Review: PEAQ PSB 250 Soundbar: Soundbars are a popular choice for adding value to TV sound, and they don’t have to cost a lot of money. The PEAQ PSB 250 is one of the inexpensive options and can even be used as a pair of floorstanding speakers in next to no time. We tested the entry-level soundbar for you.
The sound of integrated TV speakers is often thinner than the screen. A soundbar can remedy this without taking up much space. The PEAQ PSB 250 has been available for 89 euros and Saturn since the end of September 2020 . It belongs to the budget segment in which there are already numerous competitors. Some of these similarly priced alternatives include external subwoofers, which is not the case with the PEAQ soundbar. However, no competitor model known to us has the floor-standing speaker function, but more on that later.
|Total power (W)||30 watts|
|connections||AUX-IN, Optical IN, HDMI (ARC)|
|Product type||Soundbar (detachable)|
|Total power (W)||30 watts|
PEAQ is a private label of the Media-Saturn group that advertises high quality at top prices. The PEAQ range includes, for example, televisions, monitors, Bluetooth speakers, notebooks and compact systems. The PSB 250 is also not the brand’s first soundbar, but the last model was a few years ago. To announce the PEAQ PSB 250, the manufacturer advertised rich sound and a home theater experience.
You can convert the Soundbar as floorstanding speakers as well
- Analog cable
- Power cable (90 degree angle, 1.4 meters)
- Wall mounting set
- Rubber feet
- remote control
- operation manual
Design and processing
The soundbar comes in two parts in a rather compact box, in which you wouldn’t normally expect a soundbar. After removing the generous scope of delivery, the first thing you notice is the low weight of the two speaker halves. The slightly longer part with the connections on the back weighs 0.85 kilograms – viewed from the front, it is the right half. The left part weighs a little less at 0.7 kilograms, the two mountable metal feet weigh a total of 0.5 kilograms. In soundbar mode, i.e. without feet, the PEAQ PSB 250 is just over two kilograms, much lighter than an average soundbar and measures 80.5 x 6.2 x 9 centimeters. The perforated front panel is made of metal and the rest of the housing is made of plastic.
With the exception of the outer sides, a strip in the middle and the connections, the black soundbar has a high-gloss finish. As with other high-gloss products, lights are reflected on the surface, fingerprints remain visible and there is also a certain susceptibility to scratches.
As a rule, however, soundbars are mainly viewed from a few meters away. We did not find any defects in the workmanship and at this price the subjectively suboptimal look is also negligible.
The two halves are plugged together at their respective corners and locked in the correct position when turned. The left loudspeaker receives the power and audio signal via contacts in the connection part. These contacts are also available in the enclosed feet, which are connected to one another by a sheathed, two-meter-long cable. The “separation function” is particularly useful when a wider stereo effect is desired or the infrared receiver of the television is covered by the soundbar. The soundbar can also be used separately as a pair of room speakers .
Technical characteristics and sound quality
The right part is the primary loudspeaker (master loudspeaker), as this contains the essential technology. A 30-watt amplifier is integrated that divides the sound into two channels (stereo) with 15 watts each. The frequency range is specified in the data sheet with 40 hertz to 20 kilohertz. Some competitors offer a higher overall performance, but performance alone does not make for a great sound. Compact Bluetooth speakers, for example, prove that good sound is possible even without large, powerful drivers.
On the back of the primary speaker, in addition to the two-pin IEC connector, an HDMI cable, a 3.5 millimeter audio cable and a USB device can be connected. The USB connection is only available for service purposes, so it does not allow music to be played. However, it supplies connected devices with 0.5 amps at five volts, which is enough to slowly charge a smartphone. The audio jack is suitable for an analog connection with smartphones as well as for televisions. A device can also be connected via cinch using the adapter supplied.
HDMI ARC (“Audio Return Channel”) is the connection standard suitable for most televisions. A special HDMI cable is not required for this, but it is not included in the scope of delivery. Users should pay attention to a corresponding ARC mark on one of the HDMI connections on the television. The soundbar should then be recognized automatically in many cases, and it may be necessary to switch from the TV speakers to external speakers in the settings.
Thanks to HDMI ARC, the TV remote control regulates the volume level of the soundbar. This can of course also be done directly via the small infrared remote control from PEAQ. Smartphones, tablets and similar devices can alternatively play media wirelessly via the soundbar via Bluetooth 4.2. In TV mode via HDMI ARC, the soundbar automatically switches on and off with the television.
With the included remote control, users can choose between three different sound profiles: “News”, “Movie” and “Music”. The news profile ensures a very flat sound, which is supposed to emphasize voices, but rather mimics a cheap clock radio. With the movie profile, users get the widest sound image, but sometimes with a bit too emphasized bass. The music profile is a bit more balanced, but at a movie night many will probably still prefer the movie profile .
In terms of sound, the soundbar is okay for its price and definitely an upgrade compared to conventional TV speakers. However, one should not expect a sound miracle. From around 70 decibels (measured at a distance of one meter) it slowly reaches its limit and at the latest from 80 decibels it comes to overdrive. At normal volume and in the movie profile, the sound is solid and there is also some bass, although not particularly crisp.
PEAQ PSB 250 – Conclusion
Overall the PEAQ PSB 250 proves to be a solid entry-level soundbar that provides sound for smaller rooms for a fair price. Interested parties with not particularly high expectations will receive a satisfactory upgrade for the television sound. Since the PEAQ soundbar can quickly be converted into floorstanding speakers, the stereo effect can be improved. However, if you are looking for more bass or a fuller sound, you should spend a little more money or choose an alternative with an external subwoofer.
Positives of PEAQ PSB 250
- divisible (soundbar or floorstanding speaker)
- solid sound
- low price
Negatives of PEAQ PSB 250
- Sound overdrives at higher volumes
- susceptible high-gloss optics