I’ve been using the same old tired Logitech speakers on my computer for what seems like an eternity so I decided to set out recently and look for for a replacement. Given my current setup, a sound bar seemed to me a logical choice and AVermedia has 2 offerings in the soundbar category, the base model SonicBlast GS331 and the SonicBlast GS333. We’ve been playing with the GS331 for a bit more than a week now and put it through a series of configurations to see how best to use it for our needs.
If you’re unfamiliar with AVerMedia, you’re clearly not paying close enough attention to a great company with some very slick peripherals for gamers and streamers. They have everything from capture internal/external cards, to microphones and speaker systems. I strongly recommend you check out their product offerings here.
When I first laid eyes on the GS331s, I was taken back at just how small it is. At less than 3lbs and a length/width/height of 24×2.5×2.7 inches this little soundbar is ripe to fit in just about any space. Packed inside this small frame, are 4 2″ active speakers and 2 passive radiators for 40 watts of total power. On the back of the unit, we have optical, line, left and right auxiliary and USB ports making the Sonicblast GS331 soundbar pretty versatile for those hard-wired devices you may want to plug in. Another awesome feature is the built in Bluetooth 4.0 wireless capabilities. The unit doesn’t come with a subwoofer but it is compatible with their optional wireless sub, GS335. In the box, you will find the unit, the power cable and a small remote control (you can also control the speaker with the 4 buttons on the right hand side of the speaker).
As someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals, this is where I listen to music the most and I’ve continually had to either turn the sound way up in my office to get the sound down into the kitchen, use an old radio/CD player or bring my laptop in with me. None of these options are particularly bad but they’re certainly not the most ideal especially with a 1yr old who likes to nap. I set the soundbar up on top of my fridge. My plan was to use Spotify through my phone that way I could listen to my own playlist. Set up was an absolute breeze. Simply press and hold the power/bluetooth button, listen for an initialization sound and it connected. Piece of cake. I fired up Spotify and immediately fell in love. The sound was clean and crisp despite not having the optional wireless subwoofer. I played around with the built in equalizer modes and left it at the music mode as it really did pop nicer like this. I can’t say anything better about this set up for myself. It fit perfectly on top of my fridge and filled the room with great sound. In fact, I was able to move to the living room and the bluetooth connectivity never wavered once and I could still hear the music crystal clear from 2 rooms over.
As most people know the sound that comes from Plasma/LCD TVs is less than optimal and since it’s just the living room and not my home theater, I do need something better in there so my next setup was to connect it to my Xbox One X via optical cable. Once again the small size of the speaker was a huge advantage to the SonicBlast GS331 soundbar. It fit nice and snug right in front of my TV without blocking the remote sensors. I fired up Call of Duty WWII and again, I was extremely pleased that the level and all around quality of sound was greatly improved in the room. Each gunshot and explosion came through beautifully to the point that I was asked to turn the volume down. The best part is I barely even had the volume up that loud. This soundbar still had more legs to run louder but I must admit that I was missing the hard bass that comes with a subwoofer.
Since my original purpose to getting one of these was to replace the tired old Logitech speakers in my office, my 3rd and final test brought me back upstairs. This time I used the line out from my sound card to plug direct to the back. My current monitor setup is comprised of 4 24″ screens and 1 27″ as the primary. I placed the SonicBlast GS331s in front of my speakers and just below the monitors on the bottom level. The soundbar, as expected performed great as it filled the room with the sound of whatever I wanted.
From Podcasts to games to Youtube videos and everything in between the sound coming from the the AVerMedia SonicBlast GS331 performs incredibly. At just $119 US the SonicBlast GS331 is a superb value and bang for the buck. It’s versatile, delivers great clean sound and with built in Bluetooth you can’t go wrong. I will say that while it’s not necessary to get a fantastic experience from this speaker, I wish it came with a subwoofer. There are times when gaming or watching movies that the tooth rattling rumble that comes from a subwoofer just adds to the moment. I absolutely loved my experience with this one and think it’s a fantastic buy. I’ve put in my order with Santa Claus to see if he could bring me the GS333 with the sub for my office so I can put this one in the kitchen for my epic kitchen dance offs with my 8yr old.