Tested: Hisense HS218 Soundbar delivers a value-packed home theater upgrade

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Even with the picture quality of new TVs getting better and better, the internal speakers on even the latest releases are just no match for a dedicated system. I’ve recently been testing out the newer Hisense HS218 Soundbar, which arrives with an affordable price tag attached. But does it actually make a difference for movie night? That’s what our latest Tested with 9to5Toys looks to answer.

Hands-on with the Hisense HS218 Soundbar

Having launched just under a year ago, the Hisense HS218 arrives as one of the brand’s latest home theater upgrades. Delivering 200W of overall power, the streamlined audio package features a 2.1-channel setup, thanks to the bundled wireless subwoofer. Connecting to your TV over Bluetooth or HDMI ARC, the system also arrives as one of the first Roku TV Ready devices on the market for fast setup and easy pairing.

With a $200 list price, it manages to deliver all of those features at a pretty affordable price tag, all told. But is it worth bringing into your home theater setup in the first place? That’s what we’re testing out.

Here’s a quick look at the specs:

  • Easy to place and connect to your television, the Hisense HS218 is a soundbar that improves your TV sound experience and is perfect for TVs 32 inches or larger. The wireless subwoofer ensures you’ll hear and feel everything in your entertainment content.
  • The HS218 includes Bluetooth technology for easy wireless connections to smart device. Enjoy music from your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  • With HDMI (ARC), the Hisense HS218 can connect to your TV through a single HDMI cable (included), connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, and control both with one remote. You’ll be enjoying better TV sound in minutes.

9to5Toys’ Take

I’ve been using the Hisense HS218 Soundbar for the past several weeks and have been pretty delighted by the overall experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Klipsch Cinema 1200 system, but certainly delivers an improved movie night over just about any TV’s built-in speakers.

The entire package is well-built, and has a nice metal speaker grill along the front to give it more of a premium look, despite its lower-end price tag. And speaking of the build, I rather liked how compact the footprint was, as it can easily rest underneath a TV without getting in the way of the IR sensor, or even the screen itself, like I’ve experienced from other offerings in the past.

Now of course, how the Hisense HS218 Soundbar actually ends up sounding is going to be the biggest aspect of informing your decision. And just like the rest of the package, I am quite impressed overall. Everything from vocals to soundtracks are fairly crisp and room-filling, depending on the volumes, especially if you’re in a smaller space. The inclusion of a dedicated subwoofer is also a huge plus, as having separate units keeps the lows from washing out the mids and highs from the actual soundbar. All that’s to say, it sounds pretty solid.

Though just to help keep your expectations in check, don’t think you’re going to be getting audio that’s too immersive. It’s certainly a step up over the TV on its own, and many of the other budget-friendly offerings that the Hisense HS218 Soundbar competes with.

Clocking in with a $200 list price, you’ve lately been able to score this one on sale, making it an even better value. If you’re in the market for a soundbar around this price tag, the Hisense HS218 should definitely be at the top of your list. Especially if you can lock it in for less than retail.

Buy the Hisense HS218 Soundbar now

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