Boston Acoustics P400 Three-Channel Soundbar Speaker Reviewed

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BostonAcoustics-P400-Soundbar-Reviewed.gifHigh Points

• The P400's fit and finish is quite stylish and sturdy and should fit with a wide variety of decors.
• The P400 is the best of both worlds, a soundbar that you can treat like three separate left, center, right main speakers. The P400 can grow with you and your system instead of becoming obsolete whenever Dolby or DTS releases a new surround sound format.
• The P400 shines at being an all-in-one home theater speaker and should fit the bill nicely for enthusiasts with space constraints and budget concerns. It may not be the best speaker for larger home theater or living spaces though.
• The P400 has a lively, upbeat, dynamic sound that is fun and engaging to listen to without becoming harsh or grainy. Keep the volume within reason and the P400 won't disappoint; push it to hard and it can and will begin to breakup.

Low Points
• Not so much a low point as it is stating the obvious, but if you want a true home theater experience with the P400 as the center piece then you're going to need to pop for a separate subwoofer (or two) and a pair of rear channel speakers. Again, not the end of the world but it will drive the total system cost up a bit.
• Because the P400 doesn't have any internal amplification or surround sound processing it does require the consumer to purchase a receiver and a source like a Blu-ray player to drive them, which may or may not be defeating the purpose of it being a soundbar. Personally, I love that the P400 is essentially three speakers in one chassis for I find it increases its long-term value to the consumer by not becoming obsolete every time there is a new format introduced.
• The P400's sound can fill small to medium sized rooms nicely. However if you're rocking a great room or large media room you may want to step up to some dedicated on-walls or better still some floorstanding speakers.

I like soundbars, I think they're cool and a great way to get into the home theater space without having to spend tons of money. What I don't like about them is that they're usually limiting in terms of an upgrade path, which may render them obsolete when a new sound format is introduced. What I love about the P400 is that it gives the consumer all of the benefits of a soundbar, sleek design, various mounting options, single chassis design and more with none of the drawbacks I mentioned earlier because it is three speakers in one. I dig it and I would strongly urge anyone considering purchasing a "traditional" soundbar to audition the P400 before making your final decision.

Additional Resources

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HTR Product Rating for Boston Acoustics P400 Three-Channel Soundbar Speaker

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