Episode 300 Series 30-inch Three Channel Passive Soundbar Reviewed

By |

Episode 300 Series 30-inch Three Channel Passive Soundbar Reviewed

Page 1 Page 2

Episode-300-series-30-inch-soundbar-review.jpgHigh Points
• The 30-inch soundbar is built to the same exacting standards as the costlier 40-inch model, but it will run you less without giving up much in terms of its performance.
• The 30-inch soundbar can be mounted either on a table, with adjustable tilt, or to the wall below your HDTV using the included hardware.
• Those with smaller rooms and/or HDTVs will be well suited by the 30-inch soundbar.
• The 30-inch soundbar's sound is a touch lean of neutral, though when properly mated with a subwoofer, its signature sound can fill out a bit, bringing it closer to neutral overall.
• Despite being housed in a single chassis, the 30-inch soundbar does an admirable job of sounding like three discrete loudspeakers, complete with a surprising soundstage and extension beyond its physical cabinet.
• Because of its passive nature, the 30-inch soundbar doesn't have to make do with faux surround sound modes and instead can take full advantage of today's modern uncompressed surround sound codecs, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Low Points
• Because the 30-inch soundbar is going to rely just a bit more on a capable subwoofer in order to flesh out its sound, careful integration is required in order for it to sound its best. Having to rely on a subwoofer also does add a bit to the 30's overall cost of ownership.
• Those with larger rooms or a propensity for louder volumes may find the 30-inch lacking when the going gets tough, compared to the capacity of its larger, 40-inch sibling.

Competition and Comparisons
The soundbar category is hotter than ever and seemingly everyone offers a product near or at the 30's price. Among my personal favorites that deserve to be mentioned in the conversation are ZVOX's Z-Base 580 at $599.99, Vizio's VSB-210WS at $299 and Polk Audio's SurroundBar 6000 at $499.95. All three have their unique strengths and weaknesses compared to the 30-inch soundbar from Episode but, like the 30-inch, all are well suited for smaller rooms and/or HDTVs roughly 42 inches in diagonal length.

For more on these soundbars and others like them, please visit Home Theater Review's Soundbar page.

Conclusion
At a hair under $500 retail, the 30-inch soundbar from Episode Speakers isn't the most affordable passive soundbar solution currently available, but it's far from the most expensive. Still, if you have a smaller bedroom or den system built around HDTVs roughly 32 to 42 inches diagonal, you'll be well served by Episode's new compact soundbar, though you'll want to be sure to bring a subwoofer to the party for true, full-range sound, not to mention spirited playback. Even so, for roughly $500, the combination of the 32-inch and a modest sub should make for a wonderful-sounding compact home theater speaker system.

Additional Resources
• Read more soundbar reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore LED HDTVs and Plasma HDTVs to pair with the Episode 300 Series soundbar.
Page 1 Page 2

HTR Product Rating for Episode 300 Series 30-inch Three Channel Passive Soundbar

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

3.5

Overall

4

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


Latest Soundbar Reviews

Jul 31
MartinLogan Cadence Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed Sean Killebrew auditions MartinLogan's Cadence three-channel soundbar, which uses a total of nine drivers and features HDMI video pass-through, Anthem Room Correction, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and DTS Play-Fi.
MartinLogan Cadence Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed

Jul 19
Samsung Sound+ HW-MS650 Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed Samsung's Sound+ HW-MS650 ($399.99) is a three-channel soundbar that uses nine built-in speakers (three tweeters and six mid/bass drivers), each...
Samsung Sound+ HW-MS650 Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed

Jul 05
LG Sound Bar Flex SJ7 2.1-Channel Soundbar Reviewed LG's new Sound Bar Flex SJ7 ($399.99) is a three-piece surround sound system that includes two speaker units and a...
LG Sound Bar Flex SJ7 2.1-Channel Soundbar Reviewed

May 29
Paradigm PW Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed Dennis Burger auditions Paradigm's PW soundbar, a three-channel soundbar that features Anthem Room Correction, HDMI/HDR pass-through, and network functions like DTS PlayFi and Airplay.
Paradigm PW Three-Channel Soundbar Reviewed

May 01
Polk MagniFi Mini 2.1-Channel Soundbar Reviewed Adrienne Maxwell auditions Polk's MagniFi Mini 2.1-channel soundbar system. The Mini soundbar uses Polk's patented SDA technology to produce a much broader soundstage than you'd expect from such a petite package.
Polk MagniFi Mini 2.1-Channel Soundbar Reviewed