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Chances are, in the past few years you have heard of soundbars. Soundbars are typically designed to be a compact way of enhances your TV’s internal speakers. They provide the functionality of independent speakers, but with the compact design that comes with internal speakers.
Soundbars have gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. Because of an increase in technological advances, soundbars are more affordable than ever. And, they can provide exceptional performance.
One of the biggest advancements in the soundbar space has been the inclusion of Dolby Atmos in soundbars. Dolby Atmos is a processing technology that can independently assign sound to speakers (source). It can get a lot more complicated than that, but in short, it sounds incredible.
In our Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 Review we will discuss the design, sound performance, installation and usability of the sound bar and compare it to the lower end (but still great) Nakamichi Shockwafe Elite 7.2 Sound Bar.
Who is Nakamichi?
Nakamichi was founded in 1948 by Etsuro Nakamichi (source). They are a company with over 70+ years in the audio space. Initially, they started in Japan providing research and development for larger brands. Then, they established themselves as a creator of high-end audio products. Now, they represent of the best Dolby Atmos sound bars on the market, according to several polls.
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2: Features
Starting off the review with the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 features. Nakamichi claims that this sound bar has several industry firsts when it comes to several different features. Additionally, we’ll go over many of the best features you can expect from this sound bar.
Dual 10″ Wireless Subwoofers
Nakamichi claims that their Shockwafe 9.2 and 7.2 systems have an industry first dual 10-inch subwoofer setup. They produce literal ground-shaking bass and rumbling treble.
The subwoofers are wireless and are designed to be placed at separate corners of your room. This setup gives you evenly distributed and centered bass delivery. Additionally, the setup gives you the ability to turn the volume up to obnoxious levels without any distortion.
Four 2-Way Surround Speakers
Another industry first (as claimed by Nakamichi), is the four 2-way surround sound speakers. Each of the speakers connect to the subwoofers via an RCA cable, so they can be “wireless” in a way.
The surround speakers feature a high-frequency tweeter and full-range driver for power and precision. They are fully modular so you can adjust them for any size or shape room. In addition, they can be mounted either on a wall via a wall mount or on dipoles.
Nakamichi claims that with these 4 surround speakers you can expect full 360 degree sound. Which, definitely help to make Dolby Atmos feel even more expansive.
SSE Technology / Dolby Atmos
The Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 features SSE technology. This advanced audio engine processes signals to enhance directionality and delivery. Additionally, there is 3 separate processors that help enlarge spaciousness and show details that you normally wouldn’t see.
Nakamichi also employs Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. As mentioned before, Dolby Atmos is multi-dimensional audio. You can unlock the full potential of sound when it can “flow around, above and through you”.
eARC Support / Connectivity
Finally, the Nakamichi Shockwafe 9.2 features eARC. This means that the soundbar can receive Dolby Atmos surround signals via TV smart apps such as Netflix. However, not all TV’s will support Atmos natively, so you should check with your manufacturer.
Additionally, eARC supports Dolby Vision, 4K UHD pass-thru, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and other special controls that are important.
For connectivity, the Shockwafe 9.2 has support for up to 6 devices.
- 1 HDMI ARC
- 3 HDMI
- 1 OPTICAL
- 1 COAXIAL
So, let’s talk performance. The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 soundbar is easily one of the best soundbars you can find. Especially for the money. It does not come cheap, but it is also not as expensive as other sound bars.
One of the Shockwafe 9.2’s distinguishing features is it’s 4 physical surround speakers. These speakers provide physical surround sound versus a lot of the competitor’s virtual or simulated surround sound. Simulated surround sound comes from a soundbar that doesn’t have physical surround speakers. But it uses the speakers in the soundbar to simulate surround sound by bouncing sound against walls. So, having physical speakers is always better than simulated speakers.
Next, the Shockwafe 9.2 has an incredibly powerful dual 10-inch subwoofer setup. If you’ve never heard dual subwoofers in action, then you’re in for a treat. They’re unbelievably useful without being too intrusive, adding extreme performance to any explosions or heavy bass. Additionally, the bass is extremely balanced. Having 1 subwoofer on each side gives a truly “in the middle” feeling when watching action movies or any movie that puts you in the middle of things.
While reviewing the Nakamichi Shockwafe we also discovered that we were huge fans of being able to stream Bluetooth to our sound bar speakers. It was very useful to have a powerful speaker to connect to when needed instead of using something like a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 vs Shockwafe Elite 7.2
What are the differences between the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 vs the Shockwafe Elite 7.2? Well, there isn’t a ton of physical differences. But, the few differences to make a big impact.
For starters, the Nakamichi Shockwafe 7.2 has less speakers than the 9.2 (obviously). The Shockwafe 7.2 is a 7.2.4 system (7 speakers, 2 subwoofers and 4 Dolby Atmos speakers). It also only has 800W of power compared to 1000W from the 9.2 (this also makes a 106dB vs 110 dB difference). Finally, the subwoofers are only 8 inches compared to 10 inches.
While it doesn’t sound like a huge amount of difference, it does make a difference. The extra power and speakers are definitely heard and are worth having, especially for bigger rooms.
So, is the Nakamichi Shockwafe 9.2 Sound Bar worth your hard earned money? In our opinion, 100%.
This is one of the best, if not the best soundbar we have ever used or tested. We were previously big supports of Samsung’s line of soundbars, however Nakamichi completely blew them out of the water.
The Shockwafe 9.2 is an incredible value providing physical rear and side speakers along with dual 10-inch subwoofers. These subwoofers provide heart thumping and kidney shaking bass. While the side and rear speakers provide precise sound positioning and tracking.
There is nothing like hearing a roaring X-Wing fighter or racing car go by your ear while the ground literally shakes. It is a truly incredible feeling. Nakamichi and Dolby Atmos provide an experience like no other and we highly recommend the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 as a daily driver sound bar.