For most homes, a soundbar is the simplest way to upgrade the audio experience from your TV. The audio experience that TVs deliver, on their own weight, is far from ideal. It isn’t just a matter how much you pay too, because even the most expensive TVs often struggle with vibrant sound. The rules of physics and the speaker size that slim TVs can hold within themselves, often are the limitation. Yet, there is that urge to complete the experience of watching movies and TV shows on your new TV, with good sound. And if you’re someone who likes steaming content a lot, particularly from platforms such as Netflix, there’s the new-age goodness of Dolby Atmos audio. As long as you have the correct hardware for it. And that is exactly what the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar delivers. The name is a mouthful, but you’ll find the price tag quite interesting. The Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar is priced at Rs 15,999 and you may be able to get it for lesser, if you can take advantage of the ever-prevalent cashbacks and discounts.
A quick panoramic view of the landscape of Dolby Atmos ready soundbars reveals rivals that cost a lot more, or rivals that are priced similar, but probably don’t have as wide a feature set. There is the Sony HT-X8500 soundbar which is priced around Rs 24,990 at this time and there is the Philips Performance TAPB603 which is priced around Rs 30,000. Mind you, the Sony soundbar is 2.1 channel while the Philips soundbar is 3.1 channel. Nevertheless, the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar has a significant advantage in terms of the price, and that’s a great foundation to build on.
You might begin by wondering what really the compromise is, considering the price advantage that the Infini Pro has compared with the rivals. After all, that’s something you’d have seen over the years—a lesser priced product generally skips out on a few things compared with the rivals. The thing with the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar is, I really couldn’t see shortcomings or any particular feature that may be missing, which would hamper the user experience. This is a 2.1-channel soundbar setup that has two front-facing 2.5-inch mid-range drivers, dual 1-inch tweeters, dual 3-inch built-in subwoofers, and symmetrical bass reflex ports on either side of the soundbar. And if you like heavy bass, spoiler alert, this can really get the glass panes shaking. That being said, you can very well dial that down and get close to sophistication of sound as you’d get from soundbars that cost a lot more.
At the back, nicely tucked away, are two HDMI ports. One is for audio input and is relevant in case your TV has the Audio Return Channel (ARC) functionality with one of the HDMI ports. A lot of TVs do now. There is an HDMI out port, an ARC fundamental, in case you want to connect a video source directly to the soundbar and then passthrough the video feed to the TV. The Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar does 4K passthrough and will work with direct to home (DTH) set top boxes (STB), gaming consoles such as the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony PlayStation as well as Blu-ray players, if you’re still holding on to one of those. There’s Bluetooth to, as expected. I preferred the optical audio input option to connect with the OnePlus TV 55U1 and the setup as well as the switch of the audio from the TV speakers to the soundbar was seamless. The settings for these will depend on your TVs options and interface, but mostly, you’ll find the option to switch in the Audio settings menu.
The first experience that you’d register with the sound is that it is powerful, from the outset. Before you make any tweaks to the sound or choose any sound modes. It is the sheer force of good sound heading your way, in a complete turnaround from what you’d have experienced with your TV all along, will make you pause for a few seconds and just enjoy this vibrant and deep sound. Turn the volume down, because this delivers significantly louder sound at the same TV volume, than what the TV speakers can deliver. There are three presets—Movie, Music and Voice. Toggling between each does indicate a subtle change in the sound delivery and the signature. Movie focuses on the finer details while the Music preset sounds more like a V-shaped equalizer and the Voice option enhances the higher frequencies for better dialogue delivery. No matter what, the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar gets you room filling sound, no matter how big the room. And if you tap the Surround button on the remote, be ready for really wide sound.
All the Netflix content that is Dolby Atmos tagged sounds brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. What caught my attention almost instantly is the bass toggle on the remote. Push this up, and you can get windowpane shattering bass from the soundbar. Great, if you want to use the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar for music and like to really pump up the lower frequencies. Dial this down, as you ideally should for movies and TV shows and sports, and yet there is still enough bass from the soundbar to let you enjoy whatever it is that you are watching. Unlike a TV, you won’t find this aspect of the sound missing. Which leads to a complication—you may find yourself manually reducing the bass at times on some content that you may be watching, compared with others.
I did notice that the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar does not have any built-in audio volume leveling feature. This means you’re dependent on what your TV can do. Still, there are times when you’d miss it, particularly when watching TV at night (when things are a bit quieter) and there is a risk of waking up the folks in the nearby room. Secondly, while the soundbar wakes up with the TV when you resume viewing from the standby mode, there is a lag of a second or so before the audio picks up.
The Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar is built really well, and there are absolutely no complex or shouty elements to this design. It isn’t very high vertically, which meant I could keep this beneath the TV and not have it intrude on the screen space. The soundbar is 36-inch wide. The black fabric wrapped around the soundbar looks great and it’s the subtlety as it sits beneath the TV, that really shines through. One thing to notice though, this fabric will catch some dust regularly, and you should be ready to wipe or dust it as and when that happens. What Anker have done in terms of the form factor and design is that there is no need for a separate subwoofer. That means you don’t have to worry about placing a big box on the floor somewhere near your TV.
THE LAST WORD: AN AFFORDABLE SOUNDBAR THAT PUNCHES ABOVE ITS PRICE TAG
The Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar would surely be my recommendation to anyone needs a good soundbar for their TV, without having to break the bank. Or pay almost twice the money that you pay for this, for one of its rivals. The Infini Pro delivers on the promise of rich sound—it is wide, well detailed, crisp and accompanied by as much bass as you’d like. All without the need for a separate subwoofer. The Dolby Atmos capabilities mean this soundbar is not only up to date but will remain in good stead for a few more years at least. You may be buying a soundbar on a budget, but the Soundcore by Anker Infini Pro soundbar feels nothing like a budget soundbar. And that itself is priceless.