Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar)

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Hisense AX3125H

Product Name: Hisense AX3125H

Product Description: 3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar

  • Design - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Movies Performance - 8.8/10
    8.8/10
  • Music Performance - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Inputs and Features - 9/10
    9/10
  • Price / Quality - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
9.1/10

Summary

Reviewed at $229.00

Pros

  • Satisfying front soundstage
  • Simple to setup and to use
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X support
  • Very low price

Cons

  • No surround sound
  • Average Dolby Atmos performance
  • No WiFi
  • No online features

Cheapest Places to Buy :

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Introduction

Hisense has a pretty small soundbar lineup compared to the likes of Samsung, LG or even JBL. And in today’s Hisense AX3125H review we will finish covering their entire 2024 lineup with the last model we hadn’t checked till now.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

After testing Hisense’s flagship, the AX 5125H and their low cost offering, the HS2100, it was now time to try out their mid-tier solution. And here we need to clear things up. The Hisense AX3125H is not an entirely different soundbar. In fact this is the same soundbar as the AX5125H but without the rear speakers. So with this out of the way let’s see what the AX3125H is all about.

This is a 3.1.2 channels, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X capable soundbar-subwoofer combo. It can output a peak 440 watts of power and comes with various audio options like DTS Neural: X and DTS Virtual: X support. It is also Roku Ready if you have a Roku TV.

Since the main bar and the subwoofer are basically the same as the ones we tested in our Hisense AX5125H review we pretty much knew what to expect. But without the rear speakers can this unit recreate any of the cinematic surround magic of its bigger brother at a lower cost? Let’s find out.

Specifications and Features

Design

Dimensions

Since this is practically the same soundbar we saw before parts of our review will carry over. With the AX3125H Hisense tried to create a design that looks nice, feels modern and can match any room design and environment.

The unit measures 36.2 x 2.4 x 3.5 inch (920 x 60 x 90 mm) and with a weight of just 5.78 lbs (2.62 Kg) you will have no trouble handling it by yourself. As for the subwoofer, this measures 8.4 x 11.6 x 12 inch (214 x 294 x 304 mm) and weights 11.55 lbs (5.24 Kg).

With a height of 2.4 inches you shouldn’t have trouble fitting this under most TVs. But since there are a few models that have much less clearance under the panel we always suggest you to measure first.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Layout

The primary unit boasts a sleek profile, characterized by clean lines and gracefully curved corners. Although predominantly made of plastic, Hisense has tastefully integrated accents of metal and fabric, lending a touch of sophistication to its appearance.

At the front of the soundbar is a meticulously perforated metal grille. While an intriguing contrast emerges with a fabric covering atop, concealing the upward-facing drivers. Personally, we lean towards a metal covering for its durability and resistance to dirt accumulation, as opposed to cloth.

Towards the rear, a discreetly recessed area neatly houses all connectivity ports, complemented by purpose-built holes for seamless wall mounting.

The subwoofer adopts a conventional wooden cubic design, with the driver positioned forward and the air port situated at the rear. Here, the metal grille maintains continuity with the overall design ethos, adding a harmonious touch to the entire system.

Colors & Quality of Materials

The Hisense AX3125H appears to be offered only in black. Nonetheless, for a model in this price range, the construction feels remarkably robust. The plastic components exhibit commendable quality, devoid of any discernible manufacturing defects.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Display Type

When evaluating soundbar designs, the display is a crucial aspect we scrutinize. The Hisense AX3125H employs a fully functional display capable of showcasing up to five characters concurrently.

Hisense strategically placed the display between the center and right channels, nestled just beneath the built-in buttons.

With ample size, the display offers comprehensive information about the soundbar, including input selections, EQ settings, and various other options.

Internal Hardware

Next we will take a look at what kind of hardware this one uses.

Configuration & Power Distribution

The soundbar is rated as a 3.1.2 channels system with a total of 440 watts of power. Power distribution is at 260 watts for the main bar and 180 watts for the subwoofer.

Channels Analysis

The primary unit utilizes a total of six channels. Each of the main left and right channels is equipped with a single full-range racetrack driver. In the center, a racetrack driver is paired with a round tweeter. Two additional racetrack drivers are dedicated to the up-firing Dolby Atmos channels.

Moreover, the subwoofer features a single front-firing 6.5-inch woofer cone for enhanced bass performance.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment
Tap on image for a closer look

Connectivity

Physical Ports

The rear inset of the unit hosts a variety of ports, including two HDMI ports, a single USB Type-A port, a digital optical audio input, and a 3.5mm stereo analog input.

With one HDMI input and one output, the Hisense AX3125H facilitates signal pass-through, albeit with certain restrictions. While it supports 4K@120Hz signals, it doesn’t support 10-bit color. Nevertheless, it does support Dolby Vision and HDR. In terms of Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), the soundbar accommodates HDMI Forum VRR and FreeSync but not G-Sync. Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) is also available.

Regarding the USB port, it enables playback of external sources and can be utilized for system updates as well.

Wireless Capabilities

The only type of wireless communication the soundbar offers is through Bluetooth. Surprisingly we get Bluetooth v5.3 which is one of the newer versions.

Control Options

Let’s see how you can control the soundbar next.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Remote

Hisense has crafted a sleek remote for the AX3125H soundbar, striking a balance between simplicity and functionality. While relatively straightforward, it encompasses all the necessary buttons to navigate through the system’s various settings. Given the soundbar’s limited additional features, an overly cluttered remote was deemed unnecessary.

The remote’s buttons are thoughtfully spaced apart and constructed from a pleasant rubber material, enhancing tactile comfort. Regrettably, the absence of backlighting poses challenges when operating the remote in dimly lit environments.

At the middle of the remote you will find the usual navigation controls. Above them Hisense included some sound management options like EQ and Surround, input selection and Bluetooth. At the bottom you will find some sound adjusting options including Bass and Treble. There is also a Dimmer option for the display and a mute button at the very bottom.

Overall, the remote boasts a refined yet uncomplicated design, harmonizing seamlessly with the soundbar’s aesthetic while ensuring ease of use and intuitive button functions.

Built-in Controls

As most soundbars, there are a few built-in buttons available. From left to right there is a power button, source selection and volume controls.

Mobile App

The AX3125H does not support any app. So the remote is your only means of controlling this unit. Therefore you should be extra careful not to lose it.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Extra Features and Services

For those anticipating an array of supplementary functions typically found in soundbars, prepare for a more streamlined experience. Hisense opted for simplicity. And with the absence of WiFi connectivity, most online features are notably absent.

The sole notable feature worth mentioning is its capability to play back audio files via the USB Type-A port. Supporting a range of file formats including WAV, MP3, and WMA, as well as AAC, OGG, and FLAC files, it offers versatility in playback options.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, it’s worth highlighting that the unit is Roku Ready. This means it can seamless integrate with Roku TVs for effortless setup and compatibility.

Audio Formats & Technologies

Let’s delve into the sound capabilities of the AX3125H. The soundbar boasts support for both object-oriented formats, encompassing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, alongside compatibility with older legacy formats and multichannel PCM.

Going beyond the basics, Hisense has incorporated both DTS Virtual:X and DTS Neural:X technologies. DTS Virtual:X introduces a virtual mode that ingeniously simulates sounds emanating from virtual speakers positioned around your room, even in the absence of physical speakers. Conversely, DTS Neural:X serves as an up-mixing technology adept at enhancing stereo and legacy mixes, ensuring optimal utilization of all speakers within your setup.

Sound Management

When it comes to sound management, the AX3125H maintains a straightforward approach. Notably absent is a sound calibration system capable of adapting the soundbar’s output to the acoustics of your room. This necessitates manual adjustments with the rather limited options.

Offering just basic bass and treble adjustments, the soundbar falls short in terms of channel calibration. Furthermore, the EQ settings are relatively rudimentary. Lacking individual frequency adjustments, you are limited to several preset options tailored for specific content types.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Sound Modes

The AX3125H offers a total of seven EQ presets, catering to various audio preferences. These presets include Music, Movie, News, Sport, Night, Game, and AI EQ. While most presets are self-explanatory, the standout feature is the AI EQ, enabling the soundbar to automatically select the most suitable preset based on the content being played.

In addition to the EQ presets, you have the option to toggle surround sound on and off. This feature proves particularly useful if you prefer pure stereo sound without bleed into the rear speakers.

Initial Setup

Chose How to Connect

The first step involves selecting the preferred connection method for the soundbar. Various options are available, with HDMI ports offering versatility. You can opt for pass-through mode or utilize the soundbar’s eARC functionality at the end of the chain.

However, it’s important to note that if your other devices only support ARC and not eARC, Dolby Atmos through the Dolby TrueHD container will not pass-through. Additionally, support for DTS-HD and LPCM 5.1 may be lost.

Alternatively, if HDMI isn’t feasible, you can utilize the soundbar’s optical port. However, this option may further limit the available audio formats. Thus, you must weigh your preferences against the capabilities of their other equipment.

The manual provides a detailed table for easy reference in making the best decision possible.

Further Steps & Calibration

Lacking app support, the next steps involve calibrating the bass and treble, and selecting the appropriate sound mode. These simple tasks won’t take you more than a few minutes making the whole process as easy as it gets.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Movies and TV

We move on to our real content testing. For this review we tried the film Jurassic World in 4K UHD with its Earth shaking DTS:X mix and also Independence Day: Resurgence which features a bombastic Dolby Atmos track.

Front Soundstage

The Hisense AX3125H, sans rear speakers, delivers a robust front soundstage, surprising us with its immersive capabilities given its accessible price point. While it may not match the expansiveness of premium soundbars, it effectively extended sound beyond the confines of the main unit. The main channels exhibited commendable separation, seamlessly handling panning effects and maintaining balanced audio reproduction throughout.

Sound quality was also satisfactory with above average output as the soundbar tried to maintain all the details in the original mix. Obviously its limitations are very distinct. So while some details would get lost in all the mayhem most of the core values were still there.

Dialog

Equally impressive was the performance of the center channel. This was due to Hisense’s thoughtful combination of a full-range racetrack driver and a round tweeter. Dialogue remained clear and distinct, even amidst action-packed scenes, ensuring no word got lost in the fray.

Surround Sound

While rear speakers enhance immersion, the absence of such in the AX3125H was noticeable. There was no action behind our sitting position and there was little to no activity to our sides.

The use of DTS Virtual:X may have some impact here. But after having tried this multiple times in the past along with this review we can safely say that this is not going to be the saving grace of this soundbar. DTS Virtual:X sometimes works and sometimes it doesn’t. It really tried to push the sound closer to our position. But did little to really envelope us in the action.

But this is not a problem specifically for the Hisense AX3125H. As all soundbars missing rear speakers suffer the same fate.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Dolby Atmos

With only front, up-firing Atmos channels, the AX3125H’s Dolby Atmos performance was heavily front-oriented. While respectable, it may lack the precision and depth found in more advanced setups that sport rear Atmos channels also.

As always, keep in mind that there are certain limitations when it comes to up-firing Atmos channels. Since all these Atmos soundbars bounce audio on the ceiling and down to you, your room will define the AX3125H’s performance. A high ceiling that is not horizontally straight will diminish the Atmos effects to a great extent. A small room with low straight ceiling on the other hand will make Atmos effects more pronounced.

So always keep in mind of the area where you are going to place the soundbar. Because it can make a huge difference.

Bass

Paired with the subwoofer, the soundbar delivered satisfying bass performance, enhancing the low-end frequencies with sufficient depth and impact. While not as powerful as high-end subwoofers, it effectively reproduced the thunderous effects of cannon fire and the rumble of giant creatures, giving some much desired prowess and weight to the action on screen.

Maximum Volume

The soundbar achieved impressive volume levels. Albeit with some noticeable, and to be honest much expected, distortion at higher volumes. This is a common limitation among soundbars, especially low and mid-tier models. And while it may be discernible to some listeners, it’s within expectations for a system of this price.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Music

The device offers multiple ways to stream music. You can do that through the USB and through Bluetooth obviously. You can also connect a media player through HDMI and playback music that way. For our review we opted the last option as we used our trusted Zidoo Z9X media player which we connected to the Hisense AX3125H through its HDMI port.

Fidelity & Overall Quality

With music, the AX3125H exhibited commendable performance. As it managed to deliver lively highs, well-defined midrange frequencies, and a satisfyingly deep low end. This ensured a balanced and engaging listening experience across a wide range of music genres, from delicate classical compositions to bass-heavy electronic tracks.

Sound imaging, a crucial aspect of music reproduction, was handled adeptly by the soundbar. Instrumentation and vocals were accurately placed within the stereo field, creating a sense of space and depth that enhanced the overall listening experience.

Stereo quality, another key component of music reproduction, was thoroughly evaluated during our testing. The soundbar’s ability to create a convincing stereo image, with distinct left and right channels, contributed to the immersive nature of the soundbar’s output. Furthermore, the unit’s consistency in maintaining satisfying fidelity and tonal accuracy across different music genres was notable.

In summary, the Hisense AX3125H excelled in delivering high-fidelity audio reproduction, with accurate frequency response, precise sound imaging, and convincing stereo quality. Its ability to faithfully reproduce as much as possible the nuances and intricacies of musical recordings makes it a compelling choice for anyone seeking a versatile but affordable listening experience.

Different Content

Across various content types, the AX3125H maintained a very consistent output. While it may not rival dedicated HiFi systems in any way, shape or form, its ability to deliver consistent sound quality across different content formats makes it a reliable choice for music enthusiasts and cinephiles alike.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Compared to other Systems

At exactly the same price as the Hisense we find the Bose TV Speaker. This is a single soundbar system and so the Hisense AX3125H with its subwoofer certainly has the upper hand. The Hisense also comes with a center channel and up-firing Atmos channels which the Bose does not have. In terms of extra features they are very similar but the Bose is a modular design that accepts both a subwoofer and rear speakers. Obviously the price goes way up if you add these so the AX3125H certainly wins here.

Next we have the Polk Audio Signa S2. This soundbar costs $249 and is a soundbar-subwoofer combo. But it is rated as a 2.1 channels system so it is missing a center and up-firing Atmos channels. The Signa S2 does not support DTS while the AX3125H does. So in total we consider the Hisense AX3125H the better choice at a slightly lower price.

For last we have the Denon DHT-S217 which also sells for $249. The Denon is also a similar 2.1 channels soundbar but the difference compared to the Signa S2 is that this one supports Dolby Atmos, even it doesn’t have up-firing channels. On the other hand it is missing a subwoofer, goes for down-firing integrated subwoofers instead, so its bass performance definitely lacks in comparison to the Hisense.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Final Thoughts

There is a huge selection of soundbar-subwoofer combos in the market right now that can satisfy all needs and budgets. But what we can say with certainty is that you are not going to find a system like the Hisense AX3125H at the price it currently sells for. And in this regard Hisense certainly hit all the right spots.

The soundbar’s major strengths are plenty. It is super easy to setup and to use and its front soundstage proved bold and incredibly dynamic. It supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X which allows more flexibility. As for its subwoofer, this may not be the most powerful we have ever seen but for this price you shouldn’t complain.

As for its weaknesses these are more or less the same we experienced during our Hisense AX5125H review. The unit lacks WiFi meaning there is no online features here. Also with no rear speakers its performance is mostly front-oriented. Lastly its Dolby Atmos performance was average and vastly depends on the design of you room and the height of your ceiling.

We reached the end of our Hisense AX3125H review and to summarize everything we experienced we can say that the Hisense AX3125H is one of the better choices when choosing a soundbar-subwoofer combo at such a low price. Its a value for money system that may not drop your jaw on the floor with its output and fidelity but surely will give you plenty in terms of cinematic sound on a budget.

Hisense AX3125H Review (3.1.2 CH Dolby Atmos Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

For more reviews you can check our dedicated Soundbar-subwoofer combo reviews section or even look at our Product Reviews Table where you can find the brand and specific product you are looking for.


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*We are a reader-supported website. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Home Media Entertainment does not accept money for reviews.*


Hisense AX3125H Specifications

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