Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 Soundbar Review

Nakamichi Shockwafe Review

If you are looking for a soundbar that can drastically change your audio experience, this 9.2 channel sound system is incredible. But is it right for you?

As an underrated product, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 is a premium choice and we’ll tell you why in this in-depth review.

Pros

Cons

Design

The Nakamichi name may not be front and center in the popular soundbars section, but the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 is a heavy-duty home theater system that features all the right accessories and a beautiful design. Equipped with two high-end external subwoofers and 4 rear satellite speakers, our audio team is very impressed with the built and performance of the unit. 

They are all matte black with front grilles and embellished with silver trim for a futuristic design. Even with so many components, the speaker system’s design is compact and takes up as little space as possible.

Placement

Due to the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra having so many moving parts, placement can be limited if you don’t have that much space in your home. If you are placing it level with your TV on a surface, the soundbar may be tall enough to obstruct the bottom part.

It’s good to place the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra speaker lower than your TV or wall-mount it for the best aesthetics and sound. During our reviews, we’d say the wall is the optimum location for connecting your Nakamichi soundbar to your TV.

Interface and Display

The control panel on the Shockwafe Ultrasoundbar features 5 buttons: two for the volume, one for inputs, a demo button, and a power button. To make the set-up easier, the power button helps you test the tones for every individual channel.

The soundbar also has a mini display that sits well behind the grill. It would show your settings and menus, which is helpful when you set up or use your new bar up close.

Features

While the name is more known as a car audio brand [1], Nakamichi is more than capable of producing an all-encompassing audio experience for your home – whether it’s movies or music. 

Here are some of the more notable features you should see: 

Channels

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra is an amazing soundbar with 9.2.4 channels. The first number is the number of channels it has (where sound is emitted from), the second is the number of subs, and the last is the number of external speakers (in this case, the speakers at the back).

We always say that 5 channels is the number you should get if you want to use products that give industry-standard surround sound. That said, you can imagine the type of immersive and expansive range the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 can provide. The channel numbers alone lets you know how great this system is compared to other well-reviewed soundbars like the Sony HT-CT80 that come with fewer channels.

Meanwhile, the Vizio SB3651-E6 simulates 5.1 surround sound, which brings it closer to the standard set-up we like.

Sound Quality

The frequency response of the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra soundbar isn’t great but it’s still pretty good. With a range from 48.3 Hz up to 5.7 kHz, the subwoofer would even everything out when you’re watching a movie or listening to music.

It’s quite a capable soundbar for those who like loud surround sounds as it’s one of the loudest soundbars on the market. They also put full emphasis on the audio direction for smaller details instead of having it overwhelm you from all directions. 

When listening at a regular volume, the sound is pure and clear with minimal harmonic distortion. Our tests and reviews with the Shockwafe sound bar reflected much more distortion if you turned the volume all the way up, but it’s insignificant compared to the detail and quality sound it does make. It’s best to play around with the level of volume with different types of content.

Surround Sound

With so many extra components as a 9.2.4 soundbar, Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra is one of the high-end Dolby Atmos surround sound designed soundbars. To be able to deliver DTS HD, DTS:X, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Atmos content, however, you need to make sure to turn the Dolby Surround function on.

This DTS:X soundbar also features a sound enhancement feature, which is labeled as “room”. This feature will change the sound and adjust to different settings accordingly while preventing your speakers from buzzing.

Overall, the surround performance of this soundbar system brings out the full range in different types of media and content – mostly with Atmos being the front-runner.

Subwoofer

With two subwoofers and the 2-way tweeter, the bass is tremendously rumbling and room-filling. The “bass” button can tune the lower frequencies with tons of customization options available. We do recommend turning the bass down a bit since it can be overwhelming during surround performance.

The wireless subs can be placed on either side of the soundbar for a deep and rich bass output across the room. The subwoofer in the Shockwafe Ultra is already larger than regular subs included with soundbar systems, so having two needs even more space.

Satellite Speakers

The 4 rear speakers can be strategically placed at the back of the room to better produce an immersive surround sound experience. The surround speakers have rear mounting holes and connections to the dual subwoofers.

With the speakers in place, the full Nakamichi Shockwafe 9.2.4 home theater is complete.

Connection

When it comes to connection options, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra offers HDMI arc, HDMI input and output, an analog 3.5 mm, and USB. With three HDMI ports, it’s easy to run all the sound through the soundbar posing as the setup command center.

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra also supports Bluetooth wireless music playback, but unfortunately doesn’t offer Wi-Fi connections like the Samsung HW-N950. So, you don’t have access to even better content online.

While you should connect the subwoofers to a plug, the setup doesn’t need to be wired to the soundbar itself, but the 4 rear speakers do need cables to be connected to the subs to work.

Remote and Controls

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra comes with a remote that gives you full control over the entire thing. Unfortunately, it’s not a universal remote, which means you will have at least two remotes for other devices.

Compared to the remotes of other products we’ve tested, the one in this Nakamichi model is quite large and can be difficult to hold for someone with smaller hands. Also, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra doesn’t have an app you can use, which is pretty disappointing considering how high-quality its features are and how big the setup is.

Power Saving

For users who are conscious about their energy consumption, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra soundbar also comes with an energy-saving mode or “eco mode”. It’s basically just the soundbar going into standby if the speaker has been inactive for over 20 minutes’ time.

Setup and Accessories

Installing an impressive home theater system has a price tag and seems to be an inconvenience, however, with Nakamichi setup is easy and your purchase comes with everything you need in the box. This includes all the cables, batteries, and the mounting kit if you want to set the speaker on the wall. The user manual is also there, in case you need better information about the product.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 Review Conclusion

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra provides an unsurpassed experience in terms of heavy-duty and explosive sound. With 9 channels, 2 subwoofers, 4 satellite rear speakers, quality sound, DTS, and Atmos, the detail that emanates from Nakamichi is superior than other devices in the same price point.

Don’t miss out on which one wins between the Sonos Beam and the Bose TV Speaker. Read all about it next!

Writer

Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.