bass or treble but increases them both evenly. I did listen to a variety of genres, from heavy rock to pop to country. It didn’t matter which song I played from various songs; they all sounded clear while adding in some bass whenever the lows hit.
And finally, Movie mode drives up the bass allowing you to hear more effects in the background while watching movies. I watched and tested Transformers, Harry Potter, and Star Wars to see how each movie sounded. I chose Transformers because Michael Bay added a lot of explosions to enhance the lows for the bass to kick in, and it did the job pretty well. When I played Harry Potter, I could hear the dialogue clearly and any or all background effects like spells being used or any magical creatures growling/howling.
I found that the Movie mode was the best all-around. That included turning the bass and treble to the max settings available. Based on my setup, I had to set the volume to around 13-15 (out of 100) to really start to get the full effect of the bass/treble and vertical surround.
If you’re interested in purchasing the Monoprice SB-300 Virtual Dolby Atmos Soundbar, it’s pretty affordable with an MSRP of US$179.99. It’s currently on sale at the time of this review being published for US$129.99. By dropping US$50 off the price tag, it’s hard to pass this up. Now, if you’re looking for a soundbar with a subwoofer, then you’ll have to look elsewhere (Monoprice has those options as well), but if you need something affordable and sounds great, or even something that will fill a small room or dorm, then look no further.
Overall, Monoprice made a great soundbar in the SB-300 with an affordable price that anyone should be able to afford. Sure, it may not be 5 or 7 channels, but there’s nothing wrong with that for smaller rooms or spaces.