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If you’ve replaced your TV with a flatscreen so you can see every detail, one thing you don’t want to see is a bunch of cables – and that’s where a wireless surround sound system comes in. When it comes to cinematic magic. , you don’t want to be thrown out for a second by the array of connected speakers. Whether you’re thinking of upgrading from a single speaker to enhance dialogue or starting from scratch to build an immersive theater setup, our selection of the best wireless surround sound systems compromises on audio quality and makes things smaller.
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I looked at and reviewed products – both in the home audio industry – that I had turned off throughout the 21st century in stores that included.
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Staff, we tested the differences in these wireless surround sound systems. In our best experience, these wireless surround sound systems have all proven popular with professional reviewers. Each of these systems offers something a little different from the others, but they all include satellite rear speakers because we wanted to narrow this list down to surround sound systems. Some sound bars and soundbar/subwoofer combinations do an impressive job of creating immersive surround sound (you can read about the best Dolby Atmos surround sound and the best budget options that support object-based audio formats if you want a little more). Still, this list is for those who want the full experience.
From a powerful dual-subwoofer system to a sound bar that holds rechargeable rear speakers, these wireless surround sound systems cater to the varying desires of how deep in immersive sound you want to go. If filling one room with sound isn’t enough, other options allow you to expand into a multiroom system. Common thread is no speaker wire but no loss of physical speakers that bring sound around your home.
Why it made the cut: This 2022 update to a proven and powerful system packs in hardware improvements and new software implementations to make your wireless home theater a literal and figurative experience.
Even before the March 2022 update, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 surround sound system (still available) would have made this surround sound list for its immersive, realistic sound, audio clarity, and big bass rumble from its twin 10-inch speakers. powerful subwoofers. Consumers and critics alike have been showering it with adoration since 2017.
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But the new Shockwave Ultra 9.2.4 eARC SSE Max system advances in almost every imaginable way with hardware and software upgrades. It now has HDMI 2.1 connection and eARC on the TV to provide the highest quality lossless audio, 4K HDR and Dolby Vision video, and features such as variable refresh rate (VRR) on consoles of the gen- next gen. It also has Bluetooth 5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD – rare sound bar system – and that allows you to stream Bluetooth audio up to 24-bit digital quality.
The SSE Max designation refers to Nakamichi’s new technology – currently the only one in this system – for creating 360-degree immersive audio in the home theater. It is a combination of three Shockwafe engines around Spatial Surround Elevation to improve the feeling of width in the sound area, to balance the mix of surround sound for all speakers, and to create audio height effects in target formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. .
Upgraded hardware includes upgraded twin-cone drivers for the sound bar, new high-end amplifiers and improved drivers for the subwoofers, and 2nd-generation Quad Modular Surround Speakers with silk dome tweeters and twin -extended cone. drivers. A new matte-black finish and a 2nd-gen backlit remote round out the updates, which Nakamichi based on customer research, beta tests, and feedback from customer reviews. The $1,899 MSRP Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC SSE Max requires a lot of space, power generation points, and experimenting to find the right setup for four surround speakers, but it rewards your effort with a powerful cocoon and lifelike sound. (And the sharper, more expensive ultra-flagship we hope to try, the quad-sub Dragon, was announced at CES 2023.)
Why it made the cut: JBL cuts more cords out of your life with its Bar 9.1 system, which uses the soundbar to charge battery-powered surround speakers that don’t even have to be plugged into wall outlets.
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If you’re looking for a wireless surround sound system with a simple setup, it doesn’t get much simpler or truly wireless than the JBL Bar 9.1. While the wireless component in most systems means you don’t have to attach a speaker wire, you still need to find a power outlet to plug in all the satellite speakers around you. Not so with Bar 9.1. Its rear surround speakers come from the sound bar unit and run on battery power for up to 10 hours. When you’re done, place them in the sound bar to recharge for about three hours. (Or you can charge them independently via MicroUSB.) While the rear speakers are charging, you can still use the full surround sound system. When you take them out again, see their distance from the sound bar to measure the sound. But you can use the automatic calibration tool to create a sound mix for your room on your first setup or any other time you move the rear speakers.
For immersive 3D audio formats that send high-quality sounds such as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, the Bar 9.1 has two speakers burning in the soundbar and one in the satellite units, with speakers firing in front. Combining the surrounds and the subwoofer, the 5.1.4 performance of the Atmos is very satisfying in a balanced system like this, but the Bar 9.1 also has a neutral and balanced sound that works well in the entire audio gamut, in listening to the spoken word. things to watch for a big-budget blockbuster movie. The mid-2023 update of the JBL sound bar line – one of which, the JBL 700, we had the opportunity to audit – promises to take this expanded all-in-one concept to a new, well, length (and length and depth. ) and introduces the JBL 1300X as the latest. That doesn’t mean the JBL Bar 9.1 is outdated, however.
Why it made the cut: Audiophile-grade sound combines with powerful internal performance in a system that can expand to multiroom audio.
If you are willing to combine your purchases, the Bluesound PULSE “by audiophiles for audiophiles” wireless surround sound system is very technologically efficient and is the first multiroom system to support the MQA format that “wraps” and “unwraps” digital data to transmit. high-res audio without a ton of bandwidth. With the SOUNDBAR + as the main element (shown above), combined with the dual-band WiFi 802.11ac-equipped PULSE SUB + and the equivalent wireless PULSE FLEX 2i or PULSE M satellite speakers, the system can expand the content of stereo channels two in a wide soundstage. thanks to audiophile-grade Bluesound drivers, a high-performance digital-to-analog converter, and a clean, powerful Class D amplifier. Eight front-facing speakers include a 1-inch tweeter, a 2-inch mid-range driver, a 4-inch woofer, and a 4-inch passive radiator—one set on the left and one on the right – designed for streaming music thanks to a powerful quad-core ARM processor that handles high-quality audio at blazing speed. The resulting, authoritative sound carries vocals with visceral detail, while the overall tone is balanced, it never could be. Lows and mids sound warm but not overpowering, and treble is accurate without sounding harsh.
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If you have a wealth of high resolution downloads / ripped digital music, Bluesound can be used as a Roon endpoint if you set up a compatible music server on your local network. Alternatively, you can stream lossless music directly to iOS devices via AirPlay 2 over WiFi and/or high bitrate, though lossy streaming with any device that supports Bluetooth (Android-compatible devices can connect via aptX HD). If you subscribe to Spotify and / or TIDAL, both of those services have a natively supported service “Connect”, then the highest quality stream will go directly via WiFi to the SOUNDBAR +, bypassing your phone. The BluOS app integrates source control, as well as providing specific EQ. Connected to the TV via one HDMI (e) ARC connection, the length of the range, but not very visible Bluesound PULSE SOUNDBAR+ describes Dolby Atmos material directly but minimally, although it is more efficient in its length than in its width due to the lack of equipment. top drivers. It renders music compellingly without continuity, although there are interesting audio modes and mixing options to experiment with.
According to our editor-in-chief, who received a complete setup of Bluesound PULSE, the addition of a pair of FLEX 2i speakers allows the sonic texture to be more open and more clear – the most effective when watching Atmos films.
Or while playing local audio selections from Apple Music on Apple TV 4K. Music, in particular, feels real, with a well-rounded display from a horizontal position – SOUNDBAR+ with surrounds ensures that all the edges of a song are fully transmitted without losing anything that goes down as it turns on. And if you have high ceilings or a wide, open viewing area, adding physical surround speakers makes a world of difference in comparison.
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