Soundbars/Soundbases

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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  |  Nov 06, 2020  |  0 comments
With its promise of 5.1.2 immersive audio, a tidy design and Google Assistant integration, LG's SN9YG looks tempting at £600...
Mark Craven  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendMark Craven has an absolute blast with LG's do-it-all SN11RG soundbar

It's always good to have the option of going large, whether that's upgrading your McDonald's order or watching the extended versions of all six of Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies. Now LG is playing to XL lovers with its SN11RG, which is without doubt its biggest – and best – soundbar yet.

Steve May  |  Jul 15, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedIt may lack upfiring drivers, but this affordable Dolby Atmos system compensates with unbridled chutzpah, says Steve May

The SONY HT-X8500 is proof that you don't need to spend big for a truly entertaining Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar. Modestly priced (given that you can easily spend twice as much for a rival system), it's surprisingly compact and compatible with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Steve May  |  May 01, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendBang & Olufsen's first soundbar is an extravagant performer, insists Steve May

The category has been around for more than a decade, but the Beosound Stage is the first dedicated soundbar to come from the Bang & Olufsen stable – and it arrives with a sonic maturity that makes you think B&O has been making these things for years.

Mark Craven  |  Mar 10, 2020  |  0 comments
Yamaha adds Amazon Alexa voice interaction to its YAS soundbar stable – but doesn't forgot to focus on performance too, says Mark Craven

Yamaha's soundbar lineup can feel confused at times, with models dating back as far as 2015 still available (the YSP-5600 and YAS-105), joined but not replaced by later arrivals. In the middle of the 11-strong stable sits the new YAS-209, which represents the pinnacle of its standard soundbars – not endowed with MusicCast multiroom, and not classed one of the brand's multi-driver 'digital sound projectors.'

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
Steve May  |  Nov 21, 2019  |  0 comments
Panasonic’s SC-HTB900 is a cracking 3.1 audio system, says Steve May, but should you expect more given its Dolby Atmos integration?
Steve May  |  Sep 25, 2019  |  0 comments
In this premium, feature-packed home cinema soundbar, proprietary Sennheiser processing makes Dolby Atmos even more immersive
Mark Craven  |  Aug 27, 2019  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedMark Craven enjoys this soundbar's can-do attitude with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Blu-ray mixes

As noted at this year's IFA GPC [see p22], the soundbar market is surging. There's plenty of choice too, from budget models to Dolby Atmos power pushers. LG's SL8YG is one of the latter – a £700 soundbar/sub combi with cinematic immersion on its mind.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jul 18, 2019  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedThe HW-Q70R decodes object-based audio into a 3.1.2-channel soundstage. Will total immersion addict Richard Stevenson be left wanting more?

Samsung's acoustic beaM technology has been squeezed into some slimmer, sleeker-looking soundbars in this year's lineup. The HW-Q70R sits in the middle of the range, with a fair bit of technology ported over from last year's HW-N850, including bringing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding to the feature list. There's no doubt hope it will have big appeal to gamers as well as movie fans, as these next-gen formats gain traction in both camps.

Steve May  |  Jun 11, 2019  |  0 comments
Unboxing Teufel's Cinebar Pro is akin to discovering dinosaurs grazing in Jurassic Park. If you're hoping for sonic evolution you'll be disappointed. This throwback soundbar eschews fashionable immersive sound codecs in favour of conventional 2.1, but still has wow factor.
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...
Mark Craven  |  Nov 16, 2018  |  0 comments
Polk Audio is the latest brand to add wireless rear speakers to a soundbar/subwoofer system, therefore offering a 5.1 solution to those not interested in the more traditional approach based around a separate amplifier, 5.1 speaker package and oodles of speaker cable.

The system in question is the Magnifi MAX SR, available for around £600. It's the expanded version of Polk's 3.1-channel Magnifi MAX, itself a more serious proposition than the compact Magnifi Mini.

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