Nakamichi is rare but it is spectacular. I have had experience with multiple sound bars including multiple vizios, Samsung HWK950 Atmos, Sony HTST5000 Atmos and both the 7.2 and 9.2 Nakamichi but I returned the Sony 5000 and the Samsung and the Vizio for the Nakamichi.
I will say that the Nakamichi blows the rest out of the water but let’s just start with the sound bar itself not including all of the other things that the Nakamichi comes with that the other sound bars do not.
Just solely speaking of the sound bar itself the Nakamichi sound bar easily sounded the best including clarity, bass, depth, and height. Not to make comparisons but just the sound bar itself reminded me of first time I ever heard Bose stereo years ago. That’s the impression of the quality in the sound bar.
Now, let’s talk about all of the other things that this surround sound system comes with – 2 subwoofers instead of one and 4 surround sound speakers instead of two or instead of zero. Also, all of the surround sound speakers have tweeters in them…none of the other systems have that either.
Let me mention a few other answers that might be possible questions. The surround sound speakers are true surround sound and not simulated and from my experience with the Sony 5000 simulated surround sound did not impress me.
The surround sound speakers are totally concealable or you can have them out in the open because they look very nice and stylish. If anybody was wondering about the soundbar not being the generic rectangular shape of every other sound bar, Trust me when I say this, it really compliments my TV stand that it’s not just another rectangle and it has a little bit of silver accents on each end and on the nameplate to also set it off.
Best thing about Nakamichi is that they provide all the subwoofers and bass that you want. Also not to mention that all of the other sound bars only come with one subwoofer and with this system you get 2 subs and trust me the base is so much more well balanced because you have 1 on each side of the Room instead of just 1 on 1 side of the Room .
Lastly, I just got Terminator 2 remastered in 4k And I wanted to mention that me and my girlfriend were laying on the couch and we thought there was a dog barking outside of my house(it was in the movie in the background of a scene barking). Not to mention the motorcycle driving by and you could hear it left to right explosions sounded like they were in perfect positions above, beside, and behind.
And then we watched Blade Runner 4K and it was raining in the movie and It sounded like it was raining inside of my house but then the character in the movie went inside of a building where the rain was still on the outside and I actually thought it was raining up on my roof outside of my house!
So I have used the new Atmos firmware on my 9.2 for a few weeks and this is what I have to say. If I were to assign a number, the new firmware gives the system about 2x the performance of what was already the best soundbar system by far!
The difference is a very very nice and substantial upgrade putting the 9.2 system in a whole new league in terms of sound quality. Hearing Atmos played from all of the system’s speakers (soundbar, 4 surround speakers and 2 10” subwoofers) is like being inside of the actual movie scene itself!..
No other soundbar system I have listened to can offer an Atmos experience that can even come close to the Nakamichi period(Especially not the simulated sound bars that don’t even actually come with true speakers to place around your room). I watched Unbroken and the opening bombing scene was so intense with the gunfire, missiles and explosions coming from all directions including above, behind and beneath.
All I can say is I am amazed! The sounds during movies were already all around you during the film but now there is so much more elevation in the sound as well. The new firmware also improved the performance of bluetooth audio meaningfully.
To answer a few possible questions. The new firmware comes with a new SSE technology which enables every speaker located around you to produce height effects. So rather than tiny, dedicated upfiring speakers found in other systems, you will actually hear height effects from all the speakers in this system resulting in more natural and realistic sounding Atmos quality surround sound. The new firmware also gives new speaker placement options allowing the surround speakers to be placed on their side due to their trapezoidal shape so that the speakers are angled upwards, thus becoming upfiring speakers.
You will also get the best of both worlds when it comes to upmixing normal mainstream content. Now, PCM and Dolby content will be upmixed into 9.2 channels using the Dolby Surround upmixing engine while DTS content will be upmixed using DTS NeuralX. So each type of content will be upmixed using its most suitable upmixer for you to take full advantage of the system’s 9.2.4 configuration.
I’m really happy about this new firmware and it definitely puts Nakamichi as the top soundbar choice 2020 for sound and performance. Nothing comes close especially after looking at what the other manufacturers will be launching this year.