Sky Soundbox: the first two hours

First Assistant Director

 

Sky Soundbox package.jpeg 

Packaging is very superior on par with Apple products. Opening the box the first thing that strikes me is the weight of the Soundbox, wow. There is nothing here that gives a wow feeling it is just a big heavy black box. Everything you need apart from the box is cleverly packed away and is sheer joy as it unfolds as you pull it up to reveal all the connecting cables.

 

Set up was simplicity itself. Take the pink HDMI cable from the back of the Q box and slot it into the back of the Soundbox, next insert the supplied HDMI cable into the other HDMI slot and back to the Q box. Next connect optical cable from box to optical on TV.

Then switch on!

 

The remote controls the volume but you can set up your Q remote to control the volume. Go to Home button>Settings>Setup>Remotes then choosing the Bluetooth remote it brings up the option for setting up the sound system, choose Sky and all is done. The remote has a source button and this has three spoken options. These are Optical, Bluetooth and HDMI. Sadly it won’t cycle through these automatically according to the selected source. There is also a sync option if you find speech and picture are out, but I didn’t need it.

 

Sky Soundbox screen.jpeg

 

Now to sound quality, this was a replacement for a Bose Wave connected via the TV headphone socket. The sound from the Wave was fantastic but then it cost me over £600 a decade ago. There was no wow factor on using the Soundbox I could hear sound separation though in a way I haven’t before. The real test will be on the first film I watch and F1. I did watch the first ten minutes of the Flash and liked it very much. Moving over to try Netflix the sound coming through the optical cable was no different to what I had before.

 

THEN I switched off the TV and the Q box and set it up as a Bluetooth speaker, grabbed my iPhone and paired it easily. Now I am listening to my music. NOW, there is a world of difference! I particularly like the absolute separation and clarity of the Cello Concerto I chose, it is perfect. Some Coldplay and many others followed and I am in love with it. My audiobooks sound great as well a big plus as I can no longer read physical books and I read about a hundred books a year.

 

Sky Soundbox.jpeg

 

It is better than what I was using not by a great deal but it is less than half the price. If I had nothing but TV sound it would be blowing my mind with its quality, and make no mistake this is a quality product. I have over the years tried various sound bars and bases but none could beat my Bose set up, this does and for a great deal less than I paid for other products.

 

Unless it develops a fault I can only see it improving as it beds in and I try other options. For just now I am thoroughly enjoying it as Bluetooth speaker as I write this, feeling it was a bargain buy. I have however no place now for my PS4, no great loss as I wasn’t using it.



About the author
Stuart    @StuartDR
Catholic, Bibliophile, Movie lover. All things Apple, Been online since 1983
57 Comments
Community Manager

Great blog @SDR. After saying I was going to get it I have held back a bit. Basically, because I spent too much already this month! Good to hear that music sounds good through it. 

 

We went to great efforts I am told to reduce/remove any plastic packaging so there shouldn't be all those cable ties and little plastic bags inside there either. 

 

Also, 100 books a year. Wow!

First Assistant Director

I wrote this yesterday  since then I have used it a great deal, last night we watched LA LA Land which as a musical I thought would be an excellent test of the sound. My wife who never comments on the sound except to complain it is too loud said WOW It’s like being at the cinema! It was stunning. 

 

This is morning I listened to Tom Petty and Bob Dylan in concert in 1986 WOW!

 

I see lots of complaints on the forum. My set up is as seen and to a new Sony Bravia 4K TV and all works far better than expected.

 

I am a Bibliophile books are the most important part of my entertainment.

Community Manager

Love a bit of Tom Petty. I'm definitely going to get one in the new year!

 

Edit: currently have Sonos Play 5 Generation 1.

First Assistant Director

@Sam-R The packaging ought to win an award it was great, solid, eco friendly compared to most and nothing to unpeel!

Researcher

Sadly my box stopped working I had no picture and red/green light flashing rang sky, we will ring you back, obviously that didn’t happen 😬had to ring again now saying 3/5 days and will send you new box ( imagine going Asda paying for you food and being told sorry wait 3/5 days then you can eat it 😳so hopefully the next one will work😩 what’s the best format for listening, hdmi or Bluetooth for music and films? 

Production Supervisor

Sounds good that review SDR, you seem happy with it.

I have a mate who got one the other day and I went round and set it up for him and had a listen.

 

My views on it were for the discounted price it is good value and probably a good soundbar at that price.

For the £249 price its good value, for £799 it certainly is not.

Sound was generally good, not much surround effect, it was positioned well.

It played clean when volume turned up and pushed out a good volume without trouble.

Not sure I would like it choosing modes all the time without any ability to switch them off.

I played some tunes through bluetooth on it and it was not bad.

Bass was not that deep, compared to the better and more expensive soundbars out there.

But for the £249 price I could probably forgive it for that bass compromise.


I've seen problems in the community from those reporting the flashing lights. loss of onscreen menu and unresponsiveness.
I saw the flashing lights on my mates, had no idea what they all meant and saw it lockup twice.

He has since mentioned to me he has spoken with Sky who have made him try a few things. But he is still getting lockups. Not sure if he has asked for a replacement or not or offered one.
He seems happy its getting a better audio than his TV, but has asked me to go round again and have another look.

 

I will be sticking with my Samsung HW-MS650, not really seeing that the Sky Soundbox will add anything to that or to be honest is on a par with that.

Shame it had no ARC and you have to use an optical lead as well as hdmi and a manual switch between those sources. Seems a big feature miss that.

Runner

Its unfortunete the pass through function on the soundbox is not great, if you use Xbox one in the HDMiI chain, switching off the sound box to hear normal TV breaks up

 

Only option is remove xbox one (as advised by Sky support), mean i loose voice control functionality I get with the Xbox one 

 

All worked fine with Yamaha surround sound system, seems like a step backward

Researcher

Great writeup... I have one question, why would you need to connect the HDMI's to the TV and the optical cable at the same time to get the sound from the Soundbox. 

 

Surely the Sky Q links to the Box and then the Box to the TV leaving the digital free for PS4/Xbox etc?

 

 

First Assistant Director

The optical connection allows me to get sound from other sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime or even Freeview

if you only use the Sky Q box then you don’t need the optical connection.

Researcher

Thank you for the update 

First Assistant Director

Just to say that John Coltrane sounds fantastic on the Soundbox 👍😎

Production Supervisor

@Ron939  The soundbox doesn't support ARC which is why the TV has to be connected by an optical cable. Personally I think it was a bit of an oversight in the design.

Production Supervisor

Had a listen to Sky F1 coverage in UHD and HD yesterday, with my mates Sky Soundbox.

It was using one of its modes.

It really muffled the commentary of Ted and Crofty and totally lost the spacial sound you normally get from F1.

The UHD TV speakers did a much better job of how I would expect the sound to be and track noise and commentary mixed well.

Researcher

Doesn’t bode well for sky then😬I’m on my 4th call to sky waiting for replacement box,told 70 hrs then told load rubbish not even been ordered, god what a company will ring you , we don’t ring you, you just keep ringing us one day we might do what we say, give up with the whole sorry mess, now wish I’d never ordered 

Viewer

Love to experience the Soundbox. Ordered one on the 1st November and told it would be delivered 3 / 5 working days. Chased given a non existent tracking number and 24 hours ago recieved an email to say it had been dispatched but not heard a thing from the courier. Not the experience i am used to from Sky !!!

Researcher

Mind just gets better and better, already had one box that stopped working after a day, told will ring you, never did, I rang box will be with you in 72 hrs, not happening so rang again today and yes you guessed it still waiting for there call back, appalling treatment by sky wish I had never ordered, they’ve had almost £300 of my money and I’ve nothing to show for it😬

Researcher

Hi there,

I am new to all of this tech stuff.  I have just had my soundbox delivered and connected as the instructions and all working, however, I get no sound when I play dvds, could someone please give me the heads up on what I need to do on how I go about getting sound through the soundbox so I can enjoy the dvds as well please? As I used to be able to listen to them through my old surround sound, or have I just wasted £249 and can only listen to Sky?!?!? 

Thanks in advance.....

Researcher

Hi, I’m waiting for my second sound box, don’t know about the dvd think I’m afraid, tried playing Netflix through it with optical connected and that didn’t play through box either, like you say is it only sky?hope someone can solve it for you 

First Assistant Director

If you connect it exactly as described in the blog post and change the input for the soundbox to optical all other devices will give you sound. You have to use the supplied remote to change the input to th soundbox it isn’t automatic . So Optical for everything that isn’t the Sky box. Bluetooth for the Bluetooth speaker mode and HDMI for use with the Sky box. The input button is the bottom left one on the soundbox remote

Researcher

Many thanks for replying 👍

Researcher

Great, thank you Smiley Happy

Researcher

Tell me , I have 2160  4K lead can I use that instead is one sky supplied? Have new oled that transmits in 2160 format 

First Assistant Director

Why change? If it works ok do what you want but if it doesn’t revert to using the one supplied by Sky.

Researcher

Ok, only worked one day had to ring sky for replacement, they say tomorrow, the sky lead only rated 1080 and as my tv transmit in 10 bit 2160, thought I would give it a try but as you say if it doesn’t will put the sky one back in

many thanks for reply 

First Assistant Director

Watched my first F1 race in UHD with the soundbox. What a great picture what punchy racing sound, yes the commentary got a little lost but it was worth it for the atmosphere.

Camera Assistant

Was looking at these......think ill save me pennies for a SONOS.......

 

Smiley Happy

Researcher

Don’t blame you, cause as you can see this just isn’t working 

Camera Assistant

Sky really need to up their game if they want to sell a high price real life product and not just a subscription model where people are tired to contracts. People will not put up with second class customer service. They will soon go elsewhere for similar products. 

 

Imagine if you had payed £750 for one of these.

Researcher

God yes that would have been upsetting 😔

hopefully issue issue will be resolved soon😩

Boom Operator

I have just set up my Soundbox which works well and I am impressed with it.

 

My problem is I have a dvd and there is no spare port on the Soundbox to plug it into.  I rang customer services and they say when I want to use the dvd I have to unplug on of the cables at the back of the Soundbox and plug in the cable from the dvd.  Then when I have finished using it I have to unplug it and replug in the other cable.

 

This just sounds so wrong to me.  Apart from the obvious inconvenience my tv like many is in a corner of the room on a small table with the Soundbox on a shelf below, and to get to the back of the box I have to pull it all out to get at the back of the  Soundbox.

First Assistant Director

Do you have an optical output on your TV? If so connect the optical cable from the TV to the Soundbox. This will allow you to hear anything from the DVD player or any other source that isn’t Sky Q. You need to use the remote for the Soundbox to change the input to optical.

Community Manager

Just had a longer play about with one in the office. The speech seems a lot crisper than my current sound system. Nothing more annoying than everything being constantly bass-y

First Assistant Director

So off to order one? 😳

Community Manager

I'm teetering @SDR teetering on the brink!

Researcher

I’m on my second sound box hopefully this will work it is at moment nice crisp speech when on voice setting  just hope it keeps working last one didn’t when I turned it off and back on had no picture so sky have replaced, halo with it at moment 👍

My son has lent me his soundbox, but I’ve got Virgin, have got box working ok with Optical and Bluetooth but if I connect as guide with hdmi I get no picture just sound, any way I can get it working through hdmi, I know   I won’t get all the features that are on Sky q or sky hd

Researcher

Hi, didn’t know it would work with virgin, it says works best with hdmi so cant help on that one, but hopefully you get solution 👍

Boom Operator

SDR thanks for your reply.......

 

Yes I have the optical cable from my TV to my Soundbox and as I said all is working well.

My point is my dvd is obviously plugged into the mains but there is no where to plug in the cable from the dvd to the Soundbox as the Soundbox does not have a spare port to plug it into.

Researcher

Don’t think it will happen then, hopefully someone on the forum might have a remedy 

good luck

First Assistant Director

Stephen+Mourton
Researcher
32 minutes ago
SDR thanks for your reply.......

Yes I have the optical cable from my TV to my Soundbox and as I said all is working well.
My point is my dvd is obviously plugged into the mains but there is no where to plug in the cable from the dvd to the Soundbox as the Soundbox does not have a spare port to plug it into.

 

You plug the DVD into your TV not the Soundbox then choose the optical output and it will work.

Boom Operator

Thanks once again SDR

 

We are now getting somewhere.  My soundbox hdmi cable is plugged into my hdmi1 port on the tv, so I have plugged the hdmi cable from the DVD player into the hdmi2 port on the tv.  I have to use the ‘source’ button on my tv remote to select ‘Blu-ray dvd player’ but I do then get a picture, but unfortunately no sound.  Is there something else I should be doing?  Also previously when I turned on my DVD player the tv automatically detected this and there was no need to use the ‘source’ button.  Is there anything else I can to to get that to happen?

Thanks once again 

First Assistant Director

You need to have the optical cable from the tv to Soundbox connected to get sound and you need to use the source button on the Soundbox remote to change the sound source to Optical. There are three modes Optical, Bluetooth and HDMI

Boom Operator

Thanks once again SDR especially for your quick responses.

 

i understand your reply but I am still not getting any sound when playing a dvd.

 

Just to clarify.......

I have set up the Soundbox correctly for SkyQ.  I have the hdmi cable from the hdmi1 port on my tv going to the Soundbox.  I also have the optical cable going from the Optical Digital Cable ‘out’ port on my tv to the Soundbox.

This all works fine when watching Sky Q.

When watching Netflix or Amazon Prime on the tv I switch to ‘optical’ on the Soundbox remote as you suggested and this works perfectly as well.

 

My dvd has an hdmi cable coming from the DVD player to the hdmi2 port on my tv.  As mentioned I can now get a picture but no sound even when I press the source button on the Soundbox remote, in fact I’ve tried it on Optical, Bluetooth, and Hdmi, but no sound is produced I’m afraid.

Is there anything else you could suggest?

Thanks

First Assistant Director

Set up was simplicity itself. Take the pink HDMI cable from the back of the Q box and slot it into the back of the Soundbox, next insert the supplied HDMI cable into the other HDMI slot and back to the Q box. Next connect optical cable from box to optical on TV.

 

Have you done it thus way?

Boom Operator

As you say set up was very simple.  I located the pink port on my SkyQ box and unplugged the cable from the SkyQ box and connected it to the Soundbox, leaving the other end in my hdmi1 port on the tv.

I then took the hdmi cable supplied with my Soundbox and plugged the pink end into my SkyQ box and the other end into my Soundbox.  Finally I connected the optical cable from the Soundbox to the tv.

So yes I believe that is exactly as the instructions said and indeed what you were asking in your last post. 

First Assistant Director

In that case can you try a different HDMI lead for your DVD player or a different HDMI slot

Boom Operator

Thanks.  

I have a couple of other hdmi cable and just tried them but still no sound. 

The only other port I have spare is hdmi3 and again I get a picture but no sound.

One thing that is confusing me is this.  My dvd obviously has the power cable connected to the mains, other than that there is just the hdmi cable coming from my DVD player to the tv which I presume is what is giving me the picture, so should the optical cable coming from my tv to the Soundbox then provide me with sound, or is there something else missing?

 

First Assistant Director

Yes the optical cable will supply the sound from anything else that is sent through the TV rather than the Soundbox. I am now completely mystified.

Boom Operator

Well thanks for trying it is much appreciated.

I will continue to experiment and maybe try Sky customer services again.

First Assistant Director

If you remove optical cable from the TV do you get sound from the DVD?

apart from that do you have the Soundbox switched on and turned up when you are using the DVD player with the DVD, clutching at straws here