LG BH5320F review
Full surround sound systems are great if you’ve got the room for all the speakers, but sometimes a second bedroom or study doesn’t suit a full 5.1 setup. For such situations, you might consider LG’s BH5320F. It’s a 2.1 Blu-ray cinema system that retains the same advanced features of LG’s more advanced players, but takes up significantly less room.
Despite having fewer speakers than other all-in-ones, we were amazed at how powerful the 2.1 system was in our testing. At around two-thirds of its full volume, films had real presence and audio clarity was superb. The small subwoofer threw out thumping bass during the more intense scenes of our test discs, but it didn’t overpower the satellite speakers. The one thing that’s missing is surround sound. Without rear speakers, there’s just no way to replicate a 5.1 experience with two satellites.
With its unique free-standing design, the main unit is simply stunning. Its finish hides a touch-sensitive LCD display that lets you adjust all the major features, such as play, pause, skip and eject. The disc tray is a slot-loading affair located to the right side of the unit, along with a 3.5mm auxiliary audio input and a single USB port.
Almost all the inputs are located at the left side of the unit, and are covered by a small plastic shield that helps keep unsightly wires out of view. Unsurprisingly, given the size of the system, there aren’t very many. Its single HDMI output means you won’t be able to use the speakers with a games console or a set-top box, although two optical digital inputs are available for the determined. Its composite video output is useful for older TVs, but otherwise it’s very much a self-contained unit. The speakers connect using standard speaker wire and can be easily replaced because both the speakers and the main unit use spring terminal connections.
Its Ethernet port and integrated Wi-Fi adaptor mean it’s incredibly easy to get the unit online. LG includes a fairly comprehensive Smart TV system with the BH5320F, so you can easily access BBC iPlayer, NetFlix, AceTrax or LoveFilm. You can also play your own multimedia files over the local network or from a USB flash drive. We had no trouble playing DivX, MKV or Xvid files, although Apple’s MOV format refused to play.