Great Sounding Networking Soundbar with AirPlay and Wi-Fi
Not everyone has enough room for multiple speakers in their TV room. Or even if you have the space for several speaker boxes, you might not want to hassle with the set-up or deal with the wire clutter. Fortunately, you can still get great TV and movie sound without the hassle and expense of multiple speakers, thanks to the wizards at Monitor Audio.
And the ASB-2 doesn't just play TV sound. It essentially reinvents the concept of the soundbar, giving you oodles of entertainment options.
The Ultimate Audio Hub
Monitor Audio has conceived the ASB-2 as the ultimate audio hub for the home. It can operate as a high quality soundbar beneath a TV monitor from a tabletop using the included silicon rubber stand or an optional wall mount. But it offers so much more than the conventional amalgam of left, center, and right speakers, including providing wireless streaming along with a generous amount of wireless connectivity.
Apple AirPlay, DLNA, and UPnP enabled, the ASB-2 will wirelessly deliver uncompressed music from files stored on PC or Mac, iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, Android or Windows phone, or streamed from Internet services. That's a lot of capability. In addition to iTunes and DNLA compatible Apps, you can connect and play directly to the ASB-2 without network access via AirPlay Direct.
Wireless streaming is just part of the story. As wonderfully as the ASB-2 performs as a powered Wi-Fi speaker, wait until you hear it with your TV via digital or analog stereo inputs. It boasts two 5-1/2" C-CAM subwoofers, two 4" C-CAM midrange drivers, and two 1" gold dome C-CAM tweeters, coupled to five discrete power amplifier stages.
One of the key design features of the ASB-2 is the use of high performance C-CAM alloy (Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium) for its drivers. C-CAM is extremely rigid and holds its shape during dynamic musical passages. It's also very light, giving high efficiency. This means that the C-CAM drivers will convey more dynamic detail at a naturally faster rate than the drivers you'll find in ordinary speakers, so you can enjoy jaw-dropping musical resolution and movie action that enhances the highest definition pictures.
Built-in 160-Watt Amplifier
The ASB-2 is no lightweight when it comes to amplification. The fully digital built-in Class D amplifier technology delivers 160 watts of total power delivery. That's enough to fill your room with huge amounts of entertainment. An RCA LFE subwoofer output lets you add your own powered sub, if you like.
You can connect in analog stereo mode, or using digital connections take advantage of the ASB-2's 5.1 Linear PCM decoding and 7.1 Linear PCM decoding. Despite it's many options, the ASB-2 excels at user friendliness. The OSD on-screen set-up via HDMI to your TV makes it easy to configure the advanced audio options and makes operation a breeze.
Three HDMI Inputs
Connect a plethora of sound sources to the ASB-2 via its three HDMI inputs and use the HDMI output for 1080p/3D video pass through and OSD. HDMI 1.4's Audio Return Channel (ARC) allows for the two-way transfer of information between the ASB-2 and a compatible device, creating an additional input from the HDMI output.
Digital S/PDIF optical and coaxial inputs add further flexibility, together with stereo analog RCAs for plugging-in legacy radios and CD players. A single RCA LFE output allows for system expansion with an external sub-woofer - crossover filtering is automatic. Network setup and upgrades are via USB or Wi-Fi.
Select input, track, volume, mute, menu, play and standby from the ASB-2's compact handset, or access this functionality from home control screens via hex codes for each remote feature, which can be programmed into a whole-house system by your custom installer.
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Great sound both for movies and just regular music listening. Had some issues with the earlier versions of firmware and Monitor Audio quickly fixed it. It is working exactly as designed. Great customer support from Monitor Audio, they listened and fixed the problem. It has an excellent feature set. My girlfriend loves playing her iPhone playlists on it via AirPlay. After looking at every brands sound bar in the same price range, this is probably the best all round sound bar on the marketplace in terms of audio quality, design, build, and feature set. It just needs an iOS app now. I have it hooked up to a Monitor Audio RSW. 12 subwoofer and it is a solid pairing.
|- HERMANN HESSE, NY|