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Recent Soundbar & Surround Speaker Reviews

Yamaha YAS-152, ATS-1520 and YSP-1400 Soundbars Preview

Yamaha YAS-152, ATS-1520 and YSP-1400 Soundbars Preview

Yamaha had their entire lineup of soundbars available to us at the 2013 CEDIA Expo in Denver, but we were particularly interested in the newest models in both the digital sound projector and traditional virtual surround categories. The YAS-152 (also known as the ATS-1520) is their new Virtual Surround Bar, which retails for around $350 and is available this month. The YSP-1400 is a new digital sound projector with integrated subwoofers built right into the oversized front feet.

Yamaha YAS-152, ATS-1520 and YSP-1400 are the newest Soundbars introduced at CEDIA 2013. The YSP-1400 is a new digital sound projector with integrated subwoofers built right into the feet.

— October 18, 2013 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Phase Technology Teatro TSB3.0 Soundbar Preview

Phase Technology Teatro TSB3.0 Soundbar Preview

Phase Tech debuted their new soundbar at CEDIA 2013. The Teatro TSB3.0 is somewhere between a surround bar and a sound bar. While it boasts a passive design necessitating external amplification, the Teatro TSB3.0 has such features as dialogue lift and side-firing drivers for a wider soundstage. Really, though, the question is price. If they are leaving the amplification up to the consumer, it should mean that they can undercut the prices of many of the powered soundbars out there. But with the extra drivers, aluminum case, and other high-end touches, we're betting they haven't. At an estimated $650 price tag, we're hoping that people won't be surprised to find the Teatro TSB3.0 doesn't have amps.

The Phase Tech Teatro TSB3.0 soundbar sports a passive design, aluminum case, and steel grille. The Teatro TSB3.0 has such features as dialogue lift and side-firing drivers for a wider soundstage.

— October 07, 2013 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Onkyo LS-B50, LS-T10, and LS3100 Envision Cinema Series Preview

Onkyo LS-B50, LS-T10, and LS3100 Envision Cinema Series Preview

Onkyo's Envision Cinema lineup consists of two soundbars and a compact 2.1 system. The LS-B50 and LS-T10 soundbars both offer Bluetooth and AuraSphere surround simulation, but the similarities top there. The LS3100 is a compact 2.1 system that includes a class D amp to power the speakers, eliminating the need for an AVR. Overall, nothing here is particularly ground breaking, but each of the three systems in Onkyo’s Envision Cinema lineup looks to be able to hold its own against the competition. Read on for more information.

We take a look at Onkyo's two soundbars,the LS-B50 and LS-T10, and their LS3100 compact 2.1 system. While not ground breaking, these three products should hold up. Read on for our impressions.

— September 29, 2013 00:06 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Monitor Audio ASB-2 & Radius One Soundbars Preview

Monitor Audio ASB-2 & Radius One Soundbars Preview

Monitor Audio showed up to CEDIA 2013 with a number of new products on display, including the PROIC65 and PROIC180 in-ceiling speakers, Radius 380 & 390 subwoofers, Radius One passive soundbar, and ASB-2 active soundbar. In this article, however, we're talking about the ASB-2 and Radius One. With one glance at the Monitor Audio ASB-2 you know it’s a serious piece of gear, and it should be with an MSRP of $1649. The Radius One is the replacement for the original Radius soundbar. Read on for more info.

The Monitor Audio ASB-2 and Radius One soundbars offer up two very different ways to go about getting a high-quality/low clutter sound solution. Read on for our impressions.

— September 28, 2013 03:15 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

KEF V700 & V720W Digital Soundbars Preview

KEF V700 & V720W Digital Soundbars Preview

As TVs keep getting thinner and thinner, especially in the past few years with LEDs and now even more so with OLED creeping into the market, speaker manufacturers have been answering in turn. The new KEF V700 ($799) and V720W ($999) soundbars take the idea of thin to the extreme and bring the idea of clutter-free just as far. The V700 soundbar is only 6.3" H x 47.2" W x 2.1" D, meaning it can mount just as close to the wall as nearly any TV on the market. Yet, KEF managed to pack four 4.5in. dual layer diaphragm midrange drivers and two 1" vented aluminum dome tweeters into the enclosure.

The KEF V700 and V720W soundbars are among the thinnest units on the market, but certainly not the least expensive at $799 and $999. Read on for our impressions.

— September 27, 2013 23:55 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Canton DM 50 and DM 9 Surround Bars Preview

Canton DM 50 and DM 9 Surround Bars Preview

Canton released two new surround bars today, the DM 50 and DM 9. The DM 50 is more of a surround platform for your display rather than a bar. The DM 9 is a traditional bar. Both have RCA analogue, coaxial and optical digital audio, and Bluetooth inputs. The Bluetooth is the latest 4.0 with aptX. They both sport 200 watt amps, simulated surround, and tons of options. We listened to the larger DM 50 at CEDIA 2013 and were impressed with the amount of bass it displayed. With a rating down to 40Hz, you would think it wouldn't need a sub. But, just in case, Canton has included a subwoofer output with both the DM 50 and DM 9 bars.

Canton released two new surround bars today, the DM 50 and DM 9. The DM 50 is more of a surround platform for your display rather than a bar. The DM 9 is a traditional bar. Both have Bluetooth 4.0.

— September 27, 2013 02:16 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Definitive Technology SoloCinema Studio Soundbar Preview

Definitive Technology SoloCinema Studio Soundbar Preview

Definitive Technology has been on the forefront of passive soundbars for years, but only semi-recently jumped into the active soundbar game with the release of the SoloCinema XTR priced at $1999. For those who don’t want to drop two grand on a soundbar, Def. Tech. has now announced the SoloCinema Studio with an MSRP of $1199.

The Definitive Technology SoloCinema Studio Soundbar is a new price point for the company at only $1199 and sports a wireless sub. Read on for our thoughts.

— September 27, 2013 00:10 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Leon Horizon HzOTO Custom Soundbar Preview

Leon Horizon HzOTO Custom Soundbar Preview

Leon has introduced the first, custom built Soundbar we've ever seen - the Horizon HzOTO. Provide Leon with your display model and you'll get a HzOTO that matches not only the size but also the finish perfectly. While we're sure other shops would be willing to do this as well, the question is whether they can get one out to you as quickly as Leon. Leon is promising a five day turnaround from on a Horizon HzOTO. With a response down to 70Hz, optical and rca inputs, IR receiver and inputs, and a capactive touch panel, there is alot for your custom installer to like. The price tag, starting at $2,895, might be steep for some, in the world of the custom install, it is downright reasonable for the turnaround time.

Leon has introduced the first, custom built Soundbar we've ever seen - the $2895+ Horizon HzOTO. Provide Leon with your display model and you'll get a HzOTO that matches the size and finish perfectly.

— September 24, 2013 14:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Speakercraft CS3 Soundbar with Built-In Subwoofer Review

Speakercraft CS3 Soundbar with Built-In Subwoofer Review

The Speakercraft CS3, with its pedestal design, breaks away from the majority of soundbars and joins the ranks of Zvox and a few others in the sparse marketplace. Unlike a more traditional design, where the soundbar sits in front of the TV and a wireless subwoofer fills in the low end, the CS3 is designed for the display to sit on top of it and utilizes the extra cabinet space to fit dual 5.25" "subwoofers" in the enclosure. Overall, we really enjoyed our time with the CS3. The sound was natural, the bass dug surprisingly low (though not as low as a nice stand alone subwoofer would), and surround simulation was above par. Read on for a the full review.

Breaking the mold of the typical soundbar, the CS3 from Speakercraft offers a great sounding and immersive experience without the help of an external subwoofer. Watch or read our full review.

— September 23, 2013 20:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Sony HT-ST7 7.1 Soundbar Review

Sony HT-ST7 7.1 Soundbar Review

Sony has jumped into the >$1000 soundbar market with the introduction of the ST-ST7 for $1299. Given the fact that Sony already has a presence in the high-end audio community with their ES and AR lineups, we were excited to see what they would do with a $1300 budget for a soundbar. We ran the Sony HT-ST7 through a full barrage of measurements and listening test, and took apart what we could in order to get a look inside. You'll have to read the review for a detailed analysis, but suffice it to say that it isn't perfect. It has a number of strengths, but also some pretty noticeable weaknesses, most notably a high crossover frequency and lackluster subwoofer. Read on for the full review.

We ran the Sony HT-ST7 Soundbar through a full barrage of measurements and listening test, even taking it apart to look at the guts. Our review revealed some big product strengths and some weaknesses.

— September 16, 2013 08:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Canton DM 900 Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer Preview

Canton DM 900 Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer Preview

The Canton DM 900 solution includes not only a wireless subwoofer but also Bluetooth connectivity and high-end audio decoding. While we don't know the price yet, we're looking forward to learning more about this soundbar solution. We've been reviewing Canton loudspeakers pretty much since Audioholics came into existence. One of their earliest design concepts was to put out the best speakers in their class. That was a long time ago but it doesn't seem like they've let up on that goal. Their newest offering is a soundbar and wireless subwoofer that has a lot of people talking.

The Canton DM 900 is a Soundbar solution with a wireless sub. With internal amps, decoding, Bluetooth streaming, and the Canton pedigree, the Canton DM 900 looks to be a perfect bedroom solution.

— September 13, 2013 00:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Phorus PS 1 Play-Fi Speakers Review

Phorus PS 1 Play-Fi Speakers Review

There's a lot to talk about with the Phorus PS1 Play-Fi speakers, but first it's good to just know that they can really fill a room. I think there's not much below around 80Hz, and it's certainly not punchy in the bass department, but the PS1 speaker plays loud. I measured an average of about 89 dB SPL from three feet away using several pop tracks. That's close enough to the 90dB Phorus gives to make me want to trust the rest of their specs. The thing is, there's no audible distortion. It just maxes out and stops—as a speaker should. So we'll cover more of my listening tests later, but know that the Phorus PS1's impressed me right from the beginning.

The Phorus PS1 speaker measures around 8" wide by 6" tall, has dual neodymium drivers powered by class-D amplification, and a large port in the back allows a good amount of mid-bass to come through.

— August 25, 2013 08:30 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Samsung HW-F750 Soundbar Review

Samsung HW-F750 Soundbar Review

Yes, we are reviewing yet another soundbar, but before you complain, this thing is targeted at audiophiles like you me. With an MSRP of $949 (street price closer to $749) and vacuum tube input stage, the Samsung HW-F750 represents a new class of product for the giant electronics company. But, can they actually break into the audiophile marketplace? Sony has successfully made that leap with their ES and AR lineup of speakers, but can Samsung follow suit? For nearly $1000 they are competing with the likes of Atlantic Technology, MartinLogan, PSB, and Definitive Technology, among other audio-oriented companies. We decided to find out and requested a review sample of the HW-F750. We pulled it apart to see the build quality, listened to test the sound quality, and wrote up plenty of suggestions for improvement. Read on to see if we think Samsung successfully made the leap or fell short of the mark.

The Samsung HW-F750 Sound bar charges a premium price($949), but is it really a premium product? We got one in for review and ran it though its paces to find the answer.

— June 05, 2013 12:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Nyne NH-6500 Home Audio Tower Speaker Review

Nyne NH-6500 Home Audio Tower Speaker Review

The Nyne NH-6500 Home Audio Tower is an all-in-one product that does quite a bit. It's actually quite good in terms of dynamic range and frequency response. The twin 3/4" dome tweeters are clear, even at max volume and the clarity is really impressive. Midrange is fairly decent as well, with brass instruments coming through sounding live, not reproduced. Bass is deep and not bloated and I do believe the frequency response numbers. We played some tracks that we know go down to around 30Hz and the Nyne's bass-reflex cabinet handled it just fine. It just has enough near misses as to make it one of the more perplexing products to hit the market in quite some time.

The Nyne NH-6500 Home Audio Tower is an all-in-one product that does quite a bit. It just has enough near misses as to make it one of the more perplexing products to hit the market in quite some time.

— May 28, 2013 23:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews