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Recent Soundbar & Surround Speaker Reviews

Monitor Audio SB-2 and SB-3 Soundbars Preview

Monitor Audio SB-2 and SB-3 Soundbars Preview

The new SB Series of passive soundbars from Monitor Audio, the SB-2 and SB-3, are designed to bring high quality sound to TVs of 50”and above. The SB-2 and B-3 come with a wide range of mounting options for easy and discreet custom installation, and the two SB models are engineered with Monitor Audio’s flagship cabinet and driver technologies. I suspect that anyone who wants the Monitor Audio sound without a bunch of speakers, would be happy with the SB-2 or SB-3.

The new SB Series of passive soundbars from Monitor Audio, the SB-2 and SB-3, is designed to bring high quality sound to TVs 50” and above.

— September 24, 2014 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

KEF R50 Dolby Atmos-enabled Speaker Preview

KEF R50 Dolby Atmos-enabled Speaker Preview

KEF is officially entering the Dolby Atmos scene with the release of their new R50, an Atmos-enabled loudspeaker which features a concentric driver array. Priced at $1,200, the R50 utilizes the same drivers as KEF's R100 bookshelf speaker, namely a 1" aluminum dome tweeter nested inside of a 5.25" aluminum cone midrange unit. Unfortunately, these speakers were unavailable for demo at the 2014 CEDIA demo; however, we hope to get our ears on a KEF Atmos setup before long.

Preview: KEF is throwing their hat into the Dolby Atmos ring with the introduction of their new Atmos-enabled R50 loudspeaker. The R50 is priced at $1,200/pair and boasts concentric drivers.

— September 23, 2014 05:35 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Atlantic Technology 3.1 HSB Pedestal Soundbar Preview

Atlantic Technology 3.1 HSB Pedestal Soundbar Preview

Introducing the Atlantic Technology 3.1 HSB, a passive pedestal soundbar with a built-in powered H-PAS subwoofer utilizing a 6.5" woofer. At 4 1/2 inches high, 36 inches wide, and 16 inches deep, it's a formidable size. You can add an external subwoofer if you want because the 3.1 HSB uses a receiver to power its six 3.5" midrange drivers and three 3/4" tweeters. We think that the perfect customer is the person who wants a full surround sound, but can only accommodate a soundbar because of room limitations.

Preview: The Atlantic Technology 3.1 HSB pedestal style soundbar packs quite a bit of power into a single package. Read on for our impressions.

— September 17, 2014 09:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Right-Ear/Left-Ear One Bar Soundbar Preview

Right-Ear/Left-Ear One Bar Soundbar Preview

The Right-Ear/Left-Ear One Bar isn't your average soundbar. Priced at $1,999, it's obviously costlier than most soundbars. So where's the money going? The folks at Right-Ear/Left-Ear claim that the One Bar can talk to your right ear and left ear separately, allowing a soundbar to throw what appears to be an expansive 3D soundscape that remains stable as you move around the room. As you might guess, that tidbit caught our attention. Click to read all the details.

Preview: Priced at $1,999, the Right-Ear/Left-Ear One Bar soundbar claims to offer a surround experience that rivals that of a true 7.1 system by "talking" to your right ear and left ear separately.

— September 07, 2014 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Atlantic Technology 44-DA Atmos Elevation Speaker Module Preview

Atlantic Technology 44-DA Atmos Elevation Speaker Module Preview

Atlantic Technology's 44-DA breaks the mold of what we've seen from Atmos Elevation speakers thus far. Instead of a 3-4" full range driver, the 44-DA utilizes a concentric array with a 1" silk dome tweeter and 5.25" polypropylene cone woofer. Priced at $499, its cost doesn't appear out of line for what you get, in contrast with some of the Atmos modules we've seen roll out. Want to know all the details? Click to keep reading!

Preview: Atlantic Technology's 44-DA Atmos Elevation speaker module is priced at $499 and features a concentric drive unit with a 5.25" woofer and 1" silk dome tweeter. Click to read all the details.

— August 29, 2014 09:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Sony HT-CT770 Soundbar and HT-XT1 Sound Platform Preview

Sony HT-CT770 Soundbar and HT-XT1 Sound Platform Preview

If the Sony name on the HT-CT770 SoundBar with Wireless sub and HT-XT1 Sound Platform don't sell units, the prices certainly will. At $449 and $299 respectively, these are priced to move. Featuring Bluetooth with NFC pairing, three HDMI inputs with one ARC and HDMI Pass Through output that are 3D and 4K compatible, as well as simulated surround, these tick all the right boxes. Look for these units to start shipping shortly.

Preview: If the Sony name on the HT-CT770 SoundBar with Wireless sub and HT-XT1 Sound Platform don't sell units, the prices certainly will. At $449 and $299 respectively, these are priced to move.

— April 30, 2014 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Samsung HW-H750 Soundbar and HW-H600 Sound Stand Preview

Samsung HW-H750 Soundbar and HW-H600 Sound Stand Preview

The HW-H600 is for those that want an unobtrusive pedestal soundbar with integrated subwoofers, easy install, and simulated surround. The HW-H750 is for those that wish for a more complete solution with a wireless sub and a bar that hangs on the wall. Both feature wireless streaming via Bluetooth and Samsung-specific wireless solutions. They have HDMI pass-through with ARC and CEC. If you are looking for enhanced audio, these will do, but they will also simulate surround sound. The HW-H600 Sound Stand Soundbar will retail for $400 while the HW-H750 will retail for $800 when they ship in the spring.

Preview: The Samsung HW-H600 is for those that want an unobtrusive pedestal soundbar while the HW-H750 is for those that wish for a more complete soundbar and wireless sub solution.

— April 22, 2014 00:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Sonance SB46 M & SB46 L Adjustable Width Sound Bars Preview

Sonance SB46 M & SB46 L Adjustable Width Sound Bars Preview

Sonance is looking to make a statement with their first sound bars, the SB46 M and SB46 L. The first adjustable width sound bars to be mass produced, the SB46 line is striving to ensure that your sound bar purchase perfectly matches your display. Sporting three channels with a 1" tweeter/4" midrange in a coaxial configuration and dual 4.5" woofers, they are both rated down to 90Hz. At $1750 and $2000 respectively, the SB46 M mates with 50-65" displays and the SB46 L with 70-80" displays. Our only concern is that it is the grille that adjusts and not the Left and Right channels.

Preview: The Sonance SB46 L & M sound bars have adjustable grilles that slide to increase the width to match your TV. With tons of mounting options and performance down to 90Hz, these will be popular.

— March 30, 2014 00:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Paradigm Shift Soundtrack 2 SoundBar Preview

Paradigm Shift Soundtrack 2 SoundBar Preview

The Paradigm Shift Soundtrack 2 takes everything that was good about the original Soundtrack soundbar, and adds Bluetooth streaming. With apt-X technology for crystal clear sound, the Bluetooth functionality is sure to entice new consumers to the product. The Soundtrack 2 features a thin-profile wireless sub that can be hidden under your couch, two channels with three drivers each, and the ability to learn your TV's remote codes so that you don't even have to use the Paradigm remote. Simulated surround and 2-channel Music Mode and multichannel Movie modes with Dolby Digital and Paradigm Virtual Surround are also included.

Preview: The Paradigm Shift Soundtrack 2 adds Bluetooth streaming with apt-X technology to the already successful Soundtrack soundbar. The thin-profile wireless sub is also a selling point.

— March 20, 2014 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Orb Audio Mod1x, Mod2x, and SubONE Speakers Review

Orb Audio Mod1x, Mod2x, and SubONE Speakers Review

For their 10th anniversary, Orb Audio has released updated versions of their speakers, including the Mod1X and Mod2X, as well as 2 new subwoofers, the subONE and subMINI. Orb Audio’s trademark is their spherical design and unique finish options. We took a look at these small, fashionable, and decidedly un-boxy systems to see if they sound as good as they look.

How good can a little 4" speaker be? As it turns out, pretty darn good! Check out our full written and video review of the Orb Audio Mod1x, Mod2x, and subOne speakers, to see how they stack up.

— March 13, 2014 11:50 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Yamaha YAS-103 Sound Bar Preview

Yamaha YAS-103 Sound Bar Preview

Honestly, we like the YAS-103 as a sound bar solution rather than a surround sound bar. With wide placement of the full range front drivers and downfiring woofers for additional bass, the YAS-103 should present a fairly wide soundstage and large (as possible with a sound bar) sweet spot. At $300, it is certainly priced competitively considering it has Bluetooth streaming and app control. If the YAS-101 was a good seller for the AV giant, the YAS-103 at the same price should fly off the shelves.

Preview: The Yamaha YAS-103 is priced the same as the popular YAS-101 ($299.95) but trades the subwoofer output for an RCA input and Bluetooth streaming and control.

— February 26, 2014 14:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Yamaha YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector Review

Yamaha YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector Review

The Yamaha YSP-1400 is attempting to bring Yamaha's vaunted "beaming" technology to the masses at a price they can actually afford. While they have done all that, they had to cut so many corners that is seems that the magic has been lost. I love Yamaha surround soundbars and I will continue to recommend them to my friends. That's not what is in question here. What is in question is whether the performance of the YSP-1400 justifies the $450 price tag. With a very small sweet spot, less than stellar sound quality, and unconvincing surround sound even in a nearly optimal room, the YSP-1400 doesn't quite live up to the rest of the Yamaha Sound Projector line.

The Yamaha YSP-1400 is attempting to bring Yamaha's vaunted "beaming" technology to the masses at an affordable price. While the price is fair, the performance isn't quite up to expectations.

Sid — November 27, 2013 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

2013 LG Soundbar Lineup Preview

2013 LG Soundbar Lineup Preview

For 2013, LG has introduced 4 new soundbars to market, the: NB4530, NB3730, NB3530, and NB2030. Whether you’re looking for super-slim, networked media, a compliment to the smart devices you already own, or simple and straightforward, LG probably has a soundbar that meets your needs. The only gap that we can find is something for the audiophiles. Sony and Samsung have been upping the ante with higher-end soundbar offerings, but LG has yet to follow suit.

With their 2013 soundbar offerings, LG has its bases covered. We give you our impressions on each unit in their lineup and offer up a few alternatives as well. Click to read more.

— November 13, 2013 07:35 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Jamo Torsten Soundbar Preview

Jamo Torsten Soundbar Preview

Jamo is looking to woo those that wish they could have a real stereo system with their Torsten Soundbar. Bragging performance down to 32Hz at -3dB (something we'd love to test), this is for those that love their bass. The $800 MSRP might price this out of reach for those just looking for more intelligible dialogue but, frankly, who cares? This system isn't for them anyhow. While the Jamo name will probably sell enough of these systems, we think that if their performance claims are even close, all it will take is a single listening test to convince buyers that their money is well spent.

Preview: Jamo is looking to woo those that wish they could have a real stereo system with their Torsten Soundbar which brags performance down to 32Hz at -3dB with a wireless sub.

— November 07, 2013 06:05 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews