Looking for a brand new Dolby Atmos soundbar? Bluesound just added the Pulse Soundbar+ to its lineup of wireless home cinema products, and this one features a ‘3D immersive audio engine’ with support for Dolby Atmos. Bluesound says the Soundbar+ takes the firm’s original Pulse Soundbar 2i (which we awarded a highly-commended four stars under intense review) and pushes its credentials even further.
The Pulse Soundbar+ is billed as the “ultimate audiophile-grade soundbar that will satisfy any home entertainment need” and to that end it offers support for Dolby Atmos, 24-bit high resolution audio, 120W of full-frequency multi-room and multi-channel audio, a choice of black or white finishes and is configurable to a range of home entertainment applications. It also comes supplied with a wall mount bracket as well as two kickstand feet (if you don’t want it on your wall).
Designed to fit perfectly under HD TVs, the Pulse Soundbar+ promises a fully immersive sonic experience thanks to a “full audio-chain redesign with advanced DSP processing” that now supports 3D audio from Dolby Atmos, meaning a wider, higher, and more enveloping soundstage.
The ‘bar itself boasts eight “audiophile-quality” drivers and, according to Bluesound, it “is to audio what the 8K TV is to video”, which sounds decidedly ambitious to us. The Pulse Soundbar+ can either be used alone or paired with the Pulse Sub+ (sold separately) to add drama through the low end, and Bluesound is quick to add that by including a pair of Pulse Flex 2i speakers as rear channels you’ll get a complete wireless Dolby surround sound experience.
Under the hood, the Pulse Soundbar+ features a custom-specified ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core chipset that can, says Bluesound, process audio eight times faster than previous generations of Bluesound architecture. Combined with two wi-fi chips to prevent network latency, this flagship board design apparently provides rock solid and zero-lag audio performance, even for demanding gaming applications.
Connections? Of course. You can connect nearly any audio source to the Pulse Soundbar+. TVs, gaming consoles, music streaming services, laptops, and music libraries can all be accessed through HDMI eARC, Apple AirPlay 2, two-way aptX HD Bluetooth, TOSLINK, RCA, USB, and Bluesound’s own proprietary BluOS music streaming system.
Newly added simple touch controls on the front panel now mean quick access to play, pause and volume, and with a smartphone or tablet, the built-in BluOS wireless multi-room streaming technology can connect and sync audio to, from, and around any room in the home. Hands-free control of your home entertainment is on board with Amazon Alexa Skills integration, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri too, and the company states that professional smart home integrators can get access to drivers for other popular control systems such as Lutron, Crestron, RTI, Elan and others.
As with all Bluesound Pulse speaker models, the acoustic design and speaker voicing was performed at Canada’s National Research Council, by Lenbrook’s speaker design and engineering team.
It doesn’t come cheap, though. Available for pre-order now, the Pulse Soundbar+ will begin shipping in April 2021, priced at £799 (€999, $899) in black, or £899 (€1099, $999) in white.
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