Earlier in March, PRISM+ showed us their latest series of Dolby equipped sound bars which aims to bring a superb cinematic audio experience to your living room at a very affordable price. Starting at only S$269, such deals seem to be too good to be true.
The PRISM+ Soundbars come in two models – PRISM + Flow, which is a 2.1 soundbar with Dolby Audio, and the PRISM+ Symphony, which is a 5.1.2 Soundbar with Dolby Atmos. They costs S$269 and S$699 respectively.
In our labs today, we’ve got our hands on the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar. No doubt, the PRISM+ Symphony is indeed one of the most pocket-friendly Dolby Atmos Soundbars in the market today. Does it really sound as good as it seems? We put the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar to the test to determine if it meets the mark.
The PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar
PRISM+ has kept the Symphony soundbar’s design simple and minimal, making it suitable for all different types of setups you have at home. The meshed grill design helps to keep the internal speakers protected from external damage ensuring that they are able to perform as intended. However, we did realise that the two speakers at the side of the soundbar are left exposed.
Don’t belittle the Symphony soundbar. Just within such a package, we can spot four center aligned full-range speakers. To ensure that sounds from the higher frequencies can be optimally reproduced, they have also included tweeters as well. Also, as a Dolby Atmos certified soundbar, the PRISM+ also features the upward firing speakers that throws sound behind you to create that surround effect.
There are just 4 simple buttons on the soundbar, which allow you to access all the various features that come with it. These four buttons are the power button, source button and volume control buttons. Furthermore, there is also a LED display at the front of the soundbar that helps you to know which setting you are on. By default, it also shows the current music source you have set the soundbar to.
Thankfully, you can also adjust the brightness of the LED display, or even turn it off it required. This certainly reduces the distraction from the lights coming out of the soundbar that may affect your movie experience.
PRISM+ has also given the Symphony 5 different audio profiles – Movie, Music, Sports, News and Gaming. Regardless of the type of content you are consuming, the PRISM+ Symphony can be tuned to perform optimally for that scenario.
At the rear of the soundbar, we spotted the 2-pin power jack, SPDIF Coaxial and Optical jacks, a USB Type-A port, an 3.5mm AUX jack and 3 x HDMI ports. The first HDMI port (eARC) allows you to connect the soundbar to your TV or media player, where lossless audio and supported formats can be passed to the soundbar directly. In this case, if you want the fully Dolby Atmos experience, you will need to make use of the HDMI eARC port.
The two other HDMI port are input ports, you can passthrough both video and audio signal to the HDMI out port.
To ensure that the PRISM+ Symphony can give that extra impact that is felt in theatres, a 8″ wireless subwoofer is also paired with the soundbar. This subwoofer also works wirelessly, and you can easily pair with with the main soundbar just by pressing the pair button at the back of it. Such a design allows you the place the subwoofer wherever you want, without the constraints of electrical or audio cables running around your TV setup.
How did it fair?
Of course, to properly test a Dolby Atmos soundbar, I’ve definitely got to play content that comes with Dolby Atmos audio. Most popular streaming services host content with support for Dolby Atmos, such as Netflix and Disney+. Without much effort, I was able to quickly hook my smart TV via HDMI eARC to the soundbar and get things going.
On Disney+ most Marvel Avengers movies are Dolby Atmos enabled. I went with Avengers: Endgame.
All I got to say, is that the PRISM+ Symphony soundbar changed the whole movie viewing experience I had. Never had I thought that I am able to so well replicate the whole movie theatre experience in my house/office. With the spatial audio technology, I could certainly feel the sounds coming out from the different places around the room. Together with the expressive range of frequencies that the soundbar was able to produce, the whole audio experience was wholesome. It just seems that the sounds are so close to you, and when sounds feel so real, they can invoke a certain emotion in your mind when watching a movie.
Particularly for the movie, I was genuinely excited and nervous at the famous Final Battle scene. The sounds from that movie, enabled by the impressive Dolby Atmos technology and the PRISM+ Symphony soundbar, allows me to fully immerse myself in the movie.
While all is good for movies, I did find the PRISM+ Symphony soundbar rather lacking with other types of listening scenarios, even with the correct sound presets mode selected. For example, while watching a speech on the TV, I would prefer the voice of the speaker to sound clear and portrayed right out in front of me. Instead, it seems that the audio could sometimes be artificially made to create virtual surround sound effect, which doesn’t seem all that natural. Particularly while listening to music and songs, while I would want very clear and intimate vocals, the voices could just sound rather far way instead, and had that lack of clarity.
Final Words and Conclusion
The PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar has got all it takes to transform your living room home theatre into a full-fledged cinema. With support for Dolby Atmos, the PRISM+ Symphony could magically direct sounds to the right locations, giving you the sense of having sounds coming from all around you. It brings a whole new level of immersivity in watching movies at home, which could sometimes be even better and more comfortable than what you get in theatres.
PRISM+ has also made the Symphony Soundbar very easy to setup and hook up to your TV or home theatre system. We were able to get things started quickly and easily. Together with it’s competitive price point, the Symphony Soundbar is certainly a product that is worth considering.
If you are looking to upgrade your home’s speaker system, do consider the PRISM+ Symphony Soundbar. It is currently retailing at S$699, and it is available online at PRISM+ Website.