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Bluesound PULSE Soundbar
Foto © Bluesound International

Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ – Dolby Atmos for the Wireless Streaming Sound System

A soundbar is an essential element in almost every multi-room audio streaming system, including the one from Bluesound. The Canadian company is now expanding its range in this area with the Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ Wireless Streaming Sound System, offering a solution that supports Dolby Atmos for the first time.

Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ Wireless Streaming Sound System, the next soundbar from Bluesound International, is ready and brings with it a very important innovation. For the first time, a soundbar in the Bluesound Line Up supports surround sound up to Dolby Atmos.

Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ based on Bluesound PULSE 2i

Bluesound International already offered a soundbar within the Wireless Streaming Sound System, namely the Bluesound PULSE Soundbar 2i. The new solution is also similar to this in many respects, but, as described, goes a step further than before in decisive features.

Easy integration into the living space

First and foremost, of course, the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ is a solution designed to provide optimal TV sound. At first glance, the new soundbar does not really look any different from the previous soundbar systems; it fits easily under any TV set, whether it is free-standing on a lowboard or sideboard, or optionally wall-mounted. Everything needed for wall mounting is included in the scope of delivery. As an optional accessory, the manufacturer also offers the Bluesound PULSE Soundbar TV Stand TS100, a combination of TV mount and mounting option for the soundbar, designed as a so-called table desk.

Rich sound

Inside the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ are two 25 mm tweeter drivers, which are combined with two 50 mm midrange drivers and two 102 mm woofers. In addition, there are two 102 mm passive radiators, which are supposed to provide superior bass. The drivers are driven by Class D amplifier modules, with a total output of 120 watts.

Numerous interfaces

First and foremost, the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ naturally offers an HDMI interface to establish the connection to the TV set. This is now an HDMI interface that not only supports ARC, but even eARC, so that content with Dolby Atmos, for example from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+, can be transmitted to the soundbar in full resolution.

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There is also an optical S/PDIF interface and an analogue input in the form of a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack.

There is also a USB port, which can be used as a source for corresponding storage media.

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can be connected as a source via Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth is also used to insert suitable headphones, whereby aptX and even aptX HD are supported. Accordingly, the built-in Bluetooth module is designed as a transceiver, i.e. it can transmit and receive.

Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos

In the proven manner, the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ also relies on DSP-based signal processing, which on the one hand always guarantees optimal control of the described drivers, but on the other hand also allows some intervention in the sound via an equaliser. In addition, the DPS-based signal processing also supports Dolby Digital and now also Dolby Atmos.

This means that it is now possible to realise genuine cinema sound in the living room with the Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ alone, according to the manufacturer’s promise. With the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+, the viewer is placed in the middle of the sound event and can thus experience films, TV series and games with a completely new dimension.

Improved performance

All this is made possible by the fact that the developers are using a new, improved platform. The new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ is equipped with a 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core processor, which is supposed to bring a significantly improved performance. Of course, how could it be otherwise, BluOS is used as the operating system.

Network integration via cable or WiFi

In the tried and tested manner, the user also has the choice of cable or WiFi to integrate the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ into the network. If you choose cable, a Gigabit Ethernet interface is used, for WLAN a module according to IEEE 802.11ac dual band is responsible. Sufficient performance is thus guaranteed with both options.

Part of the BluOS Wireless Streaming Sound System

As part of the BluOS Wireless Streaming Sound System, you can primarily access the extremely convenient app, the BluOS Controller App, which is available for Apple iOS, Google Android, Amazon FireOS, Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS. However, this is not only used to control the functions as a pure soundbar, but primarily to use the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ as a versatile streaming device.

Via BluOS, all conceivable content can be accessed, be it in one’s own network via a simple SAMBA file share of a NAS (Network Attached Storage), as well as tens of online offers.

BluOS supports all relevant audio data up to hi-res audio with 24 bit and 192 kHz, can decode content in MQA, but does not know how to play DSD.

Online services include Deezer, Napster, Qobuz, TIDAL, Amazon Music HD and many, many more, as well as podcasts and Internet radio.

Voice control included

BluOS also ensures that control via voice control is possible; both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are supported. And since the latest generation from Bluesound, and therefore also the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+, is also equipped for Apple AirPlay 2, nothing stands in the way of integration into Apple HomeKit including Apple Siri.

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Integration in Custom Installation Systems

It is also very important that the BluOS system as a whole is always designed in such a way that solutions based on it can be integrated into various control solutions for Custom Installation, such as Crestron, Control 4, RTI, ELAN, URC, Push, Lutron and iPort.

Control directly at the unit

Of course, the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ can also be operated very simply directly on the device, using the corresponding touch fields. In addition, there is the possibility of control via infrared remote control, because the Soundbar is of course equipped with an IR sensor. It also offers a learning function, so that the TV remote control is completely sufficient for everyday use. It can also be controlled via the Bluesound RC1 Remote Control, which the manufacturer offers as an optional accessory.

Open for extensions

Even though the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ is designed to deliver a rich sound on its own, it is of course possible to upgrade it, especially with an additional subwoofer.

In the simplest case, a corresponding analogue output is available for this, although this is certainly not the most elegant form.

For example, you can expand the Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ with the Bluesound PULSE SUB+, which also uses BluOS and is thus controlled “wirelessly”. For this purpose, the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ is even equipped with a second WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11ac, which guarantees a smooth connection.

But that’s not all, you can also bring surround speakers into play via BluOS, for example in the form of the Bluesound PULSE FLEX 2i Speaker solutions.

Here, too, all configurations of the now “real” surround system are carried out particularly conveniently in the Bluesound Controller App on the smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Available in white and black

According to the information currently available, the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ should not be too long in coming. The manufacturer states that one can expect to find the new soundbar of the Bluesound Wireless Streaming Sound System in specialist shops as early as May 2021. The customer can choose between white and black. The recommended retail price will be € 999.

Of course, you can also purchase a perfectly matching bundle, i.e. the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ in combination with the Bluesound PULSE Sub+ subwoofer. For this package, you have to calculate € 1,749.

Getting to the point

Bluesound International replaces the previously available Bluesound PULSE 2i soundbar with the new Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+. Even though the two systems look very similar externally, a platform with significantly higher performance is now used. Among other things, this also enables the support of Dolby Atmos.

Manufacturer:Bluesound International
Distribution Austria:smart audio GmbH
Distribution Germany:Dali GmbH
Price:Bluesound PULSE Soundbar+ € 999,-
Bundle mit PULSE SUB+ € 1.749,-

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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