The Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 Sound bar from Soundmatters is a sleek, slim, well-designed profile speaker system, which provides theater-like sound systems for flat-panel HDTVs. Making it perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and children’s play areas. You also have an option to add an additional Bravus 8A subwoofer adds bass.
The Aperion Signature SLIMStage30 not only spells elegance and simplicity but also adds value to your sound experience. You can either put it in front of your TV or wall-mount it beneath your TV with the included bracket. It also allows you connect to the easily accessible front panel jack to listen to music from your MP3 or iPod player.
The Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 comes in a rectangular shape design unlike the other sound bars in the market, which follow cylindrical or flat designs. Weighing in 16.5 pounds it is considered to be heavier than other sound bar HTIBs which are out in the market. The SLIMStage30 comes nearly completely wrapped around with grilles on the front, top, bottom and back; whereas most sound bars only feature speaker grilles on the side that faces forward.
The LCD display and the front-panel buttons are located in the middle of the front panel. The display is comes in handy when you need to make adjustments but the display being too small forces you to stand near it while you’re make adjustments.
The bottom of the SLIMstage30 is equipped with two curved rubber feet because of this it will not sit in place when placed on top of a TV cabinet and tends sway front and back. To counter this Aperion includes an attachment in the accessories to create a level stand; but we still have not figured out what was the need for the two curved rubber feet in the first place.
Each input has its own button. There are two diamond-shaped directions pads, where one is used for navigating through the menu; the other, for volume and bass level. We feel there is something funny in its design. The volume could have been place vertically instead of having it horizontal. On a positive note some buttons showed useful icons, like the moon for night mode instead of tiny text.
Setting up the Aperion Signature SLIMstage30
The Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 can be wall-mounted with the included bracket or shelf-mounted depending on your choice. If you are planning to mount it on a shelf, make sure to remove all the remotes and stray cables from the stand. It will help eliminate the buzzing sounds and any unwanted vibration.
We found that setting the speaker up to be quite complicated because the speaker’s onscreen LCD display is too small to navigate.
The Aperion SLIMStage30 does not have an auto setup program, which means you the settings will have to set along with the listener-to-speaker distance by yourself. Furthermore, there are only two options available; less than 2 meters or more than 2 meters. Other manual setups include the surround volume level, subwoofer setup, and EQ (equalization).
The most challenging aspect of setting up the Aperion Signature SLIMStage30 is you have to struggle on your own when you figure out how to use the EQs to improve the sound. Sometimes, we are unsure of what setting we are using whether it is EQ, Room or Remote. Even with only two sound-customizable possibilities, which consist of “Room EQ Parameters” and “EQ Remote”? Each of them still has 10 separate settable frequency bands ranging from 31 Hertz to 16 KHz.
The Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 only handles standard Dolby and DTS decoding and it produces satisfying deep bass without a subwoofer on its own. You can tweak the tonal balance setting to your liking.
In terms of sound volume, the SLIMstage30 plays quite loud but when you push it to the limit, we found that the bass definition below was our expectation. When we compared it to other sound bars in the market we found it to be just average. The SLIMstage30 sounded better than average when tested with two-channel music from CDs.
When we tested it out by watching a movie on DVD, the sound was very clear and the dialogues were quite natural. It did not challenge the SLIMstage30’s woofers. The bass was powerful, but lacked the equivalence of what you would have got with an additional subwoofer.
Pros and cons
The Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 is a great Sound bar home theater system and is a definite upgrade when you compare it with standard TV audio. It has a built-in Dolby® Digital and DTS® Digital Surround and it offers incredible dialogue clarity, enveloping virtual surround sound, loudness, and deep bass to all of your viewing experiences. Boasting a variety of connections for every component; it requires no amplifier or receiver as it has adequate bass output without the use of a subwoofer. Even with two-channel music, it still has a decent sound quality. It can handle up to six total devices (three digital inputs, three analog). Its powerful remote offers lots of options. Most of the things you need to get it connected come with the box and do have to buy them separately.
On the downside, it is relatively expensive whether it comes with or without the subwoofer. There is no HDMI connectivity nor is there a wireless subwoofer option and the subwoofer does not come with a dedicated cable. There is no auto setup program therefore if you are not a big in tweaking audio devices; this certainly will not be your cup of tea.
The Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 is $599 and $799 with an Aperion Audio Bravus 8A Subwoofer. It looks good and sounds great with enough bass without a subwoofer. The only drawback is that it does not have HDMI connectivity that makes it seem quite expensive when you compare it with other sound bars in the market. The consoling factor would be that it comes with more inputs and outputs than other products in this category.
The other good thing is that it also comes with all the things you need to get started, from the wall-mounting hardware to the cables. For people who plan not to listen to a lot of music on their sound bar or who are not big fans of subwoofers. This would be ideal.
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