ANALYSIS: HOME AUDIO Home Entertainment

April 2021

TCL also recently introduced a new soundbar

to the UK – the TS8132. Users can experience Dolby Atmos with a new dimension driven by no less than eight speakers offering a powerful soundstage. Not only this, but there’s a compact yet powerful subwoofer too. The TS8132 can easily become any living

room’s audio hub, with Chromecast built in; it also works with Apple AirPlay, Google and Alexa, connecting to all popular audio ecosystems. It also supports HDMI with eARC to connect to the TV and supports all audio formats and Dolby Vision compatible 4K pass-thru as well. In addition, many will have seen the launch of


Here & below middle: Denon's Home Soundbar 550. Below, top: JBL Charge 5. Below, bottom: Sony's SRS-RA5000 speaker

Also, with low frequency reproduction down

to a class-leading 20Hz, the AU-Frequency is ideal for a wide range of music. It also uses ultrafast Bluetooth 5.0 technology and comes with a USB-C compatible charge case, and there are touch controls on the outer surface of the earbuds that offer instant playback controls and access to any Voice Assistant supported by the user’s playback device.

Mr Attfield continues: “True Wireless is a real

missed opportunity for electrical retailers as there is a wealth of customers that want better performance than the Airpods or simply something that isn’t Apple-branded, and while the large electronics brands all have True Wireless products, they are sold through every channel and often highly discounted. “Ausounds, which launched in the UK last

year, is sold into electrical retailers through Big Red Sales and backed up by product training, POS and demo samples. “With the high street waking up to retail once

again and disposable income for many customers at an all-time high, True Wireless could be one of the biggest growth areas of the audio market overall this year.”

Supersized sound Also in this issue of ERT is an in-depth look at the latest TV technology (page 24). A lot of the experts believe consumers are replicating a home cinema style in their living rooms; to achieve this, impressive sound is needed and soundbars can be a perfect solution. As part of its brand new 2021 line-up of

consumer electronics, Panasonic announced the new SC-HTB490 Slim Soundbar, which slots comfortably under any television to maximise the viewing experience. Sharing the key features of the manufacturer’s

bigger soundbar models, HTB490 produces a powerful sound with two full-range, forward- facing 4.5x12cm speaker units, resulting in 160W power output. The wireless subwoofer brings an extra 160W into play. Two bass reflex ports, adjacent to the full-

range speakers, fully enhance the bottom frequencies and help this svelte soundbar to achieve a rich, dynamic and involving sound. It also offers Bluetooth for easy streaming from

smart devices and HDMI (ARC) for quick connection to TVs.

Harman Kardon Citation 200

the new Denon Home all-in-one streaming speakers last year, the line-up of which is now extended by the Denon Home Soundbar 550. It’s a compact soundbar supporting Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and a very comprehensive range of music streaming services. And on the subject of soundbars, let’s not

forget the React range from Polk Audio, as discussed with the company’s President, Frank K. Sterns, in this month’s ERT Interview. Moving away from soundbars, however, there

is of course a plethora of other speaker products available. Polk Audio’s Reserve Series product line, for example, consisting of nine models, including three floor-standing models, three centre channels, two bookshelf speakers and a wall- and speaker- mountable height module.


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