Soundbars/Soundbases

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Mark Craven  |  Dec 28, 2016  |  0 comments
Acoustic Energy's AEGO Sound3ar (so named because it's part of the company's third-generation Aego range) makes a great first impression. This £200 audio booster has the style charm to appear more expensive. The black grilles, aluminium trim and rounded edges on both its subwoofer and soundbar mix together well.
Adrian Justins  |  Aug 05, 2012  |  0 comments

Bose has to be different. You can’t call the Cinemate 1SR a soundbar, it’s a sound array. Likewise, the sub is not a sub, it’s an Acoustimass module. Bose is also coy about giving out technical specifications, so I know not what the power output is of either component. What I do know is that the ‘array’ has five drivers and connects by cable, or wirelessly, to the Acoustimass module.

Adrian Justins  |  Nov 24, 2012  |  0 comments

The Bose Solo is more of a soundbox than a soundbar, having been designed by Bose to sit underneath your screen rather than in front of it. This cunning approach, where the TV stand is plonked on top of the unit, eliminates the problem of the soundbar encroaching on the screen (or the remote control receiver at the very least), which can happen with shallow stands and/or tall 'bars. From a distance the box looks like a PVR or deck, upon which one would never dream of placing a TV.

Steve May  |  Nov 07, 2012  |  0 comments

It’s a curious irony that soundbars have been shrinking. Originally created to compensate for the thin audio produced by slim TVs, today’s mainstream models are now almost as thin as the screens they aim to support. Boston Acoustics’ TVee Model 30 is different – a heavyweight enclosure weighing 3kg and running almost 1m wide.

Danny Phillips  |  Jul 24, 2013  |  0 comments

The LED-inspired move towards wafer-thin TV screens means there’s no room inside their cabinets for powerful speakers. The result? Weedy, strained sound quality. Little wonder, then, that sales of soundbars have gone through the roof and audio brands are falling over themselves to get a slice of the pie. One such brand is Bowers & Wilkins, which in 2009 launched the Panorama – an expensive, luxurious soundbar that delivered stunning sound quality but lacked crucial HDMI connections.

Adrian Justins  |  Jul 11, 2014  |  0 comments

The aptly-named Cambridge Audio Minx TV is minimalist in several senses, with an absence of controls and displays on its body and a form factor that’s not much larger than a briefcase. It has, however, been stress-tested to support televisions up to 30kg, so its meagre 49cm width could prove the main limiting factor in terms of logistics.

Mark Craven  |  Apr 21, 2017  |  0 comments

Cambridge Audio could have gone back to the drawing board for its latest soundbase speaker, but has instead opted to take its previous TV5 model and refresh its audio chops and connective options while retaining the muted styling and driver technology. It's retained the naming system too, so be aware that this is known as the TV5 (v2), and the more affordable new TV2 is the TV2 (v2).

Adrian Justins  |  Jul 11, 2014  |  0 comments

The Canton DM 50’s design and build are sturdy and unassuming, especially in its black livery (a white option is also on sale). It can bear a 40kg load and has dimensions of 54 x 30cm. There are no HDMI inputs so hi-res BD audio cannot be decoded but digital optical and coaxial inputs provide a pathway for PCM signals with Dolby Digital decoding and DTS TruSurround playback. Wireless Bluetooth audio is compatible with the CD-quality apt-X codec.

Danny Phillips  |  Mar 31, 2015  |  0 comments

Canton’s DM 50, reviewed last year, is perhaps best used with TVs around the 48in mark; the step-up DM 75 on test here supports screens up to 60in (or up to 40kg in weight). Bigger screens need a bigger sound and the DM 75’s roomier cabinet should provide the extra oomph you’re looking for.

Adrian Justins  |  Nov 20, 2015  |  0 comments

All soundbases pretend they're ready for the task of doubling up as a plinth for your flatscreen TV, yet some tend to be quite narrow, making them inelegant – and sometimes impractical – partners for larger-sized screens. The introduction of Canton's lengthy DM100 is therefore a welcome move.

Danny Phillips  |  Nov 23, 2016  |  0 comments

The Canton DM55 soundbase replaces the terrific DM50, offering some new features and upgraded audio. It’s the smallest of three models from the German brand, alongside the DM75 and DM100, which are both designed for bigger rooms and TVs.

Adrian Justins  |  Sep 03, 2015  |  0 comments

The country that gave us democracy, philosophy and, er, ouzo may be in an economic jam but Greece isn’t finished yet. Native brand Crystal Acoustics has what it hopes is a major contribution to home cinema in the form of WiSound. Developed in conjunction with boffins at the University of Patras, this tech claims to up the ante for audio from a single-box product.

Jamie Carter  |  Sep 27, 2018  |  First Published: Sep 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Denon's multi-talented soundbar has Jamie Carter streaming Björk, kicking back with The Last Jedi 4K BD and pondering a wireless 5.1 upgrade...
Adrian Justins  |  Sep 19, 2014  |  0 comments

Focal, with its fine heritage in high-end speaker design, made the decision to join the soundbar club probably after it saw how successful Bose and B&W were doing at the premium end of the market. But neither the Bose Cinemate 1SR or B&W Panorama 2 have external subwoofer options and only the latter has the HDMI inputs that Focal’s Dimension offers. 

Mark Craven  |  Jul 11, 2018  |  0 comments

JBL's Bar 5.1 aims to bridge the gap between the soundbar norm and a multichannel setup, by the addition of wireless surround speakers that unclip from the main enclosure. The idea being that you can bring these out for movie night, and reattach them to the 'bar afterwards. 

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