Home audio is fundamental to any viewing experience, but it’s often overlooked. If you’re setting up a home theatre, a sound bar can elevate your auditory experience during movies and gaming. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide one over another. That’s when reviews like this can help.
I’m reviewing the Mission MSB21 Sound bar with Wireless Subwoofer. Admittingly, Mission is an audio brand I’ve never heard of. Unlike most brands, I’m coming into this review with no preconceived notions or bias. My criteria to assess this sound bar will be usability, overall sound quality, and customization.
Design of the Mission MSB21 sound bar
The MSB21 comes in two pieces, a sound bar, and a wireless subwoofer. The sound bar has a sleek low profile look that can sit on a TV stand or mount to a wall with the included brackets. It measures approximately 34” wide, 3” high, and 4” in depth.
Manual control buttons such as power, inputs, and volume are found on the right side of the sound bar. These controls are also found on the remote control.
Connection ports are located on the back to connect the sound bar to televisions and other audio-visual equipment. It features coaxial, optical and AUX, HDMI (ARC), and two HDMI ports. Wireless connections are available through Bluetooth audio.
The wireless subwoofer is rectangular shaped and measures approximately 14″ high, 9″ wide, and 9″ in depth. The subwoofer itself is located on the bottom, projecting bass onto the floor. It connects to the sound bar automatically when both are powered on. However, the subwoofer must be within 6 meters of the sound bar to pair successfully.
Setup of the Mission MSB21 sound bar
I tested the sound bar in my tech-themed Airbnb suite. It features a 1080p ceiling-mounted projector that produces a 137” HD screen. I built a custom shelf to protect a sound bar from the heat produced by a baseboard heater. I removed my current sound bar and installed the MSB21.
Once the subwoofer was plugged in, it paired automatically to the sound bar. From there I completed the rest of the setup with the remote. The various input options are displayed on the sound bar itself. It reminds me a lot of the car Kit from the 80’s show Knight Rider. I selected Bluetooth and it paired to my projector. In all, the setup took less than 10 minutes.
Bluetooth audio connectivity
For most, I think Bluetooth audio connection is the way to go. I absolutely despise exposed wires. There is no way I will run a cord from my ceiling-mounted projector to a sound bar 13’ away. Bluetooth audio is the perfect solution.
The one thing to note is that it uses Bluetooth 4.2, and not the new Bluetooth 5 standard. Normally for streaming music, this wouldn’t be an issue. However, if you’re connecting it to a projector like me, there can be some latency issues. This will become noticeable during dialog, with a slight delay of mouth movements and speech.
Compared to Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth 5 transmits eight times more data at twice the speed. I have yet to review a Bluetooth 5 sound bar. I’m curious to know if it will noticeably decrease latency issues in dialog scenes.
Using the Mission MSB21 sound bar
The Mission MSB21 sound bar is 240W with a 2.1 channel setup. I connected it to my home theatre projector and played Netflix. As the movie was playing, I used the control to switch between the different modes, music, news, and movies. The controller also allowed me to dim the brightness of the display on the sound bar.
The controller featured a dedicated button for 2.1 surround sound. It was interesting to see how well it worked. Sound bars do provide wireless flexibility, but I still miss a 5.1 surround sound setup.
I watched “Django Unchained” switching surround sound on and off with my eyes closed. I picked which sound I preferred and opened my eyes. It was with surround sound on. This should be no surprise because movies are mixed for surround sound. I was able to hear a wide dynamic range in the audio. During a gun shootout scene, the surround sound really stood out. It’s really quite amazing the impact auditory experiences have during movie viewing. I really felt like I was in a movie theatre.
The latency issues with the dialog scenes were no different than my current sound bar. While there is a slight delay between mouth movements and dialog, I don’t think most people would notice.
Sound quality and customization
The Mission MSB21 sound bar provides a powerful sound with remarkable clarity. Dialogue during quiet scenes was clear and the volume range could quickly get loud during action scenes.
The frequency response of the MSB21 ranges from 120Hz to 20KHz. Audiophiles will appreciate the ease-of-use of the controller to sounds. In addition to music, news, and movie modes, users can adjust the treble and bass levels.
I increased the bass to the max while watching a movie. I could physically feel the bass vibrating the laminate flooring. The 6.5” subwoofer pushes the bass down to the floor to create a rumble effect. This really adds to the experience when watching a movie or playing video games.
I’ve always been a huge fan of sound bars. I like the sleek, minimalistic look they provide to any home entertainment setup. The MSB21 is a sound bar that will not disappoint. I found the sound to be clear, powerful, and immersive.
Functionally, it is very easy to use. The controller is simple to use and provides a range of customization options. There’s even a dedicated Bluetooth button for easy pairing to smartphones, tablets, and projectors. It is easy to switch between surround sound on and off. When off, the sound is more straight and direct.
If there was one thing I would like to add to it would be integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Imagine having a sound bar that can play music and answer questions on command? That would be a killer feature. It’s unlikely though as Google and Amazon have their own line of smart speakers.
Sound bars make excellent additions to any home theatre setup. With endless connectivity options, the Mission MSB21 Sound bar with Wireless Subwoofer can be used in a variety of entertainment situations. It’s a 2.1 channel combo unit that can connect to a TV, projector, or mobile device. It’s not a speaker you buy to connect to an audio receiver to create a 5.1 surround system. If anything, it’s a sleeker wireless alternative to that.
If you want to elevate your auditory experience at home, I highly recommend you give it a try. To learn more about Mission speakers, read our complete overview here.