Nakamichi Announces 2019 Soundbar Lineup

Nakamichi has announced plans to add three new Dolby Atmos/DTS: X-enabled soundbar systems to its popular Shockwafe series, which includes the Top Pick-designated Pro 7.1 soundbar system.

The 2019 lineup kicks off later this month with the arrival of the Ultra 9.2 SSE ($1,499), which will be followed by the Elite 7.2 SSE ($1,099) and Pro 7.1 SSE ($899) models, slated for release in early (Q1) and mid (Q2) 2019. Described as “true discrete-surround soundbars,” the systems deliver up to 9.2.4, 7.2.4, or 7.1.4 channels of immersive surround sound, respectively.

In addition to Dolby Atmos, the soundbar systems support Dolby Vision high-dynamic range (HDR) and incorporate Nakamichi’s Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) technology, which draws on three processing engines to deliver a “life-like surround sound experience.” A spatial processor engages the system’s tweeters to “enhance directionality and enlarge spaciousness of the surround-sound experience,” while a surround processor upmixes soundtracks and adjusts phase and volume to “optimize the clarity and balance of the surround sound across all channels.”

The final piece of the SSE puzzle is what Nakamichi calls an elevation processor that processes object-based Dolby Atmos and DTS:X-encoded content and “interlaces a height effects sound layer into each of the systems’ 12 to 16 drivers” (12 for 7.1 SSE and 7.2 SSE, 16 for 9.2 SSE) to produce convincing of overhead effects.

The Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 SSE system, hailed as the industry’s first soundbar to include two wireless 10-inch subwoofers in addition to four stand-alone surround speakers, is designed to deliver “evenly-distributed bass and truly immersive 360-degree surround sound that performs consistently in any room environment.” Nakamichi likens the system’s performance to that of a full-featured AV receiver-based surround system that can be set up in 30 minutes. The company has six recommended placement options for the surround speakers to accommodate the acoustics of different rooms (see illustration below).

The Elite 7.2 SSE is a scaled-down seven-channel version of the Ultra 9.2 SSE with two wireless 8-inch subwoofers and two surround speakers. The Pro 7.1 SSE system has a single subwoofer and two rear surround speakers.

“The new Shockwafe SSE soundbars extend our vision of redefining the expectations of a soundbar system,” said Nakamichi USA CEO Rayman Cheng. “Users can transform any room into a movie theatre in approximately 30 minutes with our plug-and-play simplicity, speaker placement flexibility and best-in-class surround sound performance.”

In recognition of Nakamichi’s 70th anniversary, the company is making a free firmware upgrade available to existing owners of Shockwafe DTS:X soundbars owners that adds the new features introduced in the SSE series soundbars. More information on the firmware upgrade, which will be offered for a limited time.

For more information on the new SSE soundbar systems, visit nakamichi-usa.com.

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