Monoprice seems to be on a mission to make Dolby Atmos technology as accessible as possible. After releasing a 5.1.2 system for less than $450 earlier this year, the company has announced the SB-300, a 2.1 soundbar with virtual Dolby Atmos that comes in at just $180.
While the SB-300 doesn’t have any upward-firing drivers or surround speakers for ‘true’ Dolby Atmos, Dolby’s Virtual Atmos technology utilises DSP (digital signal processing) and psychoacoustics to (theoretically) reproduce the height dimensions of compatible content for a more cinematic home theater experience.
Despite the bargain price, Monoprice has still given the SB-300 a decent feature set that includes two HDMI ports and an HDMI eARC output, as well as coaxial and optical inputs.
A USB port allows for audio playback of MP3s from a hard drive, while Bluetooth 4.2 is onboard for streaming from portable devices. There’s also a 3.5mm analogue audio input, which means this budget bar is well suited to those with an older TV set.
The soundbar offers ‘Movie’, ‘Music’, and ‘News’ modes to tweak the sound depending on the content you’re watching. Music mode is (obviously) for music playback, Movie mode attempts to focus on both dialogue and sound effects for a more dramatic movie experience, and News mode emphasises dialogue clarity.
Included in the box is an infra-red remote, HDMI cable and hardware for wall mounting.
The SB-300 is available in the US now for $180.
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