next trend in Soundbar development... 1 bar with multichannel capability and...

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
...expandability for more desires in enveloping experience.

what is it all about?
its about cramming multi channel drivers which includes the low frequency part into a single body as a one bar solution to fit into small size setup depending buyer?s choice and space limitation that may affect tonal qualities.

SONOS Arc seems to be the first to do so, while there have been such bar designs around, minus integrated low frequency driver built in, but with wireless surround channel expansion capabilities. with SONOS design in such way that already comes with 7.1.2 in a single bar, if one feels not enough bass, optional bass can be achieved thru wireless sub connection. the same applies to surround channel addition if one favors additional 2ch to the Atmos up ceiling reflection setup for more enveloping experience.

coming after SONOS, the Bose 900 and the latest in the market Sony A7000.
next in line, will be PHILIPS Fidelio FB1, and others most likely will queue along this trend that offers wider product sales expandability!
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
a look into the latest product from PHILIPS, the Fidelio FB1
TAFB1_98-D1P-global-001


2 bass drivers? with the "ample" space for air flow, it may sound... well, if you've European side of hearing.
we're very much tuned to American/Aussie side of bass... for movies playback, such default system is not enough. but certainly will sound well with musics.​
 
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
our encounter with the new-ownership Nakamichi brand products had been very limited.
it's either we see limited stuffs @ POPULAR Bookshop outlets or some little range of products appeared in some places such as Challenger or other selected retailers...

little we know,
there was a direct challenger from Nakamichi to compete with PRISM+ Symphony
that is the most budget friendly 5.1.2 soundbar in the market right now. the APOLLO 520.
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unlike the PHILIPS FB1 above with dedicated tweeters to the 3 frontal channels,
Nakamichi goes with full(or limited range?) range drivers for all channels, with exception to subwoofer.
we may have doubt with the capability of those small drivers, but little we know from the official site,
this system comes with 8inch sub that is not indicated, but only can bee seen from Australian Retailer page.
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for other specification details, which you can't really see much from Lazada Shop or Shopee Store as well as official product site, refer to the screen caps below
[attachment=3]
[attachment=1]

from the specification details you can see... it seems almost close to the PRISM+ Symphony 5.1.2 which is gaining popularity because of it's competitive price*, and perhaps dedicated tweeters to the Atmospheric Channels. both systems do not have further wireless connectivity to additional surround channel upgrade options like POLK Magnify MAX SR that was just recently launched in various markets... except our little island.
*(@ list price of $700, additional savings with e-coupon applied)

for your interest, if you wanna get this Nakamichi Apollo 520, you can either order thru Lazada or Shopee Nakamichi store. for alternate retail, forget Challenger or Mustafa. Go to iCHANGI instead for promotional savings instead.
 
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
when we are talking about multi-channel in a single bar...
how could i have forgotten the "pride" of local engineering,
CREATIVE with their uber pricey X-Fi Sonic Carrier that the price alone,
could get you a decent piano? or probably a B&O Soundbar... if you fancy one.

The X-Fi Sonic Carrier is too pricey, and perhaps not pragmatic to audiophiles.
So... CREATIVE's "next best" offering to consumer, the SXFi Carrier, comes to the market.
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@ $1.5K, some probably could argue that this is a direct competitor to Sony.
however, if we're to be picky... we could argue back that other mainstream marques,
especially the Koreans, shows us we can have the 2 key multi-surround format from both world,
budget friendlier, expansion ability is there as well.
Aww... look... how... small and cute those main channel drivers are!

there's only one part which i can't argue, the default configuration of 10inch sub...
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...is niche in this price sector, that makes it "Sonically" competitive...​
 
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
does a replacement model with new design and higher price tag often symbolize improvement?
perhaps yes... perhaps no... it depends on how one digs out the gains and losses, improvement and disappointments between the new and old.

here, lets take a look at the new* SONY HT-A5000 which is supposedly to replace HT-ST5000 which doesn't comes with any expand-ability.
*(not listed in SONY Official page yet, but now listed in Harvey Norman site)

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this is the single bar, integrated subwoofer 5.1.2ch A5000 driver layout picture which takes sometime for me to figure out where the surround channels is located, and how it looks like.
the standard configuration in a sales package is just the bar alone. to individuals' option, wireless sub-woofer and additional surround speakers are available for further soundfield expansion.
such expandability knocks out the 7.1.2 ST5000 for sure. however, expandability comes at a cost. where the ST5000 comes default in package, a wireless sub-woofer with passive radiator.

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the ST5000 is more mysterious when comes to locating the 4 surround channels. but in comparison to the 2018 design, pushes the pressure built-up in the main body from the air generated by vibrating bass from the integrated bass drivers to the dedicated sub. which to most of us, believes that lesser pressure, lesser damages to the key electronics in the system.
in comparison, 2018 ST5000, comes with 4 HDMI connections, 1 output to TV with eARC, and other 3 inlets. this... is where the new A5000 loses out in the connectivity game.

while the outgoing ST5000 is offering @ $1700 w/o further price cut,
the A5000 is now sold at the price of $1800($1400 in Australia**) with no further discount.
**RRP( https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/sound-bars/ht-a5000 )

for your reference... RTings comparison review between the old and the new.
 
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
does a great number of drivers in a soundbar often signifies multi-channel capability?
SHARP shows you it isn't always so... despite their selling point of their highest priced model
is touted as an ATMOS soundbar!

here's a look @ 10ch into
a sleek space-vessel design 8A-C22Cx1 soundbar which SHARP SG*considers* as their latest.
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and the clearer identity of the drivers function
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3 drivers for the low-frequency! and the system package by default, comes with a dedicated wireless sub-woofer! this is certainly a sweet bassy desert for bass heads. but virtual ATMOS in technically 2.1 setup? a no-no for movie-philes.

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if you have a technical mind, you'll be scratching your head. @ the length of 1.2m, the main body should be able to accommodate fully functional basic ATMOS separation of 3.1.2 with ability of 2ch wireless surround connections.
but 10ch drivers in a body with just stereo/virtual 2.1 ATMOS? is this a MusicBar or MovieBar?

anyway... there is a MovieBar with true 3.1.2 separation.
just that it's only available across the bridge in Malaysia...
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
Ed.YANG said:
a look into the latest product from PHILIPS, the Fidelio FB1
[attachment=0,msg18082]
https://www.philips.com.sg/c-p/TAFB1_98/fidelio-soundbar-7.1.2-with-integrated-subwoofer
[attachment=0]
@ this price... this is targeted at folks who shows greater interests on SONY A5000 which is priced $100 more.​
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
the DRAGON had raised from the ground... and oddly, the oriental mythical creature flies to the West to make it's appearance first!
now in a "true form" in a single long body that measures about 1.5m long!

螢幕擷取畫面 (168).png

this is... the Nakamichi DRAGON!
the DRAGON that will need a TV console that measures longer than typical 1.2m in length and also might require long walls on either sides such that side surround signals can bounce off effectively.

how far had engineering design on beating to recreate height channel limitations had come?
the first Atmos setup most of us knew, in separates, were physical presence of speakers hidden in faux ceilings. however due to some limitations in different home settings, in the later days, height channel thru sound bouncing is introduced and it seems like the latter solution is most adopted setup nowadays.
such bouncing "logic" is later integrated into soundbars, such that soundbar users wouldn't need to live with "ATMOS Virtualization" with those 3.1 or 2.1 systems. the Koreans, roughly more than a year back, introduce the concept of 3 "height bounce" channels for more enveloping effects. now, the DRAGON comes with 4.

Nakamichi-Dragon-1152x633.jpg

the DRAGON is a 21channel system according to what most other medias reported.
where the main body packs 15 radiators, 4 of which are pointing upwards. so... if there are 4 radiators pointing upwards... where does the other 2 goes? since this DRAGON is been advertised as a 11.4.6 system?
isn't the other 2 are hidden in the wireless connection surround channels? which look like a dipole surround speaker as well? factoring in the dipole surround... how many channels is this system configuration?

i guess the confusion will be cleared, when Nakamichi corrects and update their advertising materials to the public and medias...
btw... just few days into CES event and exhibition, this DRAGON already snapped the Digital Trends Award as the best soundbar in CES2023!​
 
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Cash

Well-known member
the most interesting part about this Nakamichi Dragon soundbar, is that it uses "AMT" Tweeters!!
a 1st in soundbar tech!!
Wow!!
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
"it's 2023! and now, every household can have truly multi-channel Dolby ATMOS setup! FUCK VIRTUALIZATION!!!"
;D yep... that's the message* to CREATIVE from PRISM+ with the introduction of the most budget friendly 3.1.2 system, the RIPPLE ;D
*(no such real official statement from one SG company to another fellow SG company. this is just a mockery remark)

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3.1.2ch in a single bar is nothing new. the Koreans had brought us to that tech few years back. then followed by the Japs. then China Chinese tech companies blows it wide... while our own, internationally renowned marque, Creative gives us the STAGE360 which in fact is a 2.1 Atmos Virtualization System.

@ a dollar under $500, PRISM+ RIPPLE beats most other 3.1.2 systems in the market, on the score of "Budget Friendly". PRISM+ score doesn't come without any sacrifices. when put along with other 3.1.2 competitors alike, from established marques such as Polk with their Signa S4($599), and PHILIPS TAB8947($499 at selected retail).
PRISM+ won against POLK on woofer driver size by .5inch.
PRISM+ lose against PHILIPS on woofer driver size by 1.5inch.

now it's on the side of Creative's diligence and effort... will they come out with a Creative engineered and designed STAGE360 v2 that would be able to beat PRISM+ on performance and value!​
 
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
so much for a premium soundbar that claims to be a "Singaporean Engineer's Pride"!!!
https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/threads/creative-sonic-carrier-power-board-repair.6870041/
$8000, and it last for... 6yrs. any under $1K product from other makers would last better... more than a year.
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
Yamaha shouldn’t be waiting,
while other major players in the audiophile arena are pushing out, multichannel soundbar system with expandable expansion capability!

here is Yamaha's 2023 answer
to brand supporters call, with Yamaha Tru-X series!

3fa7cdcad38712f885aa08ae6f0fb3f81e50bf7c.png


the system starts with a 600euro 2.2.2 bar branded as True X Bar 40A which packs a left+right stereo front channel drivers, 2 height shooting drivers, and 2 3inch low frequency integrated subwoofers.
44ef85a1505290df0ec6dfb9344b0428d95b995d.png

in another retail package with a dedicated wireless subwoofer added,
the system is re-modelled as TRUE X 50A.
wireless surround speakers are sold separately.


the Yamaha True-X system according to official specification listed in European page, is not DTS-X or IMAX-Enhance Audio Certified.
currently not listed for sale in Singapore Official Site yet.​
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
among many other Chinese marques,
currently, only from HiSense, comes a soundbar with expansion capability... the U5120G, 5.1.2ch soundbar package that comes with a dedicated wireless subwoofer.
9.jpg


what would make this soundbar attractive to buyers of under $1K Atmos Soundbar choices?
to bass heads,
most would be attracted to the subwoofer that packs a driver of 8inch size... that's often not seen from Korean producers like LG and SAMSUNG that are priced under $1K.
next,
would be eye catchy to Audiophiles,
the "certification badge" of Hi-Res Audio, as well as DTS-X capability.
06-Hi-Res-Certified.jpg


lastly,
expansion-ability to add wireless surround channels to create enveloping sound field. however, the local retail package doesn't comes with wireless surround speakers like mainstream producers' products may do... for example the PHILIPS 5.1.2ch TAB8967.
sg-11134207-7qvfu-lhmvyjm7p12y55

the wireless surround channels have to be purchased optionally and it's not widely available in local market, unless interested buyer could get from HiSense exclusively.
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Ed.YANG

Well-known member
with optional wireless surround speakers add in, the HiSense 7.1.2 system would easily total close to $1.2K.
@ this price range, the close to 1yr release of Polk Magnify AX-SR package...
v2-6c1ab934a2824deb01092f7f12dc0388_b.jpg

...priced now around $1.4K would draw attention of interested buyers the HiSense system with 2 key attractions:-
Magnifi-Max-AX_5050_back-closeup_GB.jpg

1. 3-in, 1-out HDMI connectivity,

polk-audio-magnifi-max-ax-sr-chromecast-bluetooth-airplay2-spotify-connect.jpg

2. bigger & punchier low-frequency driver sized @ 10inch!

one thing i would like to comment on the design of the soundbar though... is that both the surround channels and the frontal channels on the 5.1.2ch soundbar, shares the same tweeter to each sides!
it... doesn't kind of make sense!​
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
starting list price comes close to Creative's Stage 360 when Creative's virtual 2.1 was launched back then.
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if buyer feels that bass is not enough, can opt for dual sub configuration that goes up to $600.​
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
😁 i wonder did SONICGEAR "Engineering Team" had made a test to their subs with EDGE OF TOMORROW track? before pushing their products to the market... 😁
 

Ed.YANG

Well-known member
the finalize prices seems to be jacked up from initial launch.
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...or was the previous prices were actually pre-order deposit figures? anyway...

from one computer sound product accessory manufacturer to challenge another "established local marque" whose first multichannel soundbar is on the verge of phasing off, considerably old in engineering...

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SonicGear's first Dolby Atmos soundbar system that comes in 3 configurations is priced... ehh... to challenge Creative's SXFi Carrier that comes with just one 10inch wireless sub, and PRISM+ systems that comes with different sized subs, depending on the models one may eye on.

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to take on PRISM+ multichannel entry model, the RIPPLE with 6.5inch woofer sub, SonicGear's $499 StudioBar 3000 comes with a bar in 3.0.2 configuration and a wireless sub-woofer shown above the packs a down firing 8inch driver.
to take on the SYMPHONY system from PRISM+, SonicGear's $699 StudioBar 6000 system may look identical to StudioBar 3000 in terms of content but comes with addition of 2 wireless surround speakers that pushes up the system configuration to 5.1.2.

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SonicGear's $999 StudioBar 9000, to take on Creative's SXFi Carrier that's now on the way priced low to clear stock, making way for probably 2nd Version that might come in 2024, comes with the same package as StudioBar 6000 but with an addition of another sub-woofer, that pushes up the system configuration to 5.2.2.

SonicGear's Atmos Soundbar package doubles as Karaoke Soundbar system that which ever package one chooses, will have 2 wireless mics included.
check out SonicGear's listings for more details.

full specifications here...
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