Bluesound had added a soundbar to its line of whole-house music players and speakers. The new PULSE Soundbar ($999) is a powered three-way design using six speakers (two tweeters, midrange drivers, and woofers) and two passive radiators, all powered by a 120-watt DirectDigital amp. The optional PULSE SUB subwoofer ($599) will soon be available, as well. The PULSE Soundbar can be added via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to a Bluesound multi-room audio system, and the unit also has built-in Bluetooth. The Bluesound ecosystem supports hi-res audio streaming and MQA file playback, as well as a variety of music streaming services.
Bluesound has introduced the PULSE SOUNDBAR, the company's first soundbar offering and the world's first to feature hi-res network audio streaming. With BluOS, Bluesound's powerful wireless multi-room streaming operating system, the Soundbar enables the TV room to be the heart of a whole-home wireless music system that delivers the world of hi-res music to all members of the household through an easy-to-use app available for smart devices. Intended for use with flat panel displays 42" or greater, the PULSE Soundbar ($999 U.S. MSRP) is available now.
The PULSE Soundbar is all about sonic performance, supporting audio resolutions of 24 bits and up to 192-kHz sampling rate. Furthermore, it supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) high-resolution audio streams, another first in the soundbar category. The Soundbar's sound quality can be compared to fine audiophile speakers, delivering life-like realism, detail and dynamics to soundtracks and movies alike.
Getting this level of performance from a very slim and elegant form required both innovative thinking and advanced design techniques. The PULSE Soundbar uses many high-end hi-fi techniques to achieve its unparalleled performance, including true 3-way speaker configuration with tri-amplification. This means that each driver has its own dedicated amplifier channel, and that we use a powerful DSP for the crossover filters. Each driver is custom developed for this application and includes individually optimized chambers for ideal speaker operation and isolation. The stylish black cabinet is made from extruded aluminum, a premium material typically only found in speakers costing many thousands of dollars--prized for its unyielding rigidity and strength, while allowing the largest possible interior volume due to thin wall construction.
The deep bass extension of the PULSE Soundbar, unheard of in the catgeory, is made possible by a variety of factors, including a large chamber volume, passive radiators, and DSP equalization. Its bass performance is flat to 70 Hz and only down 3 dB @ 55 Hz, remarkable for such a slim enclosure. For those who desire even more bass, later this fall Bluesound will be offering the PULSE SUB ($599). For owners of conventional wired subwoofers, Bluesound will offer a dongle to directly connect the Soundbar to their existing subwoofer.
Like all Bluesound PULSE models, the acoustic design and speaker voicing is performed at Canada's National Research Council by renowned speaker designer and engineer Paul Barton.
The Power and Reach of BluOS
The PULSE Soundbar features BluOS, a proprietary music-only operating system powered by an advanced ARM processor and precision master clock running at 1 GHz. This allows support for almost all audio codecs including MP3, AAC, WMP, Ogg, FLAC, ALAC, and true hi-res audio including MQA. Local music can be accessed via Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet anywhere on the network including NAS drives and computers, in addition to over millions of songs that can be streamed from a dozen or more music services that are natively integrated. Other inputs include Optical and Analog for connecting to your TV and USB for memory drives loaded with music. Bluetooth, with the high fidelity aptX codec, is also included to allow direct streaming from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. The PULSE Soundbar also includes an IR sensor with learning function (TV Connect) to allow your existing TV or universal remote to operate basic sound functions like volume and mute.
A SoundBar That Looks As Great As It Sounds
The beautiful form of the PULSE Soundbar was created by the award-winning industrial designer David Farrage of DF-ID. Many thoughtful and unique design touches make the PULSE SOUNDBAR as practical as it is beautiful. There are three mounting options available; shelf mount or wall mount with the included accessories, or freestanding tabletop display with the optional TV bracket which lifts the TV just enough to allow secure placement of the soundbar directly below the TV. Depending on the mounting option chosen, the wires for AC connection can exit at either the top or the bottom of the bar by flipping it 180 degrees.
To make the Bluesound Soundbar easy and flexible to install, complete accessories are included as standard: 120V and 230V AC power cords, stereo RCA to RCA cable, Ethernet cable, two kickstand feet, two kickstand extenders, and a wall mount bracket with mounting template for simple installtion.
"The PULSE Soundbar is truly an awe-inspiring product", commented John Banks, Director of Market Development and Chief Brand Officer for Bluesound. "Never before has an audio product combined this level of sonic performance with the intelligence and flexibility to drive a whole-home audio system. Both home theater enthusiasts and music lovers alike will readily appreciate what enjoyment the PULSE Soundbar offers them in their main listening room and throughout the house."
• NAD and Bluesound Add Roon Support at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Bluesound Adds MQA Support to Its Wireless Music Players at HomeTheaterReview.com.