We have been testing a new soundbar for the last week that just literally launched to the market from the company Anker, that comes with 100-watts of power and built in subs, all while aiming for a price tag of only $99.
This new soundbar is the Anker Soundcore Infini, a 36-inch solution to go with most average TV sizes that you would find a consumer buying into. Despite 36-inches typically pairing well up to 42-inches or maybe 50-inches (TVs) at most, you could easily find this one making its way up to 60 inches pretty easily thanks to the amount of volume you can get out of it alone.
Design-wise, you have a typical style soundbar in shape, and the kind of bar that mounts flush against the wall thanks to all of its ports being tucked inside the back vs sticking out where the connectors would get in the way. Both your high and mid-high frequencies are delivered via the front of the bar, while you get your mid-lows (or in other words, your subs) coming from the sides where they have a ported release.
The front side of the soundbar contains a few basic buttons, including the power button to turn the bar on and off with, as well as toggling through the inputs with the button to it’s right. In between those you have two volume buttons that are harder to see, but allow you to control the volume without the remote as well. Underneath the logo section where these buttons are located, are LEDs carefully hidden behind the mesh grill, that give way to current statuses, such as power, inputs, pairing mode and so forth.
We did find that the LEDs aren’t always instantly noticeable due to them being so small and not that bright, causing you to have to get a little closer to be sure at times. However, a positive to them not being too bright, is that they aren’t a distraction when the lights are out, allowing you to focus more on your TV. They also don’t remain on at all times, which leads to less distraction as well.
You’ll find all of your inputs on the backside, including the connection for the power cable, nearly tucked away where they won’t get in the way. This makes mounting this soundbar pretty user-friendly as you can get a flush mount to the wall keeping everything quite neat.
One side has the power input where the other side features both an optical and a coaxial digital connection, as well as your typical aux in via a 3.5mm input (there is an RCA to 3.5m cable included with the speaker to make connecting an analog device simple). There is also a USB port, but sadly it looks like this is for “service” only (ie, probably upgrading firmware and troubleshooting).
There is an impression in the body that allows you to run the cables through as they run up to the TV.
Mounting the bar directly to the wall is made incredibly easy, as they give you a template in the paperwork to make your marks on the way for these little brackets that come with it. You would install these to the wall and the speaker will slip right into them via the custom screws on the back that can be added or removed in case you’d rather have the soundbar sit flat on a surface instead of mounted on the wall. Either way, you would be ready to go within minutes. Providing an easy way of mounting the bar is always a nice touch since some manufacturers seem to forget how to make the process user-friendly.
We actually like the performance of this. At first, we had to remind ourselves that the price tag is only $99, so it wasn’t going to compete with some of the more expensive solutions we have come across. Keeping this in mind as we put it through its tests, it started to grow on us. The final opinion really comes down to the user, and what your ears are looking for in a speaker. Some people like a lot of bass, some like a lot of volume, a focus on highs, full range and so on. This speaker focuses on sheer volume and crisp highs.
Most of your frequencies fall within your mid-high and highs, with a little presence of mid-lows thanks to its built-in subs. Obviously in the little bit of space the speaker has to conceal those subs in, you can’t expect too much presence. Because of this, you get more of a mid-low experience vs your deep lows. This is better than nothing of course, and it does well with what it has.
Range is ok since your missing some of your mids and deep lows, but as mentioned, the highs are super crisp. So you can count on dialogue being a solid experience in anything you are watching. Your mid-highs are also pretty crisp and offer a lot of detail within these ranges.
It won’t blow your mind when it comes to range, but it will for clarity and volume. The latter was impressive since we could get a great deal of volume out of the soundbar without any distortion. This is where it can easily pair with a TV a little larger than you’d expect with its size.
It would have been nice to have an output for an external sub, giving you the option of expanding the low-end a bit later on. This would prevent the need of ever having to upgrade the soundbar if all you need is a little bass. Sadly, you are limited to what the bar has to offer.
When using the soundbar with your TV, you will find that you won’t need to play with the remote much outside of volume (unless you constantly switch between inputs). It has the option of going into standby automatically after no sound is detected for 30 minutes and will turn itself back on automatically when signal is detected again (assuming you don’t manually turn it off–in which case it will remain off).
Bluetooth is supported, allowing you to stream media from your favorite mobile devices, including phones, tablets, computers and more.
The remote it comes with is pretty simple, and typical when it comes to most soundbars on the market. In some cases, it comes quite close to almost identical to some of the soundbars we have looked at over the years. Controls are simple, allowing you to easily power on/off, mute, adjust volume, adjust input and adjust EQ mode (dialogue, music and movie mode).
What does it come with?
It comes with pretty much everything you will ever need. The remote, batteries for the remote, brackets and screws for mounting it, the RCA to 3.5mm aux cable, the power cable and an digital optical cable (a thin little one, but one nonetheless). There is no coaxial cable, but I can’t think of a single product that actually came with one of those since they are usually only used in special situations. You have some documentation to walk you through everything and that’s it.
A fantastic speaker with a low price that won’t break the bank. It offers a tremendous amount of volume, with a crisp detailed focus on the highs, as well as your mid-highs. The mid-lows are all delivered by the built-in subs decently well, and setup is a breeze. It comes with all the cables for the most part, and they did a fantastic job at making the wall-mounting process a breeze as well. The LEDs could be slightly more noticeable when looking for them, and it would have been great to have the option of expanding the bass range with an external output for a sub. Beyond that, it is a great soundbar solution.
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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