Soniq QSL400XT

The Soniq QSL400XT is a budget model and despite a couple of minor faults it performs like a brand name TV, and is perfect for use in a second room.


7.8
CNET Rating
8.0
User Rating

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


When you buy into a budget brand you usually get what you pay for, and we admit to having passed over Soniq in the aisles of our local JB Hi-Fi before dismissing them as "just another cheapie". However, after a positive experience with a Soniq iPod dock we were keen to try its latest 40-inch television, a product which is going for less than AU$800.

That's right, half the price of a "name" brand. Insane. With three exclamation points. The sound of glass breaking.

Design and features

Squint at the picture of the Soniq QSL400XT and you would swear this is a Samsung product with its glossy black bezel and maroon accents. The TV is quite solid and a bit bulgy at the back, but at this price you can't expect the super-slim stylings of the LED crowd. The attention to detail is higher than on the iPod dock with nice touches including a black metal speaker grille and a chrome power button that no-one will see as it's mounted on the back. The swivel stand is also piano black.

The remote control is large and friendly — the way we generally like them — and most functions are placed intuitively and within easy reach.

As a budget model there are none of the fancy 100Hz modes or "green" motion sensors. This is simply a television: you turn it on and you watch stuff.

The panel itself features a 1920x1080 resolution, or full-HD for the number phobes, and a rather honest 3000:1 contrast ratio — not the 10 kagillion:1 figure we're used to seeing.

Connectivity is in keeping with models of its size by providing three HDMI ports, two component inputs, an S-Video connection, a VGA port, and unusually for a budget TV just a single composite connector. One small issue is that the HDMI ports aren't labelled and it may be initially confusing working out which port is 'number one'.

For sound the TV provides stereo 8W speakers and includes an optical audio out so users can listen to the TV's onboard HD tuner through their stereo systems.

Performance

We don't usually start with an examination of a TV's audio performance but feel in this case it's warranted. When we turned the TV on we thought we could hear a cooling fan operating, and the noise was louder than the PlayStation 3 we were using for testing. On closer investigation we found that the noise was coming from the speakers, and this static does sound like a cooling fan. You need to turn the speakers up a little to overcome it which is fine, as the TV features better sound than the price would have you believe. While it's not able to convey dynamic material such as action movies very well, it does a very good job of making voices intelligible and soundtracks full and rich.

The panel also acquitted itself with very good performance. In fact it performed on a similar level to some of the Toshiba's we've seen of late, though at half the price.

The TV was a bit of a hard to set up, though, as some of the controls were a bit strange. For example, instead of a colour control the TV offers four different modes and the ability to change the amount of the Red Green and Blue Gain. This is way beyond the level of control offered by other TVs and may scare off new users, but we did find that the "Warm" setting was already pretty good. The Sharpness control was also a little tricky as even at zero we found there was still a little too much noise in most content.

The TV ate up DVD and Blu-rays alike with natural colours, accurate (though not especially deep) blacks and very good image processing. Though the set's 24p support wasn't the best, jaggies were not to be seen and the Soniq accounted for itself well on the noise test during the HQV test disk. This was strange as while it's great with "mosquito" noise it didn't cope well with the noise halos found on the edges of compressed videos, such as can be found on DVDs like King Kong. Turning up the Digital Noise Reduction didn't help and in fact only introduced smearing to motion. The onboard HD tuner was also a little too noisy for our tastes.

We ran the screen though a few gaming tests and found the TV to be very responsive and perfect for this purpose. As such we'd say this TV would be great for a games den or holiday house.

Off-axis viewing was good for a budget panel, and even for an expensive one, with probably only Panasonic LCDs offering a better off-axis viewing angle. This is highly impressive for the price.

Conclusion

We didn't expect too much from the QSL400XT and while it may not be as "perfect" as a name-brand it performs well above its weight. We personally wouldn't buy one of these as our main TV but know that some people will, and we think once set up properly they'll be very happy with it.



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LovinierS Facebook
5
Rating
 

"POOR AND DOES NOT WHAT THE DELIVERY SEEMS."

LovinierS posted a review   
New Zealand

The Good:pICTURE IS GOOD

The Bad:NOTHING SEEMS TO WORK AS WELL AS A TV WITH ALL THE ATTCHMENTS SHOULD DO.

THIS TV IS PEEVING OFF AS IT TAKES A FEW PRESSES AND PUNCHES BEFORE SPRINGING TO LIFE. CANNOT USE THE USB FUNCTION AS IT KEEPS SWITHCHING THE TV OFF. EVEN THOUGH THE WARRANTY HAS RUN OUT...SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

 

oztedli posted a comment   
Australia

Be careful, their warranty is terrible. Have the TV for 6 months, then start flickering and black out after turning it on for 2 mins. Send it back for warranty, waiting for 2.5 weeks and then I call Soniq . The guy told me that it's still waiting for the technician to work on it, and he doesn't know the turn-around time. I tell him to let me know at least the roughly time window, he said it's all depend. Finally, he told me it may take another 4 weeks. Let's wait and see!

 

liam posted a comment   

i havent brought 1 yet, but what is it like with a HDMI playing through a xbox 360?? coz tat is my main thing about getting one. :)

 

Gee posted a reply   

We've had random video signal drop-outs on ours when running XBOX as input via HDMI. Happens with games or watching DVDs from the Xbox, apparently its a known issue with LG Panels (which many Soniq TVs are based on) Doesnt happen all the time but certainly often enough to be annoying.

Sandman
8
Rating
 

Sandman posted a review   

The Good:Price

The Bad:Only Optical Audio out

I bought this unit 13 months ago. It is still going strong. Never had to take it in anywhere for repairs or anything. I get excellent picture through the HD tuner and on DVD's. Yet to try Blu Ray, but the review said that should be good. Essentially this unit is a rebadged LG or Samsung. We use this as our main TV, well actually our only TV.

 

corza posted a comment   

The Good:cheap

The Bad:ghosting

i purchased the 42" soniq from jb on the weekend and it is quite good but has a bit of ghosting, does anyone know how to turn the motionflow off,thanks

jerzee
9
Rating
 

jerzee posted a review   

The Good:affordable

The Bad:none

helped a mate pick up a Soniq 42 inch LCD Full HD 1920 X 1080 today for 790dollars.
we compared it to samsung branded tvs and to be honest was actually quite clearer and sharper.
therefore very good pricing on the system.

 

mint posted a comment   

Yeah, but samsungs are rubbish, I own 2. I have had one repaired in the first 6 months, and the LED samsung I own is not that great as well. They both have terrible amounts of backlight clouding and require constant adjustments and calibrating to get the best out of them. If you want perfection get a panasonic plasma. Knowing what I know now I would rather buy the soniq over the "shamsung".Looks are not everything,eventually you have to turn the tv on and watch it.

 

andy posted a comment   

Sorry for the stupid question, does anyone know if it can handle NTSC playback as i have oversea xbox console and dvd player. Thx :)


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User Reviews / Comments  Soniq QSL400XT

  • LovinierS

    LovinierS

    Rating5

    "THIS TV IS PEEVING OFF AS IT TAKES A FEW PRESSES AND PUNCHES BEFORE SPRINGING TO LIFE. CANNOT USE THE USB FUNCTION AS IT KEEPS SWITHCHING THE TV OFF. EVEN THOUGH THE WARRANTY HAS RUN OUT...SOMETHIN..."

  • oztedli

    oztedli

    "Be careful, their warranty is terrible. Have the TV for 6 months, then start flickering and black out after turning it on for 2 mins. Send it back for warranty, waiting for 2.5 weeks and then I cal..."

  • liam

    liam

    "i havent brought 1 yet, but what is it like with a HDMI playing through a xbox 360?? coz tat is my main thing about getting one. :)"

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