Definitive Technology SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar Preview
- Product Name: SoloCinema XTR Soundbar
- Manufacturer: Definitive Technology
- Review Date: August 21, 2012 09:40
- MSRP: $1999
- First Impression: Mildly Interesting
- Sound bar dimensions: 43″ L x 5 3/16" H x 5 3/8″ D
- Wireless subwoofer dimensions: 19 3/4″ L x 13 1/2" H x 5 3/4″ D
- Sound bar watts: 200
- Wireless subwoofer watts: 250
- 3 HDMI inputs, 1 digital optical input, 1 analog input
- Processing: Dolby Surround, Dolby True HD, Dolby PLII, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby Volume, Definitive Spatial Array, SRS TruSurround
- 6 aluminum dome midrange drivers, 3 aluminum dome tweeters, 1 8" subwoofer
- Shelf mount feet and wall-mounting bracket included
- Available in stores and online beginning August 2012
We can rant and rail against sound bars, satellite systems, and anything that isn't a floorstanding, full-range speaker but, honestly, they aren't going away. In the sound bar department there are really two camps - those that try to sell you something that is only marginally better than the trash speakers that came in your new flat panel and those that are really trying to give you the best sound they can out of the sound bar form factor. You can usually tell the difference by price. If it is free, nearly free, or doesn't require you to speak to your better half before counting out the coins in your pocket to purchase it, it is a marginal product. A sound bar that is trying to give you the best possible sound requires quality drivers, tons of research, and a great design. All of that costs money.
The new SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar from Def Tech will run you just under $2k, so you can presume that they put some thought into it. Def Tech has been around for a long time but this is their first fully active sound bar. Like most of the sound bars on the market, it promises "sleek appearance, premium fit and finish, high quality materials, effortless installation and superior sound". While we are pretty sure they deliver on the first few, it is the "superior sound" that we are most interested in.
Def Tech has included in their SoloCinema XTR five discrete channels rather than using two or three and extrapolating using a DSP algorithm. There are 200 watts of power built into the SoloCinema XTR. It has three HDMI inputs, one digital optical input, and one analog input. It can decode DTS HD and Dolby TrueHD natively to provide the best possible sound (Dolby PLII, DTS, DTS-HD, Dolby Volume, Definitive Spatial Array, and SRS TruSurround are also supported). The SoloCinema XTR has six aluminum dome midrange drivers and three aluminum dome tweeters (all patent pending designs). We're not sure how this equates to five channels exactly but apparently it does. These drivers are based on the XTR component loudspeaker drivers
The SoloCinema XTR measures 43" wide and just 2-3/8" deep to compliment your new TV purchase. The enclosure is constructed out of aluminum. Shelf and wall mounting hardware is included. While you will still need to run a power cable to the SoloCinema XTR plus a cable from your source and to your display (most likely HDMI), Def Tech's included subwoofer is wireless (except for power, of course). Measuring in at 19-3/4" long by 13-1/2" tall, and 5-3/4" deep, we're sure someone is going to shove it behind a couch. With a wireless connection to the sound bar, any placement you like will be limited only by power outlets. The sub sports an 8" driver and a 250 watt amplifier.
Lastly, the Def Tech SoloCinema XTR includes a remote with pre-set surround parameters for optimal movie and music, a bass control to adjust bass volume to suit the program material on-the-fly and a SYNC feature that corrects poor audio and video synchronization sometimes found in video broadcasts. They also state that the remote can be used in the dark because the buttons are a mixture of concave and convex shapes. We're not sure if this means that the remote isn't backlit or if the button shapes are in addition to a backlight.
The Definitive Technology SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar promises full surround out of three tweeters and six midrange drivers. The all aluminum enclosure, high quality drivers, and wireless sub have us intrigued as does the promise of support for lossless surround formats. So far, Definitive Technology hasn't released any information about the frequency response of the SoloCinemal XTR which would give us more information to base an opinion. At the $2000 price point, there is a lot of competition and a lot of technology out there. We're very curious to hear how this Def Tech offering stands up.
For more information, please visit www.definitivetech.com.