Definitive Technology W Studio Soundbar: Feel like you're right in the middle of all the action with the surround sound and deep, powerful bass. The slim design complements any home theater setup, and the subwoofer can be placed out of the way thanks to its wireless capabilities.
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Sounds good, but had to use an optical cable
Posted by: narcisa from: on
The DT W Studio is a nice looking soundbar that sounds really good. As others have said, it doesn't replace a dedicated 5.1 or 7.1 system. I was pleasantly surprised by the output of the subwoofer. However, at this price I would expect it to have HDMI ARC and HDMI 2 instead of 1.4. The on screen display is lacking and the remote is less than stellar. Even though this is part of the DT wireless collection, W7 speakers cannot be added to create 5.1 surround sound.
DT recommends running all devices into the soundbar and then out to the tv. Originally, I set it up that way. In doing so, I wasn't able to get sound from the Smart features of my Samsung UN65JS8500 tv. When I would use a Smart feature like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus the tv would switch to that video content; however, the soundbar continued to play the audio of the TWC cable channel I was last viewing. I never could get it to play the audio of the content I switched to. So, I changed the setup and ran all devices into the mini OCB. In order to get audio from the soundbar I had to use an optical cable instead of HDMI. This is unfortunate because now I won't get Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio sound, which are only passed via HDMI not optical. However, now when I switch to Smart content the audio matches. Also, the on screen display doesn't appear now that I'm running all my devices into the mini OCB. Luckily, I set everything up when I initially ran all devices into the soundbar.
I haven't tried using an a/v receiver, even though I have a Marantz, to see if the same results occur with the tv's Smart features. I suspect it will be the same and I'll have to continue running all devices into the tv. At least my receiver has HDMI ARC and 2.0 though.
I'm still undecided on whether I'll keep this soundbar, switch back to a traditional audio setup, or look for another soundbar that offers better specs. Based on sound alone the soundbar is great. That's basically where it ends though.
16 out of 16 found this review helpful.
Great soundbar with looks and streaming audio!
Posted by: Energybiz from: Louisville on
I was asked by a friend to find her a good sounding soundbar. She wanted Sonos and I wasn't sold on the sound quality of it. I did research and and decided that the older Definitive Technology Solo soundbar sounded great, but was willing to wait for the never version that supports the Play Fi standard. Glad I waited. You give up Bluetooth, but gain real uncompressed (for the most part) streaming audio in an easy to configure package that looks great and sounds better. The small sub is surprisingly punchy! Very happy overall. Easy install as well. Two HDMI connections and power and that is really it. Very little to configure. It will never be a true surround sound system but makes the audio from even old TV shows sound more modern and clear. If you are still listening to audio from your flat screen TV speakers, you should try a soundbar. I think this one was a great choice.
16 out of 18 found this review helpful.
Best I've Heard
Posted by: StreetFly from: Des Moines, IA on
The is probably as good as you can get as far as soundbars, and that is reflected in the price, which is substantially higher than other soundbars. The noticeable differences from what I've had in the past include more distinguishable voices, and louder voice as compared to background noise, overall clearer sound, much louder while clear, and deep bass. This soundbar also allows you to use a DT app on your smartphone to play music through. It operates through WiFi and not Blutooth, as many other music players do on soundbars. So, you have to be on the same WiFi network as the soundbar when playing through your smartphone. Some people would rather have BT. Not me, the WiFi is much more responsive, there is no lag, and as long as your WiFi is up and running, you will have quality streaming music the entire time. I have had problems with BT on soundbars as soon as I'm further than 10-15 ft from the soundbar. WiFi will work as long as you're on the same network. This app works well with music you have purchased on your iPhone, which isn't a problem at all. Some platforms out there don't allow you to play purchased Apple music - such as Chromecast - which I have in my basement. Chromecast is more set up for Pandora-style internet music player apps. The Definitive Tech app is set up for both internet music AND music on your phone which you have purchased. Although, in order to use (one of the internet music player apps) you have to be a subscribed and paying member, and not just a basic, free member of the app - although I can't remember which one, either Pandora or Spotify? Whereas, you can be a basic member of the service and still play through Chromecast. The difference is that DT is an application, in which all the music is played through. Chromecast is a way to send music to a location through the app that you're using. If that makes any sense...
10 out of 10 found this review helpful.
Beware Does not support ARC
Posted by: JP77 from: on
I bought this sound bar to pair with my new Samsung 9000 series smart TV. Definitive recommends connecting the sound bar using HDMI cable. After spending over an hour and trying it on two smart TVs without success, I contacted tech support and was told the W Studio does not support ARC (HDMI out). I find this unacceptable for a $1,200 sound bar. The point of buying a "smart TV" is for it to serve as the hub of your system. Not being able to use the full capability of my TV is frustrating. I read plenty of reviews and this was never mentioned. Had I known this, I would not have bought this unit. I own several other Definitive speaker products and have always found their products to be top shelf so I naturally assumed this product would be up to date technically.
12 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Expensive, sounds good, needs polish
Posted by: RaleighOwner from: on
Pros: Looks good, sounds great (for a soundbar).
Cons: Setup is a bear, documentation poor, some features don't work
I bought this mainly for TV and movie viewing. For that job, this soundbar gives very good results. If that is your primary need, you'll probably be happy with this product.
However, setup is a nightmare. It took 3 hours to get play-fi setup and I'm not a networking dummy. Play-fi is in its infancy, given the difficulties I'm not sure it will survive.
The online manual is plain wrong in some spots. They took the manual for a different product and upgraded a few pages. I know this because they didn't even "search and replace" the name of the other product in the manual.
The DefTech remote is small and has a cheap feel. No problem, I'll use my
Time Warner remote with it's DefTech code, but that didn't work. No problem, the soundbar menu has an option to learn IR codes for Power, VolUp, VolDn, etc. That feature did not work. Customer support by email was friendly, but concluded it must be a hardware problem. For $1200+, I felt I deserved a soundbar where all features worked, so I swapped it out at best buy. The new bar was no better and yes, play-fi again took 3 hours to setup.
In summary, expect to be frustrated on day one, but happy with the sound quality thereafter.
11 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Posted by: JHal72 from: on
Being an extensive researcher before purchaser type person I couldn't be happier with the W Studio. I've watched plenty of videos, read plenty of reviews and comparisons of the better soundbar systems and Definitive Tech did not let us down. We don't lose volume levels watching our favorite shows from our LG (with the flat screen audio issues that we all know). I was very skeptical it could fill our very open room, but Pandora over wifi via the app (not overly full of bells and whistles but user friendly) sounds great! I'm a die hard Kilpsch fan and had a decent 5.1 system set up but after a move, and with the wife's "encouragement" we had to go wireless (also, the speaker icon won't release it's wireless 5.1 system until maybe Christmas) While in no way in the same ballpark as a true 5.1 wired system the W Studio does do well with movies, clarity being one of the strong suits. The sub is pretty solid as well, pushing out the lows better than some of the other sound system brands I've heard. If you can get it on sale, jump on it as it's a bit pricey but worth it in the end.
6 out of 6 found this review helpful.
Best soundbar Ive heard yet
Posted by: Samsung4Life from: on
Sound is amazing. Music plays great and bass is very deep from the sub. One thing I don't like is the way it mounts to the wall. I don't like to just hang a $1000 soundbar on two screws that didnt come with unit. Also I have issues when turning on my TV, i need to always change the source on the television to "TV" then back to RVU to get the sound to work.
5 out of 5 found this review helpful.
Movies sound great, music not so much
Posted by: JDoubleU from: on
I ended up returning this soundbar. There were just too many negatives for the price you pay.
Movies sound great on this soundbar. Crank it up and you'll get great sound. For a 5.1 channel soundbar I wasn't really able to make out the independent channels though. I did have an issue with the lowest volume on the soundbar being too loud. I have a newborn and was hoping to enjoy the soundbar at its lowest volume at night. It wasn't in the cards since the lowest volume was pretty loud.
The other issue I had with movies was the sub cutting in and out. I did have the wireless sub near my wireless router which I've heard can cause interference.
Listening to music was another issue. It just wasn't a very full sound. The highs were good and the bass was solid from the sub, but there is no mid-range even with the 3" drivers. It just sounded tinny.
No HDMI ARC was another issue but not a deal-breaker. Movies sounded great with the optical cable and you can program the remote.
The lack of bluetooth was also not a problem. Bluetooth has a limited range and you can't walk around the house without the bluetooth signal cutting out. The PlayFi app worked great and allowed me to move around the house and not worry about being out of range.
If you're looking for an upgrade to your TV speakers and like to crank it up for TV and Movies then this can be a great purchase for you. If you have a large room and want to use it for music as well then you should look elsewhere.
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Superb Sound, Simplistic Set Up
Posted by: Hilliboy from: on
If you have been researching Soundbars over the last few years, you know that major manufacturers are diving into the Multi-Speaker product category. With that transition, better brands such as DT have made the move. Audiofiles will agree that no Soundbar will reproduce sounds like a stand alone 5.1 or greater system but this system does an excellent job at trying. The Spacial Array technology delivers a immersive sound experience and Dolby Digital and DTS decoders provide a lush surround sound experience. DT has leveraged their speaker engineering heritage to create a complete sound reproduction soundbar system that in my opinion owns that specific category space. Lows, Mids and Highs are reproduced quit elegantly with minimal distortion. And the ability to control both the center and bass levels allows for simple sound adjustment to fit any room design. With a quick downloand from Itunes or Google Play the Play-Fi App allows playback from any personal device music library or standard internet radio service like Pandora. Additionally the DT system is the 3 HDMI , 1 HDMI Input and 3HDMI outputs which is rare is this crowded field. Meaning your TV, Blue Ray, and Streaming Service can all seamlessly be integrated into the Soundbar and allows control to any DT multi-room speaker providing the ability to sync all your speakers together to create house filling sound. The price may seem a little steep, but you must consider what you're receiving. Right now, from a music reproduction perspective, DT is heads above the competition. And with their history and heritage I only expect that to gap to grow.
9 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Ying and Yang
Posted by: Wozzer from: on
There is no doubt that the outputs great sound for it's size. I spent a while looking at the Sonos to see what the hype was about and finally settled on the Definitive as the sound quality blew the Sonos away. The build quality is fantastic too. So why only 2 stars you may ask? 1. I have no issue with it not having Bluetooth. That limits me to a radius around the soundbar and the quality Bluetooth output is awful. 2. I have no issue with it not having ARC. Yes that means you will not get the highest quality streams out there but then a soundbar is not going to be able to deliver the sound quality that is required so what's the point in receiving a True-HD or MA stream. 3. Yes the volume control is a pain and you cannot get to low volumes, but that I can live with.
My real issue is that the W Studio cannot be used in a 5.1 format. DT say that it has 5.1 built in ("Room filling 5.1 Channel Surround Sound") and you need to use a Studio Micro if you wish to add surround speakers for true 5.1 sound. Please tell me how they can honestly think that building 5 channels into the sound bar can cover rear surrounds! So I have to downgrade to the smaller Micro to get true 5.1? Surely it is should be the other way around.
The Best Buy sales guy who was very knowledgable in general, also thought that the Studio could be used in a true 5.1 setup as I thought after I reading this website, so I therefore have to question Definitives marketing and sales techniques as well as the training of the people who sell their product.
I love the sound and at the new discounted price of $899, I am going to keep it until I build out a true 5.1 system.