The soundbar was first introduced as a compact alternative to a home theater full of speakers. Now, people are seeking out soundbars because they actually sound good.
Paradigm Electronics is the latest company to cram killer sound into this category. However, what makes the Soundscape a standout is that it promises to create 5.1 sound, without the use of an add-on subwoofer.
More soundbars are including the subwoofer as part of the package, and it’s typically wireless. However, Paradigm is putting that perk inside the 42-inch speakerbar—along with a whole bunch of other interesting features.
The actual soundbar has four 4-inch mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofers and three 1-inch satin-anodized pure-aluminum dome tweeters. Everything is divided up into three sections (L/C/R) within the cabinet for a wider soundfield with better clarity. The secret sauce is the DSP-based amplifier, which promises to deliver deep bass to all four of those woofers, making the subwoofer more of an option than a necessity.
Of course, Paradigm isn’t going to begrudge you an actual subwoofer, if you need some extra oomph. The Soundscape has a sub-out on the back, but just know that component is sold separately.
The Soundscape has onboard controls for power, volume and synching of the optional external subwoofer. It also has a seven-character display for toggling between a dedicated music mode, a dedicated movie mode with Paradigm Virtual Surround, treble/bass adjustments, and virtual surround on/off. Around the back, there are two optical digital inputs, one coax digital and one analog RCA input, as well as the aforementioned sub-out.
Bluetooth and aptX streaming technologies, as well as AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile), are also part of this package. Other features include Dolby Digital decoding, separate EQ modes for placement on a wall or shelf, the option to rename your connected sources, and IR learning with discrete HEX codes. The Soundscape comes with a remote, but users can also configure the soundbar to be used with two separate remotes, if you’re looking to add it into a whole-house setup.
“When it comes to value-oriented all-in-one audio solutions, Soundscape is a winner,” said Mark Aling, Paradigm’s senior director of marketing. “This is not your typical soundbar. It offers a much higher level of performance including an immersive surround experience, Bluetooth streaming with aptX technology to ensure high fidelity in a placement-friendly format. Whether it’s a primary sound system or a secondary system, it’s designed for people who want a great-sounding system without any requirement for additional A/V electronics.”
Paradigm is shipping the Soundscape now, with a black gloss finish and an MSRP of $1,499.99.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.