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Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Chromecast Built-in - Black-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 29 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Size. Doesn’t. Matter.

    Posted
    Turbolence
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    Within the last decade, sound bars have become a popular alternative to full home theater sound systems, and it’s easy to understand why. “Good enough” sound became attainable with a single device that sits under a TV rather than running a receiver and wiring to many separate speakers, but these devices often sacrificed sound quality and richness to fit the form factor. Now that these have been market staples for several years, it seems that big names in the audio world have taken note and are now shipping soundbars that are getting more and more indistinguishable from their fully-wired, monolithic brethren. Having been a strong player in the home audio space for nearly three decades, Definitive Technology presents its newest take on the soundbar, the low-profile Studio Slim, promising premium sound worthy of the Magnolia Home Theater showcase with a 3-speaker soundbar paired to a wireless 8-inch subwoofer. In my past experiences with Definitive Technology, the brand has never failed to deliver anything short of incredible sound, and the Studio Slim is no exception, making me rethink whether I truly need a dedicated home theater setup to get the sound I want for my main TV. - Unboxing and Setup At almost four feet wide, the Studio Slim comes in an awkwardly-shaped, oblong box weighing nearly forty pounds. Fortunately the packaging is sturdy and both the soundbar and subwoofer came out unscathed as they’re extremely well-packaged and wrapped in felt to minimize scuffing. Definitive Technology includes both HDMI and Toslink (optical) cables to connect to most TVs out of the box. The brushed aluminum soundbar has remarkable heft and is best placed on a flat surface like a TV stand or mantle. There are wall-mount anchors included on the backside of the sound bar, but I would ensure these are mounted to studs rather than using mollies into drywall, and you will want to use in-wall or through-wall wiring as I could not find cable channels on the bar itself. The subwoofer, though 8 inch, is much larger and heavier than expected, but can be placed anywhere. Definitive Technology recommends placing it in the corner of a room for best bass performance. Once hooked up, the Chromecast-compatible soundbar can be connected to the internet and firmware updated through the Google Home app available on both iOS and Android app stores. Updates take a few minutes, after which the device will be Chromecast-ready. - Sound Quality Quantifying something as subjective as home theater sound is difficult. It goes without saying that this handily outperforms soundbars costing 1/4th as much, but above that price the sound really should be heard in person to pass judgment as a price jump by a factor of four won’t necessarily result in four-times-better sound. Regardless, the Studio Slim delivers on all the promises and expectations that come with the Definitive Technology name. I haven’t been able to turn the soundbar up past 75% volume as the sound it’s capable of producing overpowers my home (not one with any shared wall to neighbors, mind you). The volume is incredible, but what impresses me most is that even at these volumes I can’t pick out any distortion whatsoever. Whether listening at minimal volume or a deafening blast, the sound is exceptionally clear and doesn’t drop any details across the sound spectrum, from deep bass to high treble. The center channel delivers most of the volume, and I found that turning the center channel down to -2 (on a range from -6 to +6) balances the sound nicely. Three sound profiles, Music, Night, and Movie, alter the frequency response to best accentuate your audio. Sound reproduction in Music mode seems to have as close to a flat (ideal) response curve as the soundbar offers, and in my opinion is spot-on. Whether the thundering drums and piercing guitars of Metallica or the smooth vocals of Celine Dion are your jam, the Studio Slim faithfully recreates your music. The subwoofer stays reined-in and delivers balanced, punchy bass hits without overpowering the bar. If you’re looking for that earth-shaking “boom,” you’ll want the Movie mode. Movie mode dials up the stereo separation and increases the subwoofer’s bass response to intensify action sequences and music beds in your favorite movies. The vocal range also seems to be accentuated, if not boosted, to make voices a little clearer than in Music mode. This all works quite well and the downward-firing, downward-ported subwoofer delivers consistently deep, rumbling bass that comes shockingly close to replicating the movie theater experience. Additionally, while this could be my setup, the two pieces of the Studio Slim seem to work together to make the bass sound centered rather than offset to the corner of the room where I placed the subwoofer. In my previous setup it was obvious where the subwoofer was, but with this it’s better hidden in the sound. Night mode softens the output across the board and drops the volume, bringing most of the bass out of the subwoofer and letting the soundbar take over. My testing with this mode was limited but it felt much easier to dial in a comfortable volume where the pounding subwoofer wouldn’t wake up family or roommates than in the other two audio modes. Sound was still exceptionally clear and easy to listen to from across the room without disturbing others. Most impressive of all was that in all three modes, the soundstage (the perceived distance between the leftmost sounds and rightmost sounds) was easily twelve feet wide, despite the Studio Slim not being a surround sound system. This bar could easily replace a pair of tower speakers with at least that much space between them while delivering an equal soundstage. I was floored how much “wider” the sound seemed than the dedicated stereo system this soundbar replaced. Once again, audio opinions are subjective and difficult to translate to text. I highly recommend sampling this sound bar in-store at your nearest Magnolia Home Theater center within a Best Buy prior to purchase. - Connectivity & Technology Supporting both HDMI Audio Return Channel (HDMI ARC) and Toslink, the Studio Slim should have no trouble connecting to any TV produced within the last five years. HDMI ARC allows you to control the soundbar’s volume on supported TVs as if it were the TV’s own speakers, removing the need to use separate remotes for your sound system and TV. Of course, you’ll still need to use the remote or press one of the physical buttons on the soundbar to change sound modes. Supporting most variants of Dolby Digital, the Studio Slim can do for sound what HDR does for image quality. Though quieter than direct sound output (PCM), the dynamic range of the sound increases by quite a bit, giving you a more faithful reproduction of the filmmaker’s or artist’s creation. Unfortunately without any kind of rear channels you lose some of that intent, but the wide soundstage helps overcome the disadvantage of being a mostly stereo device. If you’ve used a Chromecast before, the Studio Slim will act exactly as you would expect any other audio-only Chromecast device to. Casting music from your phone, tablet, or laptop is as easy as could be. Bluetooth is also supported if you have an older device or prefer to skip connecting your soundbar to the Internet. The range is adequate and bluetooth audio shouldn’t cut out unless you bring your device two or more rooms away. - Ease of Use If there’s one area I need to knock the Studio Slim, it’s here. Initial setup took a little longer than I’d anticipated as I attempted to skip the Google Home setup, but after a few minutes the Studio Slim still seemed to remain in an inoperable “waiting for setup” mode. I would have preferred a plug-and-play option, and perhaps there is one, but this was not highlighted in the user manual and seemed to require a Google Home setup as a required step. The only status indicator on the soundbar is a strip of RGB dots along the front of the soundbar that don’t clearly present some information. Volume is obvious, but one or two dots will represent inputs one or two (HDMI ARC and Toslink, respectively), bass and center channel adjustments use different “stepping” than volume, and setup indicators don’t convey much information without digging through the user guide. This isn’t a problem once you’re used to it, but I’ve used less expensive sound bars that have full LCD displays under their front mesh panels to present messages in much clearer terms. A little disappointed here. The only real frustration I have otherwise is that the remote is not very responsive. I usually have to press a button more than once to get a result from the soundbar (even when sitting just a few feet from it), and the volume control buttons especially are just too small and mushy to know when your press has registered. It’s function over form and I’m not a big fan of it. - Bottom Line I can’t stress enough how subjective opinions on sound are, because although I believe this is the best sound bar at the $1,000 price point, other options can easily sound better to different ears and listeners seeking particular experiences. Even with a few minor quibbles, the sound that the Definitive Technology Studio Slim produces is simply some of the best I’ve heard in a long time. I’ve heard only a handful of full sound systems that outperform the Studio Slim, and each one of these ring up at or above the Studio Slim’s MSRP (ironically, most of them also used Definitive Technology brand speakers). This is a fantastic sound solution for space-starved or design-conscious buyers alike, making very few sacrifices to keep within its diminutive form factor. Highly recommended!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    One of the best soundbars in this price range

    Posted
    BillnMish
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    You have your entry-level sound bars; those that are in the $100-$300 range. They get the job done, but don't really give you any "wow!" moments. Then you step up to your *slightly* better offerings; $300-$800. Yes, this seems like a bit of money, but it really isn't in the audio world. Materials are a little nicer, but you are still barely scratching the surface of what is out there if you want really NICE sound. Past that, you are starting to touch the bottom of high-end offerings. From $800-$1500 or so, this is the best sound bar I've tried. I currently have 5, ranging from a simple $150 2.1 all the way up to a 7.1 $1300 unit. For the money? This DT model is a strong contender for best bang for the buck up to ~$1500. Installation took minutes, the remote is simple, clutter free, and has exactly what you need to adjust levels quickly to your liking. The 3 modes all work as advertised and provide the best EQ for precisely what they're labeled for; MUSIC/NIGHT/MOVIE. MUSIC -- ups the bass, fills out the mids, and pushes the high-end up in the register to give a really wide, full, dynamic sound (the lights sweep outward on the bar to let you know you're in this mode) NIGHT -- cuts the bass, flattens the mids, pushes up the highs so that you can hear dialogue and not wake anyone else in the room if they're sleeping (the lights on the bar itself change to purple to let you know you're in this particular mode) MOVIE -- takes the MUSIC mode, lessens the bass range (so it really only pounds in lower freq. think explosions and rumbles, vs in music where the sub picks up every little bass strum or bass kick) and brings the highs more to the front of the soundstage for dialogue purposes. You can adjust the highs and lows separately from any of the 3-modes, so there's the ability to adjust things to your own liking. Packaging was top-notch, exactly what you'd expect from DT and what other brands should be doing once you start getting into this price range. Nice soft bags around everything, high-quality boxes, packaging, materials throughout. The bar itself is very low profile (see photos comparing to size of another bar from a different brand) and the sub, while massive (again, see photos comparing it to another brand), is simple, clean, and minimal -- perfect in my book. Solid black with a brushed finish, lettering is subtle and not flashy. Nothing cheesy or cheap about either piece.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    "Everything about this is just very pleasant."

    Posted
    Batlacit
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    The title of this review is a quote from my roommate after the first night living with Definitive's Studio Slim soundbar - and after about a week I've still yet to come up with a better summation. I'll confess, I'm not really what anyone could call an audiophile. I certainly appreciate a good set of speakers, and I can absolutely spot a bad one, but in the past I've always been more than happy to settle for "good enough." Already, I'm starting to worry that this thing has just flat out ruined "good enough" for me. As the name would suggest the sound bar is indeed quite slim. I'm not sure it's the main thing I'd buy it for, as I've definitely seen high end sound bars that were smaller and easier to hide than this, but it was definitely an improvement from the soundbar it replaced. Furthermore, the brushed metal finish and tasteful geometric styling looks sleek enough that completely hiding it away would be something of a shame. The wireless sub is decidedly more bulky of course, as you really just can't have a small sub that does a decent job, but the tasteful downward-firing design makes it a very unobtrusive addition to the corner of my living room. Setup was mostly painless. Three cables was all it took to get everything up and running through my TV's ARC port, which provides volume and power control as well as audio. The most complicated it ever got was in setting up the built-in Chromecast (which is one of the audio-only models, in case you were wondering) through Google's Home app. And given that was mostly just tapping a few buttons to confirm which device you want and where in your home it's located, I'd call that a very good thing. Only partial complaint here is that unlike some sound bars that offer ARC support there is no option for video pass-through, so you are going to be completely giving up one of your TV's HDMI ports if you go this route. For those without a port to spare there's always optical. You might not even end up having to give up volume control, as they've pre-loaded the soundbar with the remote control codes for (according to their manual) "Many of the televisions manufactured in the last 5 years" with the option to download more via online updates. They even included little wired IR blasters you could use to build yourself a functional universal remote system - though I have to admit my experience with those setups in the past doesn't make me eager to go down that route. Which means the only thing that's left to talk about is the sound. As I said, I'm not really an audiophile. I don't really know most of the terms they use to analyze sound, I don't have a trained ear to pick out flaws in a speaker, and I can barely articulate why some things work and other things don't. But even I can tell that the sound this thing produces is AMAZING. From music to dialog to action scenes, I could not find anything that this system didn't just flat out excel at. I almost feel bad for not knowing the proper terms for this stuff, because it really does feel like a piece of equipment that deserves much more than than my capitalized superlatives. And that really does bring me to the one caveat with this thing: it really is built for someone who's extremely demanding about quality. And they've done a good enough job that for most, it's probably massive overkill. As such it's definitely not a thing I'd recommend to just anyone looking to improve on their TV's built in speakers. But for those who do demand flawless performance, I refer you once again to the title of this review. It may not be in your face about it, and it might not offer all of the available bells and whistles you could get with a larger soundbar or a system with a dedicated receiver. But it's simple, straightforward, and very, very pleasant.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    For the discriminating TV buyer, you need this

    Posted
    stevefromtheburbs
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    So often we sink money into a TV, get it home, only to find out the speakers are so-so....not great, not bad, just blah. Yet we are staring at the latest 4K images streaming through our TV's. You need to up your game and if you are someone who invested in a TV, you should consider investing in the sound that makes it a complete package. Now, I was never much of a sound bar guy, in the past, the ones I've tried have been lackluster, and while better than the TV, not enough to make it part of A/V experience. I had given up and even tried nice desktop speakers, but they took up too much space and seemed like they were too far apart. So, when I got this, I was expecting more of the same. But when I opened the cool shaped box, I could tell this was not your average sound bar system. It has a look and feel of something that is way more than a simple audio system you listen to TV on. Hooking up was not hard, it went smoothly using optical audio, and the wireless subwoofer was a major bonus in my mind. I will try more of the features/options for hooking up, but wanted to get up and running as quickly as possible. I didn't need to contact tech support, so I cannot speak to that, but given the price point I would hope they are on point. As for the sound, there is nothing like it that I can recall. I'm a sound guy, at least for music, but what I found is that listening to movies and spoken words sound so much more clear now. TV speakers (and I have a nice OLED TV) are just so average, no distinguishing highs and lows, sound comes out the back, and reminds me of listening to an AM radio in my AMC Pacer of yesteryear. But I was okay with it because I didn't know of any sound bars that were worth the money or real estate they take up and adding complications in the configuration of my gear. This one had me at the first thing that was on, a talk show. I could hear what they were saying so much better than before. I can hear highs, lows, and the sound seems to surround me. While my hearing may not be what it was 30 years ago, I miss some of the very high spectrum, this makes me feel like I'm a young person again; I'm hearing stuff I haven't heard from watching TV with the built-in TV speakers. The bass provides the same kind of effect that was out when the movie Earthquake came out in the 1970's.....kick butt bass. Makes you feel like you are at the movies between the surround sound and deep bass. I watched a very good movie that sound and music was a pivotal part of feeling like I was living the movie, and I have to say I am a changed person. I was able to hear things I haven't heard before when I watched this movie - the separation of sounds and accentuating the highs, mids, and lows, made me realize this was what I've needed to make TV watching more enjoyable. Is this a cheap purchase? No.....but is it a necessary part of any TV configuration if you want to do more than just watch TV with average sound? Absolutely. Denon had always been one of the very high end companies that separates itself from the companies that provide basic sound systems. I always wondered what Denon sounded like, this is my first Denon audio product. And I have to say I'm very impressed with what I'm hearing. If I had known how much this would improve my TV listening experience, I would have bought this in a heartbeat. I know this is a new item, but you know what I mean. I never realized their stuff sounded this good! With Best Buy's return policy, in the rare event this isn't for you,, you can return it and Best Buy has only been very cordial during the few things I've ever returned. But I'm confident once you hear what this does, you'll be keeping it!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    No need for rear speakers with this unit

    Posted
    mkcar1
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    Wow. How is Definitive able to get such room filling, immersive sound from this 3.1 soundbar? If you want a great sounding addition to your TV and really don’t want to hassle with rear speakers – this is an exceptional choice. And cannot beat its 5-year warranty. In the box; Soundbar and power cord (nice that the “block” is in the middle of the AC cord so doesn’t block any other outlets when plugged in). Sub-woofer and non-brick power cord. Very sleek remote with battery included. HDMI cable – about 5 feet in length Optical cable – about 5 feet in length Setup and info manuals Likes; The black soundbar design is sleek and modern and at 1.81 inches tall probably wont block your TV’s IR. But just in case soundbar has IR pass thru capability (no cables included) Sub-woofer is black as well and pretty much standard shape/size. 12.5 w x 12d x 14h inches. Since its wireless you can pretty much place anywhere you’d like within 30 feet. Remote is nice design and fit my hand perfectly. Has On/Off, mute, TV or optical source, volume, center speaker adjustment, bass adjustment, music/night/movie modes. There are also buttons on top of the soundbar for power, source, Bluetooth and volume. Adding to Google Home was very simple. You can use soundbars built-in Chromecast or blue-tooth to stream content. If your TV has ARC (Audio Return Channel) and HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) just connect using provided HDMI cable and you are pretty much set to go. This should allow any remote you may have setup for your TV to now control the soundbar volume which shows as on-screen display. I wound up using the optical connection as I wanted to have the option of using either soundbar or TV for sound. Downside is no on-screen display. Can decode PCM, Dolby Digital and DTS. On the front of the soundbar are a series of lights/colors that indicate overall, center and bass volumes. Also indicates night mode as well as what sound format it is using/decoding (PCM, DD or DTS). Whether playing music or TV the unit really fills the room with sound. I contacted Definitive support and found their staff to be VERY enthusiastic about their product and genuinely interested in getting your issues/questions resolved ASAP. 5-year warranty!!!!! Dis-likes; No fine tune EQ adjustments/settings other than center or bass volume No ATMOS. No voice activated AI – google or amazon. There are no video inputs/outputs, only audio inputs - as the 1 HDMI connection is sound input only. If your TV doesn’t support ARC you wont be able to use this HDMI connection. This leaves the optical sound connection which, as long as your TV has optical output, you can use it to listen to anything your TV is playing. Even if your TV doesn’t have optical output and doesn’t support ARC all is not lost. If any of your other components such as cable box or blu-ray player have optical out you could connect them to the soundbar – just not both at the same time. Remote is not illuminated and makes it hard to find/use in dark room. Indicator lights on the soundbar stay on only a short time and only when adjusting/selecting something. There is no display button to check your settings, etc., or option to have them stay on No option to add rear speakers – confirmed by Definitive support. I don’t think you need them but would be nice in this price range to have that option. Final Ramblings; It doesn’t have some of the options its competitors have in this price range but if you are looking for a great sound experience this is a fantastic unit.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Smooth Looking and Awesome Sound

    Posted
    RalphHenry
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    This is a product that is worth the higher price. For starters, the packaging is awesome and ensures the device will not be damaged in shipment. Often products arrive bouncing around in a box but not this one, so that was great. You will notice that all the cables are provided so there is no need to rush out to get any type of cable such as the optical audio cable. I used an TV which did not have the HDMI ARC level port. This is found on newer smart TV’s so that the audio gets sent to the receiver/sound bar for an improvement in sound quality. HDMI ARC can allow for one remote to turn on everything in a system including your sound bar – that’s handy. So the manual will ask you to use an HDMI ARC port if there is one. However if you don’t have one an optical cable is included and I noticed this also turns on this sound bar – the sound over the optical cable is fantastic. You’ll notice little rubber dust shields where you connect the optical cable to your TV and also to the sound bar. The connector areas on the sound bar are slightly tilted which makes it easier to plug your connectors – a small detail but very important to ensure you can easily plug the connectors – good thinking by some engineer and just another indicator that this is a top level product all the way from the excellent sound to the little design points. The install was easy. I noticed that the engineers and programmers for this device are a very smart crew – for example the bass woofer which is a separate box connects via Bluetooth to the main sound bar, so there is no cable needed. They also provide a handy light on the back of the woofer to show you it is connected – green if good, orange if not connected. The electronics does all the work for you, just set up your system and it will connect the woofer ‘automagically’. Also the design is very ‘understated’ for example as you raise or lower the volumes little LED’s will show you the level. Each LED has multiple intensity levels to show the loudness which keeps the design clean. The sound is wonderful. You do need to turn your TV speakers off. Don’t be tempted to leave them on when using a sound bar – it creates a muddled sound. Go to the TV’s menu and turn the TV audio off, it is not a good idea to just mute the TV audio as it gets cumbersome to keep turning it down or off. The sound is so crisp and precise that you will not be tempted to use your TV speaker – just absolutely fabulous – which is the main reason you buy the product. The slim design blends in well and actually I often don’t even see the sound bar. The instructions say the woofer should be placed in a corner but I found no difference with just placing on the floor next to your TV stand. You do get a remote which handles main functions including how much bass and also it has a button to ‘center’ the audio – great thinking i.e. simple yet gives you all the adjustments you need. You can also use Chromecast to send audio and video to this soundbar by using the Google Home app. I will tell you that using this soundbar to hear your Google Music casted from your cell phone will blow you away. I highly recommend this product for it’s powerful and pure sound and also for the overall simple design where the electronics does the complicated stuff for you, which takes great programming and great hardware.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great high-end soundbar!

    Posted
    Bergm
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I am very impressed and happy with this soundbar! I have another pair of large, floor-standing Definitive Technology speakers, so I was expecting a high quality product and this soundbar and subwoofer did not disappoint! The 3.1 setup really allows separation of the voices from the music, so it is much easier to hear people talking when watching TV and movies with background music. However, when you switch to the Music Mode with the remote, you also get a great stereo sound for a soundbar setup, with some really nice punch to the bass from this subwoofer. I like the design of this unit. It is slim enough that it doesn't interfere with the bottom of the TV and remote sensors. Has a nice angle on both ends so it looks a little fancier than just a standard rectangular soundbar. No buttons or unnecessary things sticking up from the unit. Looks nice in front of my TV. The subwoofer is pretty typical size for an 8" subwoofer, which you can put in a corner, out of the way. The packaging of the unit was quite well done. The shipper had dinged up the box a bit when I received it, so I was a little concerned with what I might find inside, however, the way this was packaged, there was no way it could have been damaged. What you would expect from a high-end brand. The setup was very easy. Just connect to the TV using the HDMI to ARC plug or the optical plug. You have to download the free Google Home App to your phone or other device in order to connect the soundbar, but you don't have to use Google Home for anything else. However, the App has some cool features too, it allows you to automatically connect to some music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, YouTube Music or Google Play Music, as well as connect to a number of TV streaming services. You can also use the App for various settings with your soundbar, so it offers a nice package of extra services you don't typically get with a soundbar system. For the subwoofer, you just plug it in to a power outlet and it automatically connects to the soundbar. You can also use Chromecast for streaming to the soundbar. The system also comes with a remote that lets you control volume, as well as letting you increase or decrease the center speaker and the subwoofer. There are Music, Night and Movie modes that you can select from the remote also. All the remote options have corresponding lights on the soundbar so you can see what you are doing too. You can also control your soundbar with the TV remote for most TV's and use that to control power and volume. I also connected my iphone to the soundbar system via Bluetooth. This was a simple connection and allows me to play any of the music or music Apps from my phone, control volume, etc. If you are looking for a high-end soundbar/subwoofer system that provides good TV & Movie sound, but also delivers good stereo sound for playing music in your home, I recommend this system!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic sound, so-so user experience

    Posted
    Chadwick
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I am in love with the sound of the Studio Slim! Massive amounts of bass and sparkling clear highs have far exceeded my expectations. While not what I’d technically classify as “slim” the soundbar’s clean lines and minimalistic design blends amazingly well and practically disappears once in place. The bass module is fairly large but not unwieldy and also blends in so well you almost forget it’s there...until you fire it up. The setup had the normal pains of using Google Home and the requirement to have to go through that before the unit is fully functional was an unwelcomed surprise and it seems like an unnecessary design decision. (On a side note, I am not a user of Google Home or Chromecast and don't intend to change that in the near future based on experiences I've had setting up devices in friends and family members homes. I don't like being forced to sign up for a service just to use a product.) Once through that process, a couple of other drawbacks showed up. First, I cannot use my Xfinity remote to control the Studio Slim as I could with the last two soundbars I have used. Major bummer to have to use 2 remotes just to get to basic functions like volume (my TV does not have ARC). Next, the included remote is well-designed but isn’t backlit and doesn’t include all functions (like switching to a Bluetooth source which requires a button push on the soundbar itself, which is yet another pain). Bluetooth pairing is relatively easy but don’t expect seamless integration with Alexa devices as the connection is spotty and often requires resetting either the Alexa unit or the soundbar to fix connection issues. I'm guessing this is because of the close integration with Google services but have no way of confirming that. As far as I have been able to find, there is no setting to power on the unit when a Bluetooth connection is initiated (I have been able to do this for several years with soundbars from other manufacturers). Finally, the minimalist design makes it difficult, if not impossible to know whether the unit is on or what input is selected without pressing a button on the remote because the small indicator lights “time-out” very quickly. While my gripes and frustrations with the Studio Slim are relatively minor inconveniences individually, when added together, they do take away from the everyday ease of use. The impressive sound quality is great, but it seems like Definitive took a break when it came to user-friendliness.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Ultimate Sound Bar!!!

    Posted
    ScottLaRoc
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    With a premium sound bar design and sound the Definitive Technology Studio Slim is in a league of its own. This is the ultimate sound bar. The sleek all black design and size compliment any home setup. Mounting the sound bar to the wall was as easy as hanging a picture frame and can be done by one person as it’s light weight. The subwoofer is on the taller and wider end but the bass that emanates from it completely make up for it’s size. Connecting the soundbar is a snap. Using either the supplied optical cable or the HDMI cable via ARC. Your TV must be ARC compatible to use this feature. And Power to the soundbar and sub and you’re done! The sound is incredible. The highs, the mids and lows are perfectly tuned for each setting, Music, Movie or Night mode. Or you can adjust the amount of input from the center or bass. Normally I test sound on movies or music. For music I choose Rock and Roll or Latin Jazz so that I can hear those highs and mids or the thumping for the bass (guitar or drums). For movies I normally use Action (breaking glass) for those highs and mids and one particular movie is the Matrix. Specifically the scene where Neo flexes after imploding the agent and he flexes. That’s a heavy bass scene and this subwoofer handles it without an issue, even at high sound level. I have had other subwoofers (almost all of them) that cannot this amount of bass and rattle the sub or the enclosure. Another scene I test with is Gladiator, The Barbarian Horde Battle. This scene has an amazing score accompanied by all the battle sounds making it a splendid test bed for any speaker setup. The Studio Slim handles it to near perfection. Voices are crisp and clear as well as music when it all needs to be. Playing video games, oh my! The sound is equally impressive and amazing. From playing car racing games and hearing the engines roar or playing a shooter, everything is right there for your listening pleasure. Playing music is a snap, from either Google Play, using your playlist or a random selection from the Google Home app. You can cast Pandora, YouTube as well. My only drawback for this unit is the subwoofer size. If you’re crunched for space you’ll have a tough time fitting in. But with the size comes amazing bass. As said earlier in my review, this is the ultimate sound bar. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything that comes close to this unit, in performance and design. The sound is completely immersive. And this all comes packed up with a 5 year warranty!!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Stressful first but then smooth listening.

    Posted
    TheTruthRealDeal
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Chromecast Built-in - Black stressed me out at first, because I could not connect the sound bar to my TV with the included optical cable. The input for connecting the optical cable is in a tight corner area in back of the sound bar. A person with large fingers would have difficulty inserting the optical cable, due to the cramped corner area where the optical cable input is located. I connected the optical cable as best that I could, but did not hear any sound from the sound bar. I called Definitive Technology for assistance to no avail, due to the troubleshooter disconnecting the call, after I asked him to wait while I go into my living room to take an optical cable from my LG sound bar to replace the Definitive Technology optical cable. Once I replaced the cables, miraculously the Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Chromecast Built-in - Black worked perfectly. Previously, I could not even get the woofer to connect with the sound bar, but after changing the optical cable the woofer connected automatically via Bluetooth. I took a chance and switched back to the Definitive Technology optical cable and all of a sudden “viola” everything was working. After the stressful situation was over, I can honestly state that the Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Chromecast Built-in - Black is an excellent addition to any television and sound system. I connected it to my Vizio HDTV. The sound quality is similar to a smaller scaled version of a movie theater atmosphere. I can hear the different levels of octaves, from the highest to the lowest frequencies. The woofer emits a deep bass sound that vibrates the floor. The volume is powerful enough to fully fill a large room with the highest level of quality sound. The sound function can be changed to complement the type of program being watched; from movies to music to night volume for a quieter volume. I connected my Pixel phone through Chromecast for Streaming Music via Bluetooth. I enjoy the quality and functionality of the Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Chromecast Built-in - Black and plan on enhancing my television and music experience because of it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Stunning Sound with Great Design

    Posted
    gwtbike
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Sound quality is stunning. Clear and crisp, deep, and well-defined. I was running a Polk Audio setup which was no slouch by any means and I couldn’t necessarily complain about it but this was a step up, for sure. Even at a medium volume setting, it had a substantial amount of volume. At higher volumes I did not experience any distortion even with bass-heavy tracks. Setup was very simple by adding to the Google Home app as a device for Google Home integration and then you can utilize it for casting content from different devices. For setup with a TV, I used the HDMI ARC connection with a Sony Bravia TV and that worked without a hitch. However, note that the HDMI plug is not perfectly flat with the back of the unit - there is a slight angle to it and trying to push it in parallel to the back of the unit will not work and may result in damage. There is maybe a 10-20 angle to it. The subwoofer (which PUMPS out some bass) connected automatically and I did not have to do anything for it to automatically link up. In terms of design, it’s quite attractive although not as slim as some other soundbars, however they may not have the high quality sound either. The light indicators on the front of the panel could be better in regards to supplying more information. You’ll want to keep the manual around for referencing what lights and colors indicate different functions. The remote is nice, simple, and small, but not so small like an Apple TV remote which can get lost easily. It has controls for changing different sound profile modes and there was indeed a difference between Music and Movie which enhanced the center channel with dialogue quite a bit. The one interesting thing that I couldn’t seem to get around was that it required Google Home setup - just keep in mind that it appears that you will have to do this step to get this soundbar to work. Overall a very solid device with very few things to complain about and would have given it 4.5 stars if I could, but have to give it 5.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great sound, deep heavy bass!

    Posted
    Honestreviewer151987
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Jeez, this beast is amazing. The sound bar is very sleek with a shiny elegant design. Wireless subwoofer is quite heavy like the Bose module. The quality of sound is perfection and travels around the room as if there were additional sets of speakers positioned along the back walls. Every tone comes through the device flawlessly. The voices are crisp and clear without being overpowered by the booming background music and explosive tones. We were thrilled with that, and is due to the center channel isolating the voices from the other three. Setup is quite simple and easy using google home app. Music can be chromecasted from different apps - google music, pandora, YouTube, etc., to the speaker after setup. Sound quality is just amazing! The adjustable bass of the wireless woofer using the remote is a really good feature. This bar works great with our Samsung Smart TV and I'm pretty sure it works well with others. Once the sound is set up to your liking by the included remote, that can be stored away. All functions work cohesively with the TV remote. The unit wirelessly communicates to the televisions remote, automatically setting itself up without having to enter codes and numbers. That was a treat to discover. The front lights displays volume level, sound mode - Movie, music and night. The night mode displays lights in pink. The lights also turns on for a few seconds when volume changes, bass alterations, input switches, and other various functions are being made, and then shuts off so not to be distracting while viewing the television. This unit was well thought out. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Welcome to the Movies

    Posted
    Mistabritt
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    So I've been testing out this amazing soundbar over the last week and life hasn't been the same. First off this is the most sleek design of a soundbar I've ever seen/used. It features brushed aluminum and cloth fabric covering over the speakers. On top are buttons to tweak the setting which you can also do via the remote. Setup was quick and easy and I was up and running within 10 minutes. The back of the soundbar features all of the ports that you need. HDMI (ARC) and Optical port in addition to the power plug port. On the back of the subwoofer is a power button and light that lets you know when both the subwoofer and soundbar are connected. After getting everything up and running (and turning off my TV speakers from the menu), I fired up Netflix and HULU to test out my new soundbar and I was blown away. I heard different sounds and parts of movies I hadn't heard before. The sound was so engulfing that it made me feel as though I was part of the movie. The remote has 3 different preset settings for MUSIC, MOVIES, and NIGHT to adjust to your taste. Sound quality was crisp and clear and also full of bass at the right moment especially for horror movies. After testing out Netflix and HULU I loaded up Spotify and utilized the built-in Chromecast feature. Again, I wasn't ready for the amazing sound quality of this soundbar when it came to music. This soundbar is simply amazing and I totally recommend it to anyone looking for a sleek and elegant designed soundbar that brings the bass and invites you into the movies.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love it - Awesome sound!

    Posted
    TechMatcher
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    I already own several soundbars - so I feel I have a comparison base. Right out of the gate, I knew this would be a special unit. Just from the care in the packaging of the system - all components are in fabric bags for protection - I felt this would be an exceptional sound experience. I temporarily located this unit in a room that does not have a soundbar - and I'll tell you that the difference you'll hear from standard TV speakers to a soundbar like this is unbelievable. Unlike others, I had no setup issues. Plug in the optical cable to the TV, plug in the power, launch Google Home and away we went! First thing I did was play some music via Spotify - and the bass and immersive sound were simply awesome! Next up - Game of Thrones via HBO Go. WOW - such a huge difference. Really excited to watch a full episode! As far as "Slim" - yeah ) guess it is - not excessively slim - but stylish and sleek none-the-less. The wireless sub-woofer works great - sounds even better. Very impressed overall. My TV remote worked immediately with it - so I didn't have to program anything either - BONUS!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Clear voice and sound!

    Posted
    JamexRZ
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    My biggest gripe with flat tv's is their puny sound and poor voice clarity. With this soundbar, all that is gone! I can finally hear all dialogues clearly and without the need of activating subtitles! Setup was easy, plugin the sound bar to power, connect HDMI cable, preferably to the ARC hdmi input on the tv (to be able to return audio) then connect the wireless subwoofer. The google home app is required to setup the system and its easy and upgrades the bar's software too. After that, via HDMI CEC, I can control the bar just with my TV's remote. The included remote has some extra controls, like music and movie preset. You can also tune the bass, from the box its not that much and the bar focuses more on the clarity of the dialogue, but you can tune the bass to your liking (by the way, the wireless subwoofer pairs itself to the system, so I didn't need to do anything). I highly recommend this bar for anyone that likes great sound (the simulated surround is ok, as its a 3.1 system), but the dialogue clarity is superb!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Overall Pretty Good, but...

    Posted
    JulieC
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The sound quality of the Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System is superb. The set up and connection of the soundbar and subwoofer was easy. We had it up and going in no time. We love the look of it and the slim design is great. There are a few things that prevent me from giving it 5 stars. First of all, when you want to increase/decrease the sound it takes a lot of pushing of the button on the remote to hear the difference. Then it seems to drastically change volume all of a sudden. Makes for a lot of up and down pressing to get it at the volume you want. Also, we have had the sound go out all of a sudden for no reason. The remote no longer would work, but you could increase/decrease the sound by pushing the buttons on the soundbar itself. We had to disconnect and reconnect everything for it to work again. When this happened, my husband could still use his iPhone to change the sound, just not the remote. It is almost like the remote became disconnected and wouldn't work. Once, we got it working again, there have been no issues. I do wish the remote were made better. It seems very lightweight and cheaply made. The overall sound quality is amazing and the subwoofer gives a lot of bass when we play music. It is an amazing soundbar, but the remote isn't the greatest. I wish it matched the quality of the Soundbar and subwoofer.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Performance was average.

    Posted
    buckbabes
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    My first observations taking it out of the box were, that it was well packaged and although it is advertised as slim, it wasn't necessarily slimmer than other sound bars. It was slightly smaller but not enough for me to call it slim. Set up was kinda a pain, Google and I both had issues. Google home had an issue after the first update. It said "it took to long to update" and didn't register the soundbar. 30 minutes later, the issue cleared itself. Once I got past that, I had an issue getting the HDMI arc or even regular HDMI to work. After an hour of troubleshooting, I finally gave up and used the optical connection, which immediately worked. In the box was a phone number for free tech support however, at this price it should just be plug and play. I then began to test the different audio sources.I tested the audio with Spotify, Youtube music videos, Netflix movies and Blueray movies. Music videos and spotify did sound good but movies were disappointing. Movies with music felt flat and action movies did not feel immersive. With all that being said, I expected the performance to be premium and at most the performance was on par with any other standard soundbar on the market.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Hear Ye, Hear Ye (so much better)

    Posted
    BogleheadsGuide
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Definitive Technology - Studio Slim Series 3.1-Channel Soundbar System with 8" Wireless Subwoofer and Chromecast Built-in - Black Setting up your new sound bar is well-documented and pretty straightforward. You can either place the unit at the base of your TV (that was my choice) or you can choose to wall mount it. Once you’ve done the manual sound bar hookup, you’ll download the Google Home App to setup your sound bar on your WiFi network. This will allow you to download the latest firmware updates to make sure that your sound bar system is always up to date. Next, you’ll want to go through your TV’s sound settings to set up your TV to send the sound to the sound bar. While doing that, be sure to turn off the sound going to the TV’s speakers. You’ll immediately notice a huge improvement when the crisp sound starts coming through the sound bar vs the sound you got when using your regular TV speakers. The change is both dramatic and very pleasing to the ears. As an added feature, Google’s Chromecast is built in for your music listening pleasure. Bottom Line: It’s a premium piece of equipment that justifies the premium price. You’ll definitely like what you hear.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Immersive sound

    Posted
    Zaid
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    This is my first investment into DT’ products. As soon as I finished installation, I realized how clear it sounds! Sleek design, build quality is premium, and slim. It took my movie watching experience to the next level to the extend I feel at the movie theater. Connectivity features are generous, BT and wifi streaming vis Google Home app or DT app on smartphone (IOS or Android). My TV is high end that equipped with sound system is made by one of the top branding companies, but after I hooked up DT soundbar and Was able to hear the difference in clarity and bass. I liked the velvet pouch for the remote especially for a person like me who take care of his stuff. Worth every penny!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Use this Bar to enhance your Bar..Area

    Posted
    Ebonovic
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    So must of us in our extra rooms where we never intended to have a TV, now have one. So we suffer from having just the basic sound out of the tiny speakers on the TV... don’t do that anymore Get deep rich and inclusive sounds that will rival many traditional stereo systems Easy to setup, even for complicated setups. Every modern connector is included. Even the advanced HDMI with ARC which is a major plus for those that need it Watch your Netflix movies, and your Hulu content. Crank up the music and have a party The separate subwoofer packs a deep punch and adds the fullness to the sound that so many systems are missing If you don’t have the room for a 7.2.1 Dolby Atmos, or the budget. You won’t go wrong by adding this sound bar system

    I would recommend this to a friend