Monoprice Sets A New Low Price For Dolby Atmos Soundbars
Monoprice, the electronics retailer known for its exceptionally low prices on audio / video accessories like HDMI cables, wall mounts, and headphones, also makes several speakers, including sound bars. The latest model, the $ 450 SB-600 – a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 channel setup – is a first for the company and offers the cheapest price we’ve ever seen for a discreet Atmos package.
Monoprice has flirted with Dolby Atmos in the past, but his earlier endeavors have been Dolby Atmos virtual designs that use algorithms instead of dedicated upward-facing speakers to create Atmos’ signature overhead sounds.
The SB-600 strives for a more authentic Atmos experience by adding two upward-shooting drivers to the soundbar in addition to the usual left, right, and center channel drivers. An 8-inch wireless subwoofer takes care of the deep, rumbling low-end, while two active, wireless surround speakers fill the left and right surround channels.
This configuration is hardly unusual. We saw similar designs from LG, Samsung, and Vizio. What sets the Monoprice SB-600 apart is its very low price. If you currently want a 5.1.2 soundbar system, you will likely want to spend $ 700 on a new model. Refurbished units can be had for less if you can find them.
The $ 450 monoprice gives you the soundbar, wireless subwoofer, wireless environment, dedicated remote control, wall-mount hardware, and all of the cables you need to connect the system to your TV.
There is a decent set of entrances as well. Two HDMI inputs and a dedicated HDMI-ARC / eARC connection are very generous. A lot of much more expensive devices like the $ 799 Sonos Arc don’t have HDMI inputs at all. These inputs can pass through 4K video, HDR, and Dolby Vision.
You also get a digital coax, a digital optical and a 3.5mm analog input for connecting a variety of audio devices, as well as a USB port for playing MP3 files from an external storage device. There aren’t any Wi-Fi features like AirPlay 2 or Chromecast, but you do get Bluetooth 4.2 for streaming audio from phones and tablets.
This sounds like a pretty cute setup on paper, but the real question is how does it sound in real life. Until we get our hands on a review unit, we remain cautiously optimistic. We have only tested a monoprice soundbar in the past and although the price was very aggressive we did not love it.
A closer look at the SB-600’s hardware specifications reveals details like individual 15-watt drivers in each of the surround speakers, which likely means they can offer little amount of immersion compared to more rugged systems.
Nevertheless, we can still be pleasantly surprised. Monoprice’s other products have been widely recognized for their exceptional value – and the SB-600 could be one of them.