Soundbars/Soundbases

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Mark Craven  |  Sep 24, 2021  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendThe handsome, compact Sound Bar 550 is compatible with HEOS speakers and a wireless subwoofer for optional 5.1 playback, but Mark Craven discovers it cuts the mustard on its own

The soundbar market is saturated, but amongst the myriad models it's possible to see trends, as brands coalesce around specific price points and feature sets. A disadvantage for Denon's Home Sound Bar 550 (beyond the somewhat clumsy name) is that its basic specification – a compact 'bar with no subwoofer, Atmos/DTS:X decoding with no upfirers – is mirrored by models around the £300 price point. And it sells for £550.

Steve May  |  Sep 13, 2022  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendThe debut Dolby Atmos soundbar from French manufacturer Devialet is a sensational performer, says Steve May

French hi-fi auteur Devialet has a knack for delivering seismic bass from compact boxes, as seen in its celebrated Phantom speakers that rock like enclosures three times the size. Now comes the Dione, the brand's first Dolby Atmos soundbar, and it punches even lower.

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  |  Jan 17, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedJBL understands that many soundbar buyers simply seek an easy-to-use boost to their TV's audio. Its Bar 2.0 All-In-One is a poster boy for plug-and-play
Mark Craven  |  May 25, 2021  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendThis five-channel soundbar combines Dolby Atmos processing with JBL's MultiBeam technology to wring cinematic immersion out of your TV and movies...
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. 

Mark Craven  |  Nov 12, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedJBL enters the Dolby Atmos soundbar market with a flexible 5.1.4 model. Mark Craven listens up

When is a soundbar not a soundbar? When it's JBL's Bar 9.1. On the face of it, this is a premium soundbar/subwoofer system with Dolby Atmos capability, but with its front left/right enclosures able to be removed and used as discrete surrounds/Atmos units, you get a 5.1.4 setup with minimal fuss. Which is how we like it.

Mark Craven  |  Jul 16, 2018  |  0 comments

From the same range as JBL's multichannel-capable Bar 5.1, only less ambitious, comes the Bar Studio. A subwoofer-free, 2.0-channel design aimed at mid-size flatscreen owners, it arrives in the UK with a £150 ticket, meaning it joins an already crowded market of budget 'bars.

Adrian Justins  |  May 28, 2013  |  0 comments

The JBL SB200 is a chunky beast of a lozenge, and at 11cm tall it may obscure the bottom edge of your TV's picture if sat just in front of the screen. Mounting on a separate shelf may be needed or it can be wall-mounted via a supplied bracket. A slider switch is provided for setting the EQ to whichever mounting position you choose.

Steve May  |  Mar 24, 2022  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedSteve May ponders the value of Dolby Atmos, when faced with Klipsch's Cinema 600 soundbar

The Klipsch Cinema 600 puts forward a compelling argument for old-school sonic theatrics. With its distinctive horn drivers (a brand speciality), gutsy subwoofer and dynamic power plant, this mid-ranger compensates for a lack of Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi smarts with its well-constructed wall of sound.

Adrian Justins  |  Nov 28, 2014  |  0 comments

Klipsch’s R-10B soundbar houses two 3in mid-range drivers and two 0.75in tweeters mated to dual Tractrix horns. These horns are filtered down from the Klipschorn, a legendary high-end floorstander which has been in continuous production for over 60 years. Yet while the R-10B might wow you with its sonic technology, visually it’s a different story. It looks about as cutting-edge as a rubber knife.

Adrian Justins  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments

The SB-100 claims to deliver a 5.1 experience through the magic of its so-called 3D sound feature, despite not being equipped with digital inputs or any kind of surround sound decoding. The only sockets are one set of stereo phonos and dual 3.5mm line inputs. Analogue signals are processed by circuitry licensed from Sonic Emotion and delivered to your ears via the SB100’s room-filling multiple drive units. There are six full-range tweeters and a 20W subwoofer that offer a combined 80W of power output, which is four times as powerful as most TV screens’ built-in speakers.

Steve May  |  Mar 20, 2012  |  0 comments

The HLX-56S is an all-in-one home cinema system cast in the shape of a soundbar. With integrated Blu-ray player, digital amplifier, net portal and media streamer, it’s pretty much all you need for instant AV gratification.

Mark Craven  |  Sep 29, 2014  |  0 comments

A few years ago the idea of a speakerbase was just a twinkle in the eye of a Bose engineer. But since the American audio brand, with its Bose Solo TV, popularised the notion of a soundbar that sits under your TV, rather than in front of it, and therefore provides greater cabinet space for larger drivers, plenty of other companies have had a pop, including high-end marques like Speakercraft and Canton and mass-market corps such as Panasonic, Sony and LG. 

Mark Craven  |  Nov 26, 2018  |  0 comments
LG’s SK10Y is a big, beast of a soundbar designed to partner premium 4K TVs, shove their in-built speakers aside and bring on Dolby Atmos-flavoured home cinema entertainment. Manufactured in partnership with Meridian Audio, it takes the top spot in LG's 2018 lineup...

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