Aperion Audio SLIMstage30 by Soundmatters
The HT Guys love simplicity and sound bars are exactly that, simple to setup and use. Today we take a look at a new entrant into the field, the Aperion Audio SLIMstage 30 (Street Price $799). Sound bars are great solutions for small rooms, bedrooms, or dens. The SLIMstage 30 is sleek, compact, and when using the Bravus 8A subwoofer, a powerful sound system. If you already have a subwoofer you can save $200 by ordering the same system without the 8A. Each version comes with mounting brackets in case you want to attach the sound bar to the wall just below or above your flat panel TV.
The SLIMstage30 is easy to setup and tune. The entire process took us about 25 minutes. There are three digital (two optical and one coax) and three analog inputs. There are also outputs for rear speakers and the Bravus 8A Subwoofer. For our tests we connected our DirecTV receiver and Mac Mini, both with optical connections. There isn’t much calibration, you can select from four surround modes that include movies, games, Stereo Bypass and Stereo Wide. We found the Movie mode worked best.
There is also an option to customize the EQ which we didn’t use. Finally, you can adjust the level of the subwoofer and the virtual surround. These functions are controlled from the remote control so they are easy to get to and dial in a level that works best for your room.
We tested the system on a variety of content, Movies, Sports, News, and Music. Generally we found the SLIMstage did a good job with everything we threw at it. But what set this system apart from other all in one units is the subwoofer. If we had to choose between rear channels or a subwoofer we’ll come down on the side of the subwoofer every time. The Bravus 8A produced booming effects without muddying dialog. Speaking of dialog, the spoken word was clear and full. Music sounded wide and and full. We were quite happy with how our AAC files reproduced on the device. Watching the French Open Tennis tournament was nice as well. You really felt immersed into the action. We really noticed the echos of the ball being hit by the racquet.
The SLIMstage 30 uses Euphony HD signal processing technology to create an audio sound field to envelop the listener. However, this was the only slight issue we had with the unit. We did not notice a surround effect coming from the sides or behind us. But that could have been a result of our room layout. While movies did sound wider and with the subwoofer more booming, we were hoping for more of a surround effect.
Odds and Ends:
As more people upgrade their secondary TVs to HD they are finding that they want an upgrade in audio as well. Most of us are not going to install a 5.1 or 7.1 system in a bedroom or den. The Aperion SLIMstage 30 is a simple way to upgrade your audio to match the HD experience.
Posted by The HT Guys, June 4, 2010 12:26 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.