Almost all new movies and series are now shown in Dolby Atmos, just like a lot of music. With the right equipment, you’ll hear sound not just from the front, but from everywhere, even from above. With these speakers, you can bring spatial audio into your home.
You like to buy the best product, logically. “Best” is of course an opinion, and in this case ours. With Bright Stuff, we base that “best” on our experience and flair. This time: speakers with Dolby Atmos. This is a more advanced, and therefore simpler, successor to surround sound. You no longer have to purchase a complete surround kit to experience the effect. You can also go a long way with the speakers below.
JBL Bar 1000
Powerful, versatile speakers for media enthusiasts. The JBL Bar 1000 is the successor to the JBL Bar 9.1 and both models have a cool trick. The speaker terminals are magnetically attached and can be easily detached. Then you get two wireless rear speakers, which you place, for example, on the edge of the sofa or the closet behind it. The benefits of a surround set, without the need for a living room full of speakers. The drawback: You have to charge these rear speakers, but you can do that by simply tapping them on the speaker — which is easy enough.
The Bar 1000 supports all modern surround standards, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Sound comes not only from the front and back, but also from above. The Bar 1000 can do this too, by bouncing sound through the ceiling to the listener with upward-facing speakers. This works surprisingly well, especially after a one-time calibration.
With a large 10-inch wireless subwoofer, the Bar 1000 has a total power of 880 watts. This produces wonderfully full, clear sound for movies, series and games, which can truly surround the listener. The standard sound is very faint when listening to music, but this can be adjusted. The speaker is large, but can be placed anywhere in the room and is powerful enough to be felt even from a distance.
The Bar 1000 can be installed plug and play thanks to eARC connectivity. It’s also a nice hub, with 3 built-in HDMI ports for gaming consoles, for example: more convenient than having to sit behind the TV. The speaker also supports all wireless standards: Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, and more. The whole thing isn’t cheap at €1,150, but in our opinion the JBL Bar 1000 is more complete and sounds better than many competitors in the same price range.
The JBL Bar 1000 is available in black for just under 1,000 euros.
Samsung started at €1,000, but has now dropped to less than €700. Then you have a very complete package, because this speaker comes with an 8-inch wireless subwoofer and two wireless rear speakers. Then you get a total of 540 watts of sound, with 9.1.4 channels.
So these nine channels are all around you: five in the front, four in the back, and then another four across the ceiling. You also have two speakers at the front and back that are angled upward, so the sound bounces down through the ceiling. The result: a kind of dome of sound around you, where sound can come from anywhere.
If you also have a Samsung TV, this soundbar has an added function. It supports SpaceFit Sound Pro, Samsung’s AI function that adjusts the entire sound in the room. This is the TV’s smart calibration setting, and is shared with this sound bar. This means that sound is transmitted in a way that optimally fits the room, so that the Atmos effect is more convincing.
Other Samsung features include: Q-Symphony. On newer Samsung TVs, the soundbar can work with the TV. Usually, your TV speakers do not work when a sound bar is connected. However, with the right Samsung TVs, the TV’s speakers stay on, so you have more power, more speakers, and more spaciousness. This works great with Atmos, because this technology is not channel-based, but simply distributes the sound to a larger number of speakers.
The Samsung phone is available in black, and its price has now dropped from €1,000 to €666.
Perfect midrange between speakers. It’s not as large as a full-size model like the JBL above – it’s often 120cm wide and therefore aimed at people with 55-inch TVs. At just under 70cm wide, the Bar 600 is much slimmer and therefore also suitable for people with a smaller TV.
Make no mistake: The Bose 600 still feels larger than you’d imagine. With Bose TrueSpace technology, the speaker scans the room to deliver more expansive sound. It then simulates the presence of non-existent speakers, so that 5.1 or Dolby Atmos sound can be heard. The Bose 600 also reflects sound from the ceiling using upward-facing speakers.
The difference between the built-in TV speakers and the Bose 600 is night and day. Voice and music sound fuller, heavier and more spacious. It’s not as spacious as this expensive set as mentioned above, but Bose has come up with something about it. The Bar 600 can be expanded, for example, with a compact subwoofer for €450, and with two rear speakers for €400.
This makes the Bose 600 a good choice for those who aren’t sure about the full surround sound package, but want a fuller TV sound. Support for AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth makes the Bar 600 quite versatile.
The Bose 600 is available in black at a price of 549 euros.
For more gadgets we recommend, visit Bright Stuff.
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