What is the Sky Soundbox, including specs and UK release info, and how does it compare to the best TV soundbars out there right now? Here's all you need to know about the new Soundbox speaker from Sky.
Sky has announced its first dedicated speaker setup in the Sky Soundbox. This has been created in collaboration with French company Devialet, to enhance your Sky TV viewing experience, complete with specific controls to improve your home cinema setup.
So what can the Soundbox do and should you consider buying one when it's released later in 2017? Read on to find out about the Soundbox’s capabilities and how this home speaker compares to the best soundbars out there right now.
Are you a Sky Q user? Check out our in-depth features to get the most out of your service.
What is the Sky Soundbox?
The Sky Soundbox is a television soundbar (essentially an elongated speaker that sits in front of your telly to pump out better-quality audio). Sky's box was created by Devialet, known for its premium audio tech, to work directly with the Sky TV service.
At the same time the Soundbox was announced, Sky also revealed that Dolby Atmos would launch on its telly services. However, to be perfectly clear, this speaker won’t support Dolby Atmos at launch.
That omission aside, the Sky Soundbox packs enough speakers and woofers to bounce sound around even pretty sizable front rooms, for an immersive surround sound experience without the use of a separate sub or speakers.
You also get various smart software shortcuts, to help make home listening even better. More on this below.
What is a soundbar?
When you finally get that sexy new Ultra HD TV home and get it mounted to a wall in your lounge, chances are you'll suddenly discover that the audio quality is a bit rubbish. That's because those slender tellies can't pack much in the way of subwoofer tech, so they make do with quite basic sound output more often than not - especially at the budget end of the market.
Which is why many people now seek out separate speakers to boost their home cinema experience. The best option is still a soundbar if you want an all-in-one setup, thanks to the minimalist design and affordable price point.
Soundbars simply sit in front of your telly and pack all of the tech you need for a powerful, engrossing audio setup.
What can the Sky Soundbox do?
Within the Sky Soundbox menus you'll find some of the more unique features, including various modes that control your audio to suit a given situation.
Dialogue Enhance Mode has been created to allow for a more clear voice audio. Lots of slim TVs now lack a solid mid-range to produce crystal clear vocals, while many wall mounted panels are down-right difficult to hear. This speaker option should mean you don’t need to crank the volume up to hear what characters are actually saying when having a conversation - yes, perhaps even when listening to Bane speak in The Dark Knight Rises.
Late Night Mode is another Sky Soundbox option which is ideal for families. This means mum and dad can stay up to watch a film without any risk of waking the little ones. This mode works by limiting the bass and enhancing quiet whispers, to create a clear sound that stays within the room.
Kids Mode quite simply limits the maximum volume which the children can crank out of the Soundbox. Parents set the limiter and then can leave the children alone with the remote control, without worry of the house being blasted to pieces.
For those with a Sky Q subscription, the Soundbox can automatically adapt to pre-set Sky Q Sound modes as designed by Devialet - ideal for variations between sport and movies, for example.
While Sky has recently announced that it will add Dolby Atmos support to its Sky Q boxes, it’s worth noting that the Soundbox won’t support this feature.
What are the Sky Soundbox specs?
The Sky Soundbox packs in six 3-inch dual push-push woofers, as well as three 2-inch full-range drivers in a 120 degree configuration. All neatly contained within a closed cabinet setup.
The Soundbox has a 35Hz - 22Hz range and weighs in at 4kg, with 37.5cm x 21 cm x 9.5 cm dimensions.
Connectivity is decent too, with both HDMI and optical input ports on the rear and the included cables needed for them. You also get Bluetooth 4.1 and Dolby Digital+ support.
How much is the Soundbox and when can I buy it?
Sky has announced that the Soundbox will cost a hefty £799 if you buy it on its own here in the UK
However if you’re a Sky+ customer you can get the Skybox for a much more enticing £299 asking price. If you’re a Sky Q customer you can get one for just £249, which frankly sounds like an utter bargain.
The Sky Soundbox will go on sale this autumn, although we don't have a specific release date just yet. We'll keep you updated.
What are the best Sky Soundbox alternatives?
So how does the Sky Soundbox compare with the best TV soundbars available here in the UK? We've written about how this telly speaker stacks up against our favourite soundbars right now, so go check out our Soundbox comparison for other ideas.
Read next: The best soundbars you can buy right now