Most helpful positive review
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Sound for the Price!
on October 3, 2013
I got this for use in another room, but I decided to put it through its paces in the main viewing room so I could get a good side-by-side comparison. I am currently using a Sony 7.1 receiver there (but I only use the 5.1 channels anyway). The first thing I noticed in connecting the unit is that all of the speaker connections are of the twist variety. On my Sony, only the Left, Right, and Center channel speakers are connected this way. It is a pain to connect your speaker wires this way, but they are far less likely to slip out later, so this is a plus. The receiver has only 3 HDMI inputs (my Sony has 4) so I had to leave the XBOX out for this comparison. My TV has 4 HDMI inputs too, so this wouldn't be a problem for me, but many TVs now only come with two HDMI inputs, so having only three here might be a problem for you. It also has one digital coax input and two Toslink optical inputs, but I don't use those anymore, so I had no way of testing that.
From the front, the unit is very attractive looking, and the volume knob looks like it was inspired by Tron. The LED display is clear and easy to read even at a distance. Where it really matters is the sound, and this unit produces. The 75 watts per channel signal is more than sufficient to shake the room while playing AC/DC! Likewise, movies sound great too. I tested it with Star Trek Into Darkness, and explosions were loud while dialogue was still comfortable.
On the downside, I don't like the remote design. I find that it almost wants to slip our of my hand with the wedge design. The controls at the bottom are hard to use one-handed. This brings me to the major downside, HDMI control. If it has HDMI control I couldn't find it. I have a Sony Bravia Smart-TV, so when using the Sony receiver, it uses Bravia Sync to allow me to control the receiver via the TV controls. Its like a universal remote, only without the cost and programming. Likewise, if I put a disk in the BluRay player, it turns on the receiver, switched to the correct input, and turns on the TV. While I don't expect the type of connectivity I'd get out of a full set of Sony products, HDMI control is a pretty basic function and very useful. It should tell the TV to mute the built-in speakers and route the sound to the receiver, but the sound comes out of both unless I mute the TV. Likewise, I cannot control the receiver volume through the TV. It may not be a big deal in your setup, but it is something to consider.
Bottom line: great sound, great price, but limited features.