Magnum MG-5001 review: A detachable 2.1-ch TV soundbar that’s also a Bluetooth speaker
If you’re looking for an audio system to replace your TV’s tiny built-in speakers, the most sensible option is a soundbar. Not only does a soundbar offer a better sonic performance, it’s also easier to set up than typical multi-channel home theatre speakers.
But there are a lot of soundbars out there and many of them cost north of $1,000. Usually packed with features that you’ve never heard of, they’re an overkill if all you need is a simple system that provides a step-up in sound quality when you’re watching Netflix.
The Magnum MG-5001 2.1-channel soundbar with subwoofer is exactly that. Just 80cm long, the MG-5001 has a peak power output of 200W (PMPO) and is suitable for up to 49-inch TVs. Coupled with a height of just 6cm, I found that it’s able to sit in front of most TVs and not block the picture.
But what if you’ve a bigger TV and wish to get a wider sound? That’s where the MG-5001’s detachable feature comes in handy. A simple twist of the soundbar will separate it into left and right speaker units that can now be placed on each side of the TV.
The Magnum MG-5001 has a 3.5mm line-in as well as coaxial and optical jacks. This means I’m able to connect a variety of AV devices to it, including my Xbox, Blu-ray player and laptop. It also has an HDMI ARC port for connecting to the TV and a USB port for reading music files.
Additionally, the MG-5001 supports Bluetooth connectivity. With a working distance of up to 8 meters, I can connect my mobile phone or tablet to the soundbar and use it as a wireless Bluetooth speaker for music streaming.
Audio quality is surprisingly good for a 100W RMS soundbar this compact. Dialogues in movies sound clear and the bass from the 60W subwoofer is deep and rich. While volume control and input selection can be swiftly done using the supplied infrared remote control, there are clearly labelled buttons on the main unit as well. I can also quickly tell which input is selected from the LED indicators.
Magnum 18S: A soundbar and wireless speaker for the bedroom
For smaller TVs or rooms, you may want to consider the Magnum 18S, which is also a 2.1-channel soundbar.
Also 80cm long and 6cm tall, the Magnum 18S (160W PMPO power) is as compact as the MG-5001, which means you can just put it in front of the TV and not worry that it will obstruct your view.
The Magnum 18S is a single-piece unit, which means it can’t be detached into left and right speakers like the MG-5001. In terms of inputs, it too has a line-in jack and a USB port.
Want to listen to music that’s on your phone? There’s no need to get out of the bed to connect the cable because the soundbar can double as a wireless Bluetooth speaker.
The sound quality from the Magnum 18S isn’t far off from the MG-5001. Dialogues in TV shows and movies are reproduced cleanly and clearly; and even though the 30W subwoofer is smaller, the bass still packs a punch. Another plus point: the very slim subwoofer can be easily tucked into the corner of the room and hidden from sight.
To sum up, if you wish to level-up your TV’s sound quality and don’t want to spend a lot of money for features you don’t need, take a look at the Magnum soundbars.
I think the Magnum MG-5001 is better suited for the living room TV because it supports many inputs and can be detached to use as standing speakers. The Magnum 18S is great if you’re looking for a soundbar + subwoofer combo that doesn’t take up too much space or a Bluetooth speaker for listening to your favourite tunes in the bedroom.