Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
Expensive but Lives up to Reputation
on June 17, 2013
I waited for a while and debated with myself for quite a while as to whether I could justify spending this money and finally gave in when the price came down by $400. I had looked at the SR1 Soundbar as a relatively (only relatively) cheaper option when I finally felt that this kind of technology had reached a level that might be worth trying. My wife had, for a long time, been unhappy with the speakers and wires all over the lounge associated with my several innovations of surround sound. We are keen film fans, and believe that good sound is imperative to really enjoy the full experience of a good film. My surround sound set ups in the past had involved Onkyo, Sony and Yamaha receivers with a variety of different speakers and I had been satisfied, yet never completely happy and in particular with the separation of the vocal sound and breadth of background and music in most films. One of my biggest frustrations, despite having a central speaker, was the lack of clarity in the spoken voice without having to turn up the volume such that the background sounds were too loud.
Anyway, this unit finally arrived, and I chose it over the SR1 because of the multiple HDMI inputs and the fact that it has a headphone socket for late night viewing. The installation was fairly painless, and instructions on screen very comprehensive. As for the proprietary 'headphone' microphones that allow the system to balance the sound for where you sit, I was very impressed with the ease of use and the resulting effect. Once everything was set up, I tried the system out with a variety of inputs; films, music and the iPod connector. INCREDIBLE. That's all I can say. I have experienced a couple of other units including a Yamaha and an LG soundbar and this thing absolutely blows them out of the water. Not only that, the sound reproduction is superior to any of the multiple speaker systems I have used in the past. Whilst it does not produce a completely flawless surround sound from what would have been the back speakers - it comes close to resembling a full surround sound system. But what is remarkable is the complete clarity of the vocals, the beautiful spread of the music and effects spectrum which makes you feel like you are really experiencing what is going on on the screen. I don't know why people complain about Bose - I have heard the rather childish 'No highs, no lows it must be Bose' and I just have to say that these people obviously have no ear for how music and effects realistically sound in real life. What Bose are trying to do is not give you some overarching boom from the bass or overbright treble, they are clearly seeking to reproduce sounds as they might be heard live. As far as I am concerned, they achieve this really well. The subwoofer provides just enough bass to blend into the overall sound and give a good bass response without it sounding like a punk in his beat box car showing off and the treble response is so clear without being thin and reedy. I love this thing and have tested rock, folk, classical and movie soundtracks extensively since it arrived. I have also turned up the volume to near maximum and do not get the kind of distortion of sound that is often heard at these levels. All that being said, if you want more treble or bass, there are options to up the levels and there is even an option to make the sound of voices in films more prominent - but to be honest, I have not yet had to turn this on.
In addition, the accompanying remote control automatically picked up my TV remote control with a couple of inputs from my existing remote, and automatically controlled the ipod without any programming. The multiple HDMI slots are great and my existing set of Bose Headphones sound absolutely great when listening without the speakers. It has really helped my wife by being easy enough to use where in the past the operation of multiple pieces of equipment had sometimes proved to be extremely frustrating.
Highly recommend this unit, which from all the units I have tried and heard in the past, is far superior and I have absolutely no regrets at having had to spend more than I might normally have done to get this kind of sound quality.