Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini soundbar review – Yalla Match

Studio 3D Mini from Definitive Technology is a strange beast. The long feature catalog of this speaker is impressive, and its design is simple and elegant. But all this is weakened by the disappointing sound that muddies the films’ dialogue and creates a smaller and thinner sound space.

While Definitive Technology doesn’t boast the origins of audio companies like Klipsch, Bose, or McIntosh, they do have a reputation for providing home theater speaker systems at a good value. And although Studio 3D Mini ($899) is not BathroomIts sharp design and broad streaming features don’t quite seem to make up for its lack of wide, full sound.

Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini has a great design and support for a wide range of media formats that makes it ideal for professional users and audio enthusiasts. That said, the sound quality is okay, and most people would be better off choosing one of our best speakers like the Sonos Arc.

Christopher Albritton/CNN Underscored

I really liked the design and communication in Studio 3D Mini. I also feel it offers very good value for a setup that costs under $1,000.

The subwoofer with 8-inch driver is a fleshy black cube that can be safely hidden away, thanks to wireless connectivity to the main woofer, a 26.5-inch trapezoidal black wedge. (Can be hung on the wall or left on the TV bench.) It’s a good complement to modern living rooms, but it’s not too flashy to attract attention.

In addition, Studio 3D Mini does not lack connectivity. It has a Toslink Optical input, a 3.5mm analog jack, one internal HDMI port and one external eARC that supports both 4K video and HDR. There’s also a USB input for accessing local music storage, but it’s awkwardly placed in the back of the speakers. If it is attached to the wall, then it will be completely inaccessible. It also has Bluetooth, 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, and an Ethernet port if you don’t mind wires. Finally, in addition to the HEOS streaming protocol, it also supports Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2.

2 . sound bar

Christopher Albritton/CNN Underscored

Let’s go over this up front. Their two original HomePods, which cost $600 together when available, sound better and have wider, fuller sound than the Studio 3D Mini with a dedicated subwoofer. Even my partner who is not a fan of music and her daughter can tell the difference, especially when listening to movies. (“They appear to be underwater,” said my Gen Z co-reviewer.)

The Studio 3D Mini has solid bass, yes, but the speakers provide a tight stereo separation that doesn’t fill the room. High pitches tend to sound a little softer and softer, while the mid-tones, especially in movie dialogue, sound muffled.

It’s surprising because the Studio 3D Mini has a set of six drivers on the same speakers (two 1″ aluminum dome tweeters and four 1″ x 3″ racetrack drivers – two of them running in tandem) and shooting down 8-inch driver with 100-watt amplifier on the subwoofer.

Things got better when I turned on the Dolby Atmos setting in the Control app (see below). The sound field widens a bit, but it doesn’t quite match the room-filling sound of two separate speakers. However, listening to the music was very disappointing, with minimal stereo separation. Expanded pop like The Weekend sounded like he was performing among piles in a library, and John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” sounded like it had been squeezed through a garden hose.

puzzling display and setting

5 . sound bar

Christopher Albritton/CNN Underscored

Despite the speakers’ great design, they are mounted via a steerable front panel that has just four LEDs to let you know if you’re connected, what volume you’re using, and which input port you’re listening on. Most of the functionality is offloaded to the HEOS app on your phone. (HEOS stands for Home Entertainment Operating System.) HEOS is a Denon “wireless multi-room audio system” that uses your home’s Wi-Fi network to interact with the Studio 3D Mini. It’s Denon’s answer to Apple AirPlay 2, but it’s more complicated.

This is how the device is set up and controlled. But I had a hard time setting it up. It took several tries to get it on my wifi, but was presented with several music options once I did. The HEOS app uses wifi or Bluetooth to stream music to your speakers, no matter where they are in the house. Supports Amazon Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, SoundCloud, Spotify, TIDAL, TuneIn, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, Napster, as well as managing playback tones directly from your phone (if you have the digital files available) , outside of home servers, or from USB storage devices connected to your network. If there is a music file somewhere on one of your devices, it is likely that HEOS will crack when you play it. I’m sure it can be a powerful control center for music lovers who live alone and don’t have to explain “Press this button to turn on TV, download this app to play Spotify” to family and friends. But for most people, I suspect it will be confusing.

There is a built-in remote for the Mini, but I’ve never used it and instead stuck to the app.

Ultimate Technology Studio 3D Mini

3D Studio Mini

Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc

The dimension

26.5 x 4.5 x 2 inches (sound bar),
13.98 x 12.52 x 12.52 inches (subwoofer)

45 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches

drivers

Speakers and four speakers

Three speakers, eight speakers

Connection

HDMI eARC, USB, Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, optical and 3.5 mm

HDMI eARC, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, IR Receiver, Optical

flow

HEOS و Spotify Connect و Apple AirPlay 2 و Bluetooth

Sonos App, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect

Peripheral shape

Dolby Atmos, DTS: X

Dolby Atmos

the color

black

Black and White

I really wanted to like Studio 3D Mini. It looks great, and the flexibility you get with its different formats and musical performances is impressive. But in the end, it didn’t look as good as a pair of discontinued HomePods. You can’t buy them anymore, so if you’re in the market for a mid-range audio setup suitable for working with your home entertainment system, you can go with our upgrade pick for the best sound in the excellent $899 Sonos Arc. But if you’re an audiophile with a plethora of media that wants more powerful functionality for the HEOS app, you’ll find a lot to like in Studio 3D Mini.

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