Upping the ante from its sibling the Energy Power Bar, the Energy Power Bar Elite soundbar is the new addition to the Power Series. Sporting Dolby Digital Decoding and 3D Surround Mode – both features that were absent in the Energy Power Bar – this sound bar is set to take Energy into the thick of the action in the audio bar business. Together with its 10 inch wireless subwoofer, this audio bar could easily be an affordable yet effective upgrade for anyone’s sound system.
In terms of design, the Energy Power Bar Elite soundbar is much thinner when compared to its sibling. Measuring in at 4.4 inches tall x 40 inches wide x 3 inches thick, it is a whole inch thinner than the Energy Power Bar. Weighing a mere 7 pounds is also a sign that Energy is going in the right direction with this one. It’s got a low-profile plastic enclosure which is given a satin black finish. The cloth covered grill can be removed but it’s prettier with it on. It has got keyhole mounts on the back if you want to wall mount this sound bar. Moving on to the subwoofer, its dimensions are 14.5 inches tall x 9 inches wide x 18 inches thick, somewhat the average size for a subwoofer. It tips the scales at 25 pounds. It has its driver on the left side of its tall, rectangular cabinet covered by a perforated metal grill. Meanwhile its amplifier can be found on the back and it has its volume control on its body. Its textured black vinyl finish gives it a pretty look.
The connection options for this audio bar can be found on the back. There is one digital optical input, one analog stereo input, a DC power jack and a power switch. Yet again Energy only provides one digital optical input with its soundbar so you need to rely on your TV. So all the devices at home must first be connected to the TV and the audio output from the TV can then be connected to the Energy Power Bar Elite. The sound bar as we mentioned has gone a few steps better than its younger sibling, the Energy Power Bar, by providing built-in processing to decode Dolby Digital soundtracks. What this means is the Energy Power Bar Elilte can reproduce detailed, high quality sound regardless of the format of sounds that is coming from the TV.
This sound bar is a 2.1-channel system and it now also sports a 3D surround mode. With this mode surround sound effect can be achieved without having to get more speakers. This audio bar is designed based on a true, two-way speaker driver design that is similar to that of a fine music loudspeaker. Within this soundbar are six drivers with whereby two of the 3 inch mid-bass drivers and one ¾ inch tweeter are paired together on both the far left and far right of the soundbar. The drivers in the Energy Power Bar Elite are also aligned in Energy’s own Convergent Source Module. This means the soundbar can produce wide dispersion, low distortion and flat frequency response.
Setting up the Vizio VHT215 Home Theater Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
Similar to Energy’s first soundbar, the Energy Power Bar, this soundbar also is designed to get its orders directly from the TV remote. This means one less remote to deal with – although a tiny remote control is provided – and fewer components involved since an A/V receiver is effectively out of the picture. Setting up how the Energy Power Bar Elite gets its signal is easy enough but powering up this baby is down to how far away from the plug point this soundbar is placed. There is a power brick that comes with this audio bar and the cable that runs from it to the sound bar is only six feet long. So working out these distances is quite important for the soundbar. The subwoofer is of course wireless, so that means the freedom of placing it anywhere in the room. Not much hard work setting the subwoofer up as its basically just plug and play.
The Energy Power Bar Elite is marketed to be able to work TVs, movies as well as video games. However, let’s start with music playback performance. After playing several different songs on this soundbar, it is clear that it does well with treble and upper midrange response. Its stereo and imaging effects were also pretty good. The tweeters did a great a job in playing back some clean and sparkling highs without showing any signs of distress. Also stereo effects came from both left and right with enough definition and its imaging properties made sound come from well outside the edges of the sound bar even without the 3D mode turned on.
However, the Energy Power Bar Elite does have its shortfalls and it’s in the lower midrange and bass areas. Moving on to TV and movies to see if it affects the performance of the soundbar, it did pretty good too. The subwoofer sometimes went a bit boomy but this was overcome by turning its level down. Bass performance was still poor at other times as the need for more bass persisted when testing the Energy Power Bar Elite. From the tests, placing the subwoofer in the corner of the room seemed to make matters worse, so that’s a location to stay away for the subwoofer.
Pros and Cons
The setup process for the Energy Power Bar Elite was simple. In terms of audio performance, this soundbar dealt with treble very well and was also able to deal with loud volumes. Stereo effects were pretty good too.
The subwoofer had the occasional boom while input options are still scarce with Energy’s soundbars.
Albeit being new to the business, Energy has produced a solid soundbar with the Energy Power Bar Elite as it does produce some refined treble and handles midrange with ease too. With this performance, it does trounce some of the competition with ease and it seems to be worth its asking price even though input options are very limited.