Onn 5.1 Soundbar System Review

The onn 5.1 channel soundbar system is an excellent soundbar for a reasonable price. It offers great surround sound audio with a punchy bass and is a perfect audio system for a small home theater.

The soundbar at a glance

Without futher ado, let us look at the soundbar to understand it better. The table below lists out the specifications of Onn Blast 5.1 for an overview.

Features
Onn Blast 5.1
Surround sound channel configuration
5.1
Dimensions
35.98 x 2.55 x 3.14 Inches
Weight
33.5 pounds
Color
Black
Peak Power
400 Watt
Power consumption
100 Watt
Features
Onn Blast 5.1
Surround sound channel configuration
5.1
Dimensions
35.98 x 2.55 x 3.14 Inches
Weight
33.5 pounds
Color
Black
Peak Power
400 Watt
Power consumption
100 Watt

What is inside the box?

The soundbar comes in a big and rigid packaging that feels a bit heavy because of the many components that is placed inside it. When you open the packaging, you will find a number of different items. Firstly, there is the main unit, which is the 36 inch active soundbar inside the box. Along with the soundbar, there is also a subwoofer to complete the entire system. There are two satellite speakers which are very useful for an immersive audio experience. In terms of connectivity, there are two RCA to RCA cables, two power cords to power on the soundbar, one auxiliary cable, one HDMI cable and one optical cable. The packaging also includes one remote control that can be used to adjust the settings of the onn 5.1 soundbar. Lastly, there is a quick start guide to guide the user and answer all the frequently asked questions.

Design and build quality

Onn Blast 5.1 channel soundbar has a very minimal design. The whole system- the soundbar subwoofer and speakers are available in matte black color. Theh soundbar is very small and lightweight, weighing approximately 22.5 pounds. It has dimensions of 35.98 x 2.55 x 3.14 inches, meaning that it can easily fit in between the legs of most medium sized televisions. If not, the onn blast 5.1 also allows wall mounting options so you can save space and decorate your audio system according to your liking.

The design of the soundbar is quite basic- it is a rectangular long block with even surfaces. The soundbar is made mostly of plastic, giving it its lightweight property. The front of the onn blast 5.1 harbors the drivers and speakers which are protected with the black metallic grilles. You won’t find any display or labels on the soundbar- this adds more to the minimalistic design that the manufacture aimed at going. Nevertheless, there is one LED indicator at the front, which gives off a different light according to the status. For instance, the light is red when the soundbar is in standby mode; yellow in AUX mode; green in optical mode; blue in Bluetooth mode; white in HDMI ARC mode and orange in HDMI in mode.

The subwoofer and two speakers also have a very minimal design which complements the soundbar. They are also composed of plastic, giving them the lightweight property that the soundbar has.

Controls

At first glance, it is almost impossible to recognize the Onn Blast 5.1. There is not a sign of the logo, nor there are any controls. The soundbar is perfect for a minimalist. You might have a little trouble trying to pinpoint the controls at first, but on further inspection, you will observe that the controls are cleverly placed on the sides of the rectangular black bar.

So what controls are available? The controls are pretty basic- they are any other control you would find in the soundbar. There is a button that can be pressed to switch between on and standby mode. There is a source button that allows user to select the input source. Lastly, the volume buttons (+ and -) can be used to adjust the level of volume.

Apart from controls on the sides of the soundbar, the Onn 5.1 also comes with a remote control. Along with the basic controls such as power and volume adjustments, there are buttons for bass and treble customization (bass +, bass -, treble +, treble -); EQ button to select movie, music and talk EQ mode; and a Bluetooth button to switch to Bluetooth mode. There is also a reset button to reset the device to factory default settings.

Connectivity and setup

For connectivity, this ONN 36 inch 5.1 channel soundbar system comes with two power cords, one HDMI cable, one optical cable, one AUX cable, and two RCA cables. To power on the soundbar, first you will need to connect the AC IN port to the power outlet by power cable.

To set up the soundbar, you can use a 3.5mm to RCA stereo audio cable (not included) to connect the TV’s audio output Port to the soundbar’s AUX IN port. Use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm stereo audio cable to connect the TV’s headphone Port to the soundbar’s AUX IN port. Use an optical cable (included) to connect the TV’s OPTICAL OUT Port to the soundbar’s OPTICAL Port. If your television supports HDMI, use a HDMI cable to connect the TV’s HDMI OUT Port to the soundbar’s HDMI IN Port. Next, you can use a HDMI to HDMI cable (included) to connect the TV’s HDMI (ARC) port to the soundbar’s HDMI(ARC) port.

Onn 5.1 also allows wall mounting setup. In order to do this, you can drill two parallel holes within 58 mm distance in your desired position on the wall. Insert the anchors into the holes and then insert 1 screw TA 9.40mm into each anchor. Next set up the soundbar using the screws as support into the wall.

Audio performance

The overall sound quality of the Onn 5.1 channel soundbar is great compared to the price that it offers. With 400 watts of peak power, this soundbar boosts your audio home theater to a whole new level. The soundbar has outstanding bass response thanks to the separate subwoofer. The inclusion of two separated speakers makes the soundbar more versatile and the overall result is an impressive surround sound audio output. This means that it creates the illusion of a three dimensional sound that floats around the room, coming from every direction. The soundbar also offers less distortion and music of any genre can be played.

What we liked about the soundbar

  • Onn 5.1 soundbar is very lightweight and small and has a minimalistic design that looks elegant with any home theater system
  • The soundbar offers surround sound for an immersive audio experience
  • With Bluetooth connectivity feature, you can stream audio from anywhere in your room and using any Bluetooth enabled device
  • Onn 5.1 has a great audio quality with no distortion in sound and clear dialogues for enjoyable movie experiences
  • The soundbar comes with a remote control and allows users to customize the audio through adjusting the bass and treble levels
  • Onn 5.1 channel surround sound soundbar is very reasonably priced compared to the service that you are going to get

What we disliked about the soundbar

  • It is only suitable for small televisions
  • Although Onn Blast 5.1 can be wall mounted, the packaging does not include wall mounting equipment such as brackets
  • There is a lacking in the loudness of the audio device and it could have been improved

Soundbar Buying Guide

Before you make the decision to choose a soundbar, there are some things that you should keep in mind. If you are new to the audio world, you might be confused as to how to choose the right soundbar for you. Here are a few things that you should look for when buying a soundbar.

Where would you place the soundbar?

Where the soundbar is going to make its habitat is a question that you should ask yourself before getting one. The installation of soundbars is quite versatile; you can either let it hang on the wall or sit under the TV. One tip is to plan where you will be placing the soundbar beforehand so that it doesn’t block any part of the TV, such as the IR receiver.

What connectivity options are available?

The more connectivity options, the better. Here are some of the options to look out for:

  • HDMI: If you have an HDMI cable, you can use it to connect the soundbar to the TV’s audio return channel (ARC).
  • Wireless: Bluetooth connectivity can be used to stream music from computers, smartphone and tablets wirelessly. Some wireless soundbars come with Wi-Fi allowing you to connect with your internet network and stream from various sites.
  • Optical port: One of the easiest, most straightforward and reliable connections is the optical patch cord. Although the optical cord provides a stable connection between the TV and the soundbar, its bandwidth is limited to carry up to 5.1 signal.
  • USB port: Soundbars today are updated to include the USB port connectivity which is quite simple to set up.

Is it a passive or an active soundbar?

Active soundbars are self-amplified, meaning no extra receiver is needed to plug in to it. Passive soundbars, on the other hand, require a receiver or amplifier to work. We would advise you to go for an active soundbar if you simply want to upgrade your TV audio.

What is the channel configuration?

The number of channels in a soundbar can vary. It is important to know the differences among the channel configuration because the performance of the soundbar relies on the number of channels it contains. There are several channel configurations. These include: 2 channel soundbar, 3 channel soundbar, 5 channel soundbar, 7 channel soundbar and Dolby Atmos soundbar. Although it may seem like the more the channels the better the sound, that is not always the case.

What are the audio specifications and features?

It is helpful to know the specifications of the soundbars since it will help to identify how it might perform. The important specifications include frequency range, power rating, sensitivity rating and impedance. Other than these specifications, you can also look for additional features that might be useful. Some soundbars allow very convenient features such as different sound modes, built-in microphones for calls and voice commands, proprietary technology for spatial audio dimension and many more. It’s good to have some additional features that will make your audio experience more enjoyable and convenient.

Other alternatives

If you are still wondering what other options might be available, here are some good 5.1 channel Bluetooth soundbars:

Features
Sennheiser Ambeo
Vizio V Series V51-H6
Klipsch Cinema 1200
Soundbar configuration
5.1.4 channel
5.1 Channel
5.1.4 channel
Weight
40.8 lbs
5 Lbs
17 lbs
Dimensions
49.8 x 5.3 x 6.7 inches
3.18 x 36 x 2.24 inches
54-1/16"W x 3"H x 6-1/4 inches
Frequency response
30 Hertz to 20000 Hertz
50 Hz to 20 kHz
-
Maximum power output
250 W
240 W
1200 W
Sensitivity
94 db
96 dB
-
Audio inputs
3x HDMI In (v.2.0a), 1x HDMI Out (v.2.1 eARC), 1x Optical In, 1x AUX In (Stereo RCA), 1x USB (for Service/Update), 1x Ethernet
1 optical, 3.5 mm AUX, 1 USB, Bluetooth
2 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output (one cable included), optical digital audio input, 3.5mm minijack analog audio input, mono RCA subwoofer output
Bluetooth compatibility
4.2
4.2
5.0
Features
Sennheiser Ambeo
Soundbar configuration
5.1.4 channel
Weight
40.8 lbs
Dimensions
49.8 x 5.3 x 6.7 inches
Frequency response
30 Hertz to 20000 Hertz
Maximum power output
250 W
Sensitivity
94 db
Audio inputs
3x HDMI In (v.2.0a), 1x HDMI Out (v.2.1 eARC), 1x Optical In, 1x AUX In (Stereo RCA), 1x USB (for Service/Update), 1x Ethernet
Bluetooth compatibility
4.2
Features
Vizio V Series V51-H6
Soundbar configuration
5.1 Channel
Weight
5 Lbs
Dimensions
3.18 x 36 x 2.24 inches
Frequency response
50 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum power output
240 W
Sensitivity
96 dB
Audio inputs
1 optical, 3.5 mm AUX, 1 USB, Bluetooth
Bluetooth compatibility
4.2
Features
Klipsch Cinema 1200
Soundbar configuration
5.1.4 channel
Weight
17 lbs
Dimensions
54-1/16"W x 3"H x 6-1/4 inches
Frequency response
-
Maximum power output
1200 W
Sensitivity
-
Audio inputs
2 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output (one cable included), optical digital audio input, 3.5mm minijack analog audio input, mono RCA subwoofer output
Bluetooth compatibility
5.0

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar

The Sennheiser Ambeo is a soundbar that offers immersive audio experience to your movie nights more enjoyable. It has an accurate sound profile and it offers surround sound audio output which is great for movies.

Reasons to buy

  • Three dimensional audio response with rich, natural sound thanks to the unique AMBEO technology.
  • A variety of different connectivity options
  • Remote control
  • Auto Room Calibration

 Reasons to avoid

  • The soundbar is large and heavy.
  •  A little expensive if you are on budget.
  •  The bass response gets weaker at higher volumes

Design and Build

The first thing that stands out for the Sennheiser Ambeo’s design is that the soundbar is very large. With a dimension of 49.8 x 5.3 x 6.7 inches, these soundbars weigh around 40.8 lbs which makes them really heavy. Given its large dimensions, the soundbars are better off being mounted to the wall than placed underneath the television.

The soundbar comes in plain black color as most soundbars do. The top of the soundbar includes two metal grilles and its body is made mostly of plastic. It is covered with fabric on the front and sides so the speakers in the insides of the soundbar are quite visible. Although this looks nice, it might easily catch dirt and that can be a problem. Nevertheless, this fabric is removable and so it can be cleaned when required.

The 5.14 channel soundbar includes 13 built-in drivers. The two 3-1/2-inch full-range up-firing drivers are angled to reflect sound off the ceiling for three dimensional soundrange. It also includes five 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters and six 4-inch cellulose long-throw woofers. At the back are connections for digital, analogue, HDMI inputs and so on. Three of the HDMI sockets are standard inputs and one supports eARC. Besides this there is an ethernet socket for WiFi, USB for updates, an optical input and a stereo RCA aux-in. There is also a subwoofer pre-out for enhanced bass response.

Connectivity

The soundbar includes an optical toslink digital input which supports Dolby Digital as well as DTS. It also includes an analog auxiliary input that consist of stereo RCA jacks. Apart from these, the Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar also features three HDMI 2.0a inputs and one HDMI 2.1/eARC output. The soundbar is equipped with an Ethernet (RJ-45) LAN jack for a wired connection to connect with Wi-Fi. It also includes a built-in chromecast which allows users to stream music seamlessly via the app. Lastly, the device is compatible with Bluetooth 4.2 with support for wireless audio streaming and remote control.

Audio Performance

The Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar audio specifications suggest that it has a frequency range of 30 hertz to 20000 hertz and a sensitivity of 94 db. The soundbar has a moderately good frequency response without the AMBEO mode enabled. Even though the bass response is great, its audibly lower than the other frequencies at the same volume. The midrange and treble perform better and this is assuming the thirteen drivers that have been optimally positioned for a greater audio response.

The audio response is further enhanced with the AMBEO sound mode. This is a three dimensional virtualization   technology that recreates a surround sound effect. The soundbar offers precise and detailed audio response which is great for people who love watching movies. The 360 spatial sound technology also makes these soundbar very suitable for listening to music.

The Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is a 5.1 channel soundbar which offers surround sound technology incorporated with dialogue enhancement to make your action, horror or dramatic movies more interesting and enjoyable. Whilst the soundbar does not support Atmos content, it does allow customizable audio. It features Bluetooth for greater connectivity and also comes with a backlit remote for quicker and easier adjustments.

Reasons to buy

  • Dolby Audio and DTS Digital Surround technology
  • Dialogue enhancement features
  • Backlit remote control for easy audio adjustments
  • Four EQ presets

Reasons to avoid

  • The Vizio V series V51-H6 soundbar does not support Atmos content

Design and build

The Vizio V Series V51- H6 are really good looking soundbars with a sleek and stylish design. These soundbars are composed mostly of plastic, with the front and sides being carefully covered with mesh like fabric.  Although the bar isn’t that wide, there might be some difficulty fitting it between 55 inch televisions. Nevertheless, it doesn’t block the television screen if it is placed carefully.

The build quality of the soundbar is decent, it uses material that feels premium to the touch. It is quite durable and sturdy as well. At the top of the soundbar are touch sensitive buttons which can be used for adjustments. The Vizio logo has been carved in elegantly at one side on the surface of the black soundbar. At the back of the Vizio V51-H6 are the ports for connectivity.  Apart from these ports, there are universal openings to keep the soundbar mounted.

Connectivity

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 soundbar has several inputs. These include an optical audio input, an HDMI ARC, a 3.5 mm AUX port and a USB connectivity for files. This soundbar supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content via its Optical Audio In. Moreover, it supports some common formats for streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs though its HDMI ARC port. However, the soundbar does not have a full HDMI in port. The soundbar also includes connection ports for the subwoofer that comes with it. The Vizio V Series V51-H6 also supports Bluetooth connectivity which lets the users to stream content from their phone to the soundbar wirelessly.

Audio Performance

The soundbar has a great stereo frequency response with a balanced and neutral audio reproduction. The Vizio V series V51-H6 is a detailed mid-channel and stereo soundbar audio, The soundbar performs exceptionally and the highlight is the general balance of dialogue, music, and sound effects when movies are played. With excellent stereo dynamics, the surround sound effects displayed by these soundbars are quite commendable. Futhermore, it also includes four EQ presets available to help the users adjust the sound: ‘Movie’, ‘Music’, ‘Direct’, and ‘Game’. The impressive center channel ensures that audio is articulate and the dialogue being reproduced is clear and accurate. Overall, these soundbars perform quite well in terms of audio response.

Klispch Cinema 1200

The Klipsch Cinema 1200 is a beastly 5.1.4 channel soundbar which delivers surround sound with great power and immersion. The dynamic soundbar allows users to connect with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice control and make use of apps such as Spotify Connect and Klipsch Connect for convenient listening.

Reasons to buy

  • Dolby Atmos immersive audio experience
  • Wide range of connectivity options
  • Offers Amazon Alexa voice assistant
  • Has a chromecast built-in feature
  • Klipsch Connect App can be used to control the device
  • Offers wireless connectivity

Reasons to avoid

  • No room calibration option
  • No DTS decoding option

Design and build

The Klipsch Cinema 1200 soundbar looks quite similar to other Klipsch soundbars but has a few tweaks in its design. The best part of the black oak-lined block is that it is composed of wood, which not only gives it a classy and premium outlook but also allows smoother and better resonance, thus causing enhanced audio response.

The soundbar has dimensions of 54 x 2.9 x 6.2 inches and it is quite heavy, weighing about 17 pounds. Klipsch Cinema 1200 is built mostly from wood unlike other bars which are built using mostly plastic. It has both ends displaying the alien-looking horn loaded tweeter, giving the entire design of the soundbar a futuristic vibe. The rectangular bar has a basic design and most of it is wrapped in a black grille cloth.

At the top panel, there are stylish brushed metal plates as controls for Power On/Off, Source Selection, and Volume Up/Down. The front panel of the soundbar includes a display which indicates source selection, volume level, and audio settings. The front panel also displays three brightness levels.  This display is really large and can light up the room pretty easily.

Connectivity

At the back of Klispch cinema 1200 are all the connection ports.  The soundbar is equipped with both digital and analogue audio inputs. The optical (toslink) digital input supports Dolby Digital whilst the 3.5 mm analogue aux input is used to connect other source devices. Apart from the basic connectivity options, the cinema 1200 also includes two HDMI inputs and one HDMI eARC output which supports up to 8K video with HDR. Both these connections are compatible with HDMI 2.1 specification and HDCP 2.3 support. Apart from standard ARC, the active soundbar supports eARC via its HDMI output. This allows full-bandwidth audio transference and removes any sync issues since the soundbar does all the decoding rather than the television itself.

Audio Performance

The Klipsch cinema 1200 soundbar employs a 5-channel speaker configuration that has a frequency response of 22 to 20000 hertz and a maximum acoustic output of 109 dB.

The center channel speaker ensures that everything is clear and the audio is directed towards the user, so dialogue clarity shouldn’t be a much of a problem. The soundbar is really loud and noisy, but at the same time it can portray the details with delicacy. The tractrix horn tweeters ensure higher frequencies to be more energetic and colorful whilst the woofer does a great job at keeping the thunderous movie scenes alive. The subwoofer can provide impressive low end power however if you do not enjoy excessive bass output, unfortunately the volume control cannot fix this problem.

Klipsch Cinema 1200 offers the users a wide variety of playback sound modes to select from. Whilst the standard mode is set for everyday listening, a direct mode can be selected for an artistic music and movie playback. The listener can be entertained through the use of music and movie modes which each focus specially on the specific reason for streaming. There’s further a game mode for gamers to enjoy a more fantastic audio experience and lastly, the party mode is a must if you are hosting loud parties for a great musical time.. There is also a dialogue mode which as its name suggests, allows detailed, intelligible and clear dialogue when enabled. The night mode can be activated when the user is listening in a quieter environment.

Thesoundbar provides four Dolby Atmos channel and this brings the audio to new heights, literally. The result is an immersive surround sound experience with three dimensional audio response. The entire audio system successfully mimics the atmosphere in that of a movie theater, leaving the listener wanting more every time.

FAQ

This FAQ is here to solve some of the problems that may arise while walking in the pavement of the soundbar. let’s find out more!

  1. Can the Onn 5.1 channel soundbar be wall mounted?

Yes, the Onn 5.1 channel soundbar can be wall mounted. The soundbar is very lightweight and small so mounting it on the wall is easy. However, you should keep in mind that you would require to purchase the mounting components since this system does not include brackets or screws in its packaging.

  1. Is the ONN 5.1 soundbar completely wireless?

No, the soundbar is not completely wireless. You can use the cable to connect the soundbar to your television or laptop. Nevertheless, it does support Bluetooth which means you can pair up Bluetooth enabled device with the onn 5.1 for wireless audio streaming.

  1. Are all the cables included in the packaging?

Yes, the packaging includes a wide number of cables such as HDMI, optical cable, AUX cables and RCA cable which you can use to connect and set up the soundbar.

  1. How do I connect my device to Bluetooth?

When the power of the soundbar is on, you have to press the Bluetooth key on the remote to enable Bluetooth mode. Once the device has entered into the Bluetooth mode, it will notify you by changing its LED light into blue color. Once Bluetooth is connected, the LED light will become solide bright.

  1. How do I pair the subwoofer?

Long press mute on the remote for 7s, then long press pairing button on subwoofer for 3s, soundbar’s current LED indicator and subwoofer’s LED will quick blink until be paired each other.  After connected, led indicator will remain solid bright.

  1. Does my soundbar include a remote control?

Yes, the soundbar includes a remote control which can be used to carry out basic functions as well as customize audio treble and bass levels.

  1. How do I know the status of the Onn 5.1 channel soundbar if it does not include a display?

Although the soundbar does not include a display, it does have an LED indicator at the center of its front surface. This LED changes colors according to the status of the soundbar:

  • Red when the unit is in STANDBY mode.
  • Lights up yellow in AUX mode.
  • Lights up green in OPTICAL mode.
  • Lights up blue in BLUETOOTH mode.
  • Lights white in HDMI(ARC)mode.
  • Lights up orange in HDMI IN mode

Concluding Remarks

The 36 inch Onn Blast 5.1 soundbar is a great option for audiophiles on budget. The system integrates a sleek and stylish soundbar with a dynamic subwoofer that offers the right amount of punch to your movies and two separate speakers for a wide soundstage and three dimensional audio experience. Although the soundbar is not perfect, it is a bit too small and lightweight and can be used only with small televisions- it does have a lot of advantages. Firstly, it offers impeccable audio response for quite a reasonable price. There are a lot of connectivity options and the most useful feature is Bluetooth compatibility. Surely the Onn Blast 5.1 is a wonderful choice of soundbar for any audiophile out there.