When looking for a high-end sound bar, the first thing you should look at is what drivers they use. While you can get good sound with a single driver for each channel, a sound bar that uses multiple drivers for each channel will invariably sound better. When the music gets complex or a movie has rapid-fire dialogue and sound effects, the clarity of a multi-driver system will really pay off.
The Paradigm Soundscape sound bar features left, right and center channels that each have separate drivers. Combined with a well designed port system, the Soundscape is able to produce deep, meaningful bass while still maintaining clarity on difficult movie and music passages. While it lacks an HDMI connectivity, most people won’t miss it and will be happy with the experience that the Paradigm Soundscape provides.
A Simple Design
|Outputs:||1x Sub Out|
|Inputs:||2x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x Stereo RCA|
|Review Date:||April 15, 2014|
The input selection might seem a bit retro in this world of HDMI, but it should work fine for most people. Sound bars are often about simplicity, with all your devices running through your TV and then the audio output from your TV to the sound bar. With dual optical inputs, an analog and a coaxial, the Soundscape will work well in this setup. Integrated Bluetooth allows for streaming from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. AptX support provides the best quality Bluetooth streaming you can get today.
A unique feature on the Soundscape is the wireless subwoofer adapter. The Soundscape has an RCA sub out, but most people want their subwoofer to be out of the way, without wires connecting it. With the built-in wireless transmitter and included external receiver, the Soundscape can work with any subwoofer across the room. If you have an old subwoofer around you can use it with the Soundscape, and if you want to buy one you aren’t limited to just a few models.
Part of what makes the Soundscape integrate with a subwoofer so well is the 80Hz crossover point when an external subwoofer is used. This is the THX standard for subwoofers but it is one that most sound bars cannot achieve. The Paradigm Soundscape can, letting you attach a subwoofer without having directional bass issues. The subwoofer will take over the deep bass duties for those that need to feel their explosions.
The menu system in the Paradigm operates through the front with an 8-character display and is simple. It makes it easy to set it for wall or table placement (which affects bass and lower-mid response) but more importantly to have it learn remote commands. Teaching it the volume controls from your TV remote is quick and easy, allowing you to dispense with the remote for most tasks.