"The Best Soundbar That I've Heard to Date"
Paradigm's Soundscape 5.1 powered music and movie soundbar uses seven high-performance drivers to deliver an engaging surround-sound experience providing 50 watts of peak power to all seven channels. Digital optical and analog stereo inputs allow direct hook-up of Blu-ray, DVD/CD player, gaming console, satellite receiver or other external source. The DSP-based amplifier design offers outstanding sound quality.
"I've heard a huge number of sound bars… The Paradigm Soundscape might be the best that I’ve heard to date," reports Chris Heinonen in his ReferenceHomeTheater.com review for April 15, 2014. "For great sound quality with little hassle, the Paradigm Soundscape is the sound bar you should go listen to."
Drivers consist of four 4" mineral-filled polypropylene cone woofers and three 1" satin-anodized pure-aluminum dome tweeters. Paradigm's composite cone woofers deliver a superb low-mass, high-stiffness ratio for excellent sound reproduction in the higher midrange and fast transient response. A rarity at this price point, the ferro-fluid-type tweeter cools the voice coil to radically improve power handling, so that reaching the high notes is never a problem.
The driver complements are physically separated into three sections (L/C/R) within the cabinet, ensuring sonic clarity and channel separation. The complement is arranged perpendicularly to achieve the low-profile design.
Paradigm's proprietary DSP platform uses sophisticated algorithms to shape frequency response so that even when Soundscape is playing loud, bass remains clear and musical.
The DSP-based amplifier supplies deep, articulate bass to each of the four high-power polypropylene woofers so that an external subwoofer is welcome, but by no means critical. It is also the processing platform for Paradigm’s proprietary Paradigm Virtual Surround sound processing which helps make this product a standout. Dolby Digital decoding provides improved compatibility with TVs that don’t feature LPCM audio modes.
Easy Command and Control
The Soundscape’s onboard user interface puts easy-to-use controls and options at your fingertips. The interface controls power, volume, and synching of an optional external subwoofer, should you desire one. The integrated seven-character display offers navigation of numerous customizable features including: a dedicated Music Mode, dedicated Movie Mode with Paradigm Virtual Surround, treble/bass adjustments, virtual surround on/off, renaming of sources for convenience and comprehensive IR learning with discrete HEX codes.
Soundscape can learn power on/off, source select, volume up/down and mute from a TV’s remote so that both the Soundscape and the TV can be controlled via a single remote. The system can be configured for use with two separate remotes, one of which could be used for whole-home automation.
Bluetooth and aptX streaming technologies as well as AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile) are part of the package, enabling remote control of Bluetooth sources directly from the Soundscape. This feature also allows you to charge your Bluetooth device from another room while still allowing playback and control via the Soundscape’s remote control or top-panel interface. Soundscape offers specific EQ modes, one for on-wall placement, one for placement on a flat surface.
Connections, Connections, Connections
The Soundscape’s rear panel offers digital optical and analog stereo inputs for hook-up of Blu-ray/DVD/CD players, gaming consoles, satellite receivers and other external sources. Inputs and outputs can be renamed for convenience and include: 2 x Optical SPFIF, 1 x Coax SPDIF, 1 x Analog RCA Right/Left, 1 x Sub-Out and Bluetooth (wireless). Analog outputs are included for wired subwoofer connection.
Connections can be made via the soundbar or through the television itself, increasing the amount of inputs and improving the entire user experience. It’s all easy, and in just a few minutes you can be immersed in your favorite music, movie or video game.
"I've heard a huge number of sound bars through my work with The Wirecutter, Secrets of Home Theater, and Reference Home Theater. The Paradigm Soundscape might be the best that I’ve heard to date. It doesn’t have any major flaws, and it sounds superb. It offers a huge step up over the speakers built into your TV without the complexity of separate components. For great sound quality with little hassle, the Paradigm Soundscape is the sound bar you should go listen to."
- Chris Heinonen, ReferenceHomeTheater.com, April 15, 2014