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Friday
Jun042010

Podcast #428: 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.

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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.

Features: 

  • Slim design with piano black finish to match the aesthetics of your flat-panel TV
  • Complete sound system works right out of the box, no home theater receiver required 
  • An immersive viewing experience provided from a simple two-piece speaker system
  • Projects detailed surround sound from both analog and digital 5.1 signals, without the need for surround speakers or an A/V receiver
  • Front panel 1/8” mini-jack input for iPod/MP3 player with automatic selection
  • Decodes Dolby® Digital and DTS® Digital Surround
  • Euphony™ HD surround sound technology
  • Subwoofer can be placed out of sight, connected to the SLIMstage by a single wire

 

Setup:

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.

 

Performance:

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:

  • Remote Control - Simple and easy access to all the functions of the SLIMstage. Can easily be programmed into a Harmony Remote.
  • Night Mode - The system can automatically control the Dynamic rage to limit reduce large swings in audio.
  • 30 Day in home audition. Try it in your home for 30 days and if you are not satisfied you can ship it back on Aperion's dime.

 

Conclusion:

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.

 

 

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