Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Mentioned: 277 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6600 Post(s)
First things first. Tested HDMI with my PC. It passed UHD up to 60 Hz and HDR through HDMI, which means it can be used for gaming as well as TV, music and movies.
Meanwhile "stereo" sounds really good. Again, usually "stereo" underwhelms me, but on this soundbar I like what I hear with it when considering the MSRP.
I just don't know what to make of "surround" but I still have to try it on games and movies and measure it, so more on that soon. Looks like I might need a firmware update.
Stereo mode is impressing me... listening to Action Bronson's new album Blue Chips 7000. Even the sub is bumping along nicely.
Oh, as an aside, I'm putting a 40 foot Blue Jeans brand HDMI cable through some fairly rough workouts, swapping between gear and unplugging and re-plugging. It did not occur to me that as a reviewer I put much more stress on cables than a regular consumer would, but it's true.
Time to update the firmware and...
OK, that was easy enough, and it's done. And now, the moment of truth...
Phew, DTS Virtual:X is delivering a significantly expanded sound field that also appears to be somewhat elevated above the physical height of the soundbar. The upshot is that sound appears to be coming from the screen, not under it.
But, DTS Virtual:X comes at the cost noticeably altering the tonal balance of the source material but it's not clear if it's actually less accurate or just brighter.
It appears that DTS Virtual:X will work well with at least some music genres, for example I would say Deadmau5 benefits from the effect. But you might not want to use that mode when listening to acoustic recordings and vocals. Or maybe you will, because the added sense of space is nice.
More good news is that the stereo mode sounds great for a $300 soundbar. To my ears, it is quite faithful what an accurate in-room tonal balance should be. You have to give up the broad, elevated soundstage for it but I think that's a fair trade—it's a two-trick pony! You can still choose the one you think sounds best with any particular song or album. And as a bonus, it plays nice and loud for something in its price class...
Mark Henninger, Senior Editor at AVS Forum
Last edited by imagic; 09-19-2017 at 12:09 PM.