Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 User Manual

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Concerning setup, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 seems to be average. The installation process is not too fast, but it doesn’t drag you too much either. Opinions vary, and most of the problems arose because of the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 compatibility with the TV set.

Nakamichi Shockwafe 9.2 Soundbar

  • I Own: Shockwafe Ultra 9.2; Share Tweet #3., 06:47 AM. Originally posted by CCP View Post. Dolby Surround has height effects. Dolby upmix no height upmix.
  • Comparison of Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 and Samsung HW-Q950T will reveal the best features offered by the devices. HW-Q950T is a better soundbar than the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2. Its sound profile is well-balanced and stereo performance is better.
  • Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 SSE Product Description: The Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 SSE is the best and maxed-out soundbar system from Nakamichi. The reason it’s an all-in-one best soundbar system is because of the pair of wireless subwoofers and the four speakers dedicated to creating a surround sound experience that comes with the soundbar.
  • Nakamichi LLC (USA) 7.1Ch Shockwafe Pro sound bar help desk. Troubleshoot your issues or drop us an email. Select your soundbar model on top to download user manual. SHOCKWAFE ULTRA 9.2 SSE (2019) / (2018 SSE UPGRADED) For firmware 3.0 and above. Full, detailed information about how to use the product.
  • Product Name: Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 DTS:X
  • Manufacturer: Nakamichi
  • Review Date:July 12, 2018 14:00
  • MSRP: $1,100
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • L/R: 2.5' Full Range Driver
  • Center: 2 x 2.5' Full Range Driver
  • Front Effects: 2.5' Full Range Driver and 1' High Frequency Tweeter
  • Satellites: 3' Full Range Driver and 1' High Frequency Tweeter
  • Subwoofers: 10' Down-firing, rear-ported, wireless
  • Soundbar: 45.5 x 3.3 x 3.0', 7.27 lb.
  • Subwoofers: 13.5 x 12 x 20.5', 23.4 lb. (each)
  • Satellites: 9.5 x 6 x 8', 5.7 lb. (each)
  • Power output (RMS): 90 W (soundbar), 15 W (satellites, each), 50 W (subwoofers, each)
  • 3 HDMI inputs with 4k HDR Pass Thru, HDCP 2.2, 1 HDMI output with ARC
  • 1 Optical Input, 1 Coaxial input, 1 Stereo 3.5mm analog input, 1 USB input, Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX
  • Audio Processing for Dolby Digital, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
  • Backlit remote

When reviewing the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 DTS:X, the first challenge I had was deciding what category to put this product in. I know Nakamichi would like to call this a soundbar, as they featured the Shockwafe Ultra in their recent CES 2018 “High-End Soundbar Battle”. However, calling the Shockwafe Ultra a soundbar is like calling a fried Jalapeño Popper a vegetable. Sure, you start with something familiar that easily fits into the category, in this case, a single speaker enclosure with 8 drivers, amplification, and 4K HDMI pass-through. But then, some decidedly non-soundbar ingredients are added, like 4 surround speakers and 2 subwoofers that connect wirelessly to the main enclosure. All of this comes at a retail price of $1,099, which is approximately the same cost as assembling a basic, entry-level AVR-based discrete system.

Nakamichi Shockwafe 9.2 Soundbar

So, is this strictly a soundbar? I’d say “no.” While the main form factor looks familiar and strides have been taken to make everything easy for the novice, the Nakamichi features a main soundbar unit, 4 discrete surround channel enclosures and 2 subwoofers, along with myriad processing and adjustments. It is not designed for a plug-and-play consumer looking for modestly better sound.

But, is this a wireless home theater in a box? Well, not really. While you get lots of discrete channels, multiple subs, and advanced processing, the feature set isn’t quite as complete as a basic AVR (AV receiver) and the upgrade path is nonexistent. The Shockwafe Ultra really does straddle the line between soundbar and traditional home theater system which, depending on the type of customer you are, may be its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.

Nakamichi ShockWafe Ultra Soundbar Battle vs. Samsung HW-K950 & Creative Sonic Carrier YouTube Video

The Shockwafe Ultra ships in a single box. As you can imagine, with all the components involved in this system, that box is best carried with two people. Upon opening, I found everything to be well-packaged with clear placement instructions. The few quibbles I had, labels that were hard to peel off and brackets that needed to be removed from the surrounds, have already been addressed by Nakamichi with changes in newly shipped units. From the outset, Nakamichi has proved that they are a company committed to responding to customer feedback and making changes to improve the product.

As mentioned, the Shockwafe Ultra features a single enclosure containing six 2.5” full range drivers across the face of the unit, along with their requisite amplification. Two of these drivers serve as the center channel, one each serve as left/right channels, and the remaining two are paired, one each, with one of the two 1” tweeters angled out on either end to serve as wide/front effects channels. DTS-X algorithms create the front effects from traditional sources.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Center Array

The surround channels feature a 3” driver paired with a 1” tweeter in a dedicated enclosure. They can be used individually, or you can attach the side and rear speakers together to form a pseudo-dipole configuration. A mechanical switch on the back speaker sets the speaker out of phase for a little more separation between the surround channels when they are joined together. The surround speakers are passive and connected in pairs, via a typical RCA cable, to a subwoofer.

The Shockwafe Ultra comes with two subwoofers, one left and one right. Each subwoofer connects to the main unit wirelessly and powers itself, plus the two surround channels for that side of the room. The surround channels are connected to the subs via RCA cables. The included RCA cables are about 33 feet long, which should allow for many placement options. Nakamichi recommends that you use sidewall placement on the subs, closer to the location of the surrounds, which will reduce wire clutter and may improve bass response in some rooms. The subs feature a single 10” driver in a ported enclosure weighing a modest 23.4 lbs each. The subwoofers are much taller than they are wide/deep; one of my favorite form factors for accommodating reasonably large enclosure sizes in as little floor space as possible.

Nakamichi Subwoofer Back

Inputs on the main unit include 1 HDMI with ARC, 3 HDMI version 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 and 4K HDR pass thru, optical, coax, and analog 3.5mm. Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX handles wireless duties. There’s even a USB port for music and firmware upgrades, though the Nakamichi does not feature an onscreen display, making navigating music on a USB drive is a cumbersome task. The good news is, Bluetooth and inexpensive streamers like the Google Chromecast have pretty much replaced USB as the budget jukebox of choice.

The included remote has dedicated keys for most of the functions of the unit. Most of the remote is back-lit. As mentioned, the Nakamichi does not offer an On Screen Display, and the built in display is somewhat hard to read at distance and limited to only a few characters of information via 16-segment lcds hidden beneath the non-removable grill. The dedicated keys on the remote save steps and make adjustments from the seating position very simple.

Nakamichi Backlit Remote

There are physical buttons on the speaker enclosure for power, input, and volume for the times when the remote goes temporarily missing. The perforated grill protects the drivers very well and, save for a few silver/gloss black trim embellishments on either end, comprises the entirety of the face of the soundbar. The soundbar can be easily wall-mounted using the included brackets and weighs just a bit over 7lbs.

Out of the box, the physical setup is pretty simple considering how many speaker channels are represented here. The previously mentioned need to connect the surrounds to the subwoofer might result in some placement challenges, but the most recent revision of the unit includes wires that are about 33 feet long and can easily be replaced with longer, standard RCA cables should you need to.

The electronic setup was somewhat of another matter. I found the level of the center and surround channels much louder than the front channels, even at the minimum level setting. Nakamichi was very responsive and has since issued a firmware update that addresses this and some other minor issues. However, users will need to use an SPL meter to ensure that levels are set evenly for best performance as the Shockwafe Ultra, unlike other high-end soundbars and low-end home theater receivers, does not offer any sort of automatic calibration. Level adjustments are somewhat coarse and delay is set using one of 3 “room sizes”. The latest firmware adds a +/- 3dB balance adjustment in case where one surround channel may be much closer than the others to the listening area, and subwoofer crossover adjustments of 180, 140, and 110 Hz. However, due to the higher number of discrete channels in the Shockwafe Ultra, there is some opportunity for a more customizable experience that discerning home theater user may appreciate. Compared to an AVR, this would be a bit lacking so, again, I found myself struggling with how to categorize and fairly compare the Shockwafe to other products.

The Shockwafe Ultra, like many soundbars and AVRs, offers a bevy of listening/EQ modes such as music, movie, and clear voice. I found these to be fairly impractical which, to be fair, could be said about almost any soundbar. Again, the latest firmware continues to improve the product, for instance, adding dynamic range control specific to the night mode.

Diving deeper into the setup menu allows you to control Dynamic Range Compression for all modes and various implementations of DTS Neural:X processing which upmixes content to all 9.2 available channels. In spite of, or perhaps due to my experience working with standard Home Theater AVRs, I had to spend a bit of time learning which setting names correspond to which implementations of DTS:X and channel remapping. In the latest firmware (V1.0b), Nakamichi responded to this concern by simplifying the Pure Direct naming conventions and increasing the info that can be displayed using the INFO and SETUP buttons. I think more novice users would benefit from better preset tuning at the factory (could be easily fixed via firmware update), but more advanced users will be happy with the improved clarity and control over what processing and channels are active. The user that wants a soundbar form factor with a strong set of features typically only found in a full AVR can find a lot to like here.

One very useful feature is the two system memory settings with dedicated remote buttons, so you can dial in EQ, Volume, and speaker levels and save them for quick future retrieval. I would highly recommend this approach rather than relying on presets. Voopoo drag software download. I dialed in a good music and movie preset, saved them both, and it was time for listening.

Nakamichi shockwafe ultra 9.2 user manual
Nakamichi shockwafe ultra 9.2 user manual

I setup the Nakamichi using the recommended sidewall placement of the subs. I played a variety of content, lossy and lossless, stereo and surround. My sources were the ODroid C2 running OpenPHT as a Plex Client, and a ChromeCast. Again, because of the nature of the design, I find myself needing to compare the Shockwafe against both traditional premium soundbars and budget home theater AVR-based systems.

Once levels for all the channels were properly set using an SPL meter, there was no question that the Shockwafe Ultra produced surround fields more enveloping than even the more convincing pseudo-surround in soundbars without discrete surround channels. There has been wonderful psychoacoustic gimmickry to hit the market, processing tricks and purpose-built hardware that can, in the right situation, fool the brain and ears into believing that a single front enclosure is create sound all around a listener. A person would think that sounds pretty convincing. Then, you listen to a truly discrete system like the Nakamichi and you realize real speakers are simply better sounding, and perhaps worth the additional setup complexity.

To movies to assess low-bass response, dialogue intelligibility, and effective surround effects, I like 2015’s Bond offering, “Spectre”. It opens with a stunning sequence that properly showcases two of the three. The noise of the parade fills the environment, and the music moves throughout the channels positioning the viewer in the scene, and a helicopter gives demo-worthy surround flyovers. The Nakamichi proves here that there is no substitute for true surround channels as I haven’t heard a pseudo-surround soundbar that can do this as convincingly as the most modest discrete surround speakers and is a clear case for true surround channels with a soundbar.

The dual subwoofers are slightly larger and heavier than what comes with most soundbars, which isn’t a bad thing, especially in pairs, and especially when reproducing the effects of a giant building crashing down around Mr. Bond. While there are certainly more capable subs available for a few hundred dollars each, you won’t find them packaged in soundbar systems. Without a side-by-side of my usual subs, and remembering the price, I found the Nakamichi did a respectable job of conveying the impact of the rubble.

Continuing on, there’s lots of opportunity to judge dialogue during fistfights, gunfights, and even some times when no one is fighting. The vocals were clear, though a bit artificially edged and with an image smaller than my screen. Even when coupled with a competent subwoofer, the 2.5” full range drivers in the front array can only do so much to present a broad and even frequency response. Frankly, the surround channels with their larger 3” driver and separate 1” tweeter in a 2-way design and respectable cabinet size are a more capable design than the front stage. We won’t typically recommend putting more capable speakers behind your head than in the front, but this is often what is necessitated by the soundbar form factor.

Nakamichi Surround Dipole Configuration

Even when testing a surround system, I always like to run a standard suite of stereo music test tracks. These include, among many others, “Pressure” by My Brightest Diamond, “Hypnotized” by Ani Difranco, “Misinformed” by Soul Coughing, and “Guess I’m Doing Fine” by Beck. If a surround system can do dynamic music justice in stereo and surround modes at volume, that tells you 95% of what you need to know about TV/movie performance.

At 45” wide, even with 30” of separation between the left and right drivers, the 2-channel stereo imaging of the Nakamichi will be fairly constrained to center, especially when sitting at 9 or more feet away as indicated in the Shockwafe manual. For instance, in the intro of “Pressure”, a xylophone dances across the front soundstage. Though the dual subs of the Nakamichi did a great job of capturing the boom of the big bass drum, the other elements shrank in comparison. I’d expect this is due to the fairly small radiating area of the 2.5” drivers creating a more directional sound and getting a few less room reflections to broaden the sound, as well as the physical limitations of any single enclosure soundbar. Kicking in the surround speakers with DTS:X processing help enlarge the image drastically, and is, admittedly, a more fair use scenario. Most buyers are certain to want all nine speaker channels reporting for duty in all use cases and this is where the product shines brightest.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 User Manual
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 User Manual

In all modes, I found the overall tonality a bit piercing for my taste, with an emphasis on the upper frequencies. In “Hyperballad”, the driving vocals of the chorus cut a little too deep for my listening comfort. I noticed this behavior as well during the Soundbar Shootout at CES 2018 where the Nakamichi was pitted against a competitor’s soundbar. I gave Nakamichi the win overall for the best front/rear balance and bass response, but there was a clip from “Life of Pi” where I chose the competitor for a more balanced tonality. However, folks who like plenty of presence in their mix will be happy with the Nakamichi. Adjusting the treble control on the remote also tamed a bit of the bite, so season to taste here. Again, the recent firmware adds an adjustable crossover with 180, 140, and 110Hz settings, so users can use front placement of the subs and a higher crossover to potentially achieve a bit better balance with the midrange.

No one can say the Shockwafe Ultra isn’t bold or innovative. I don’t know of any other product that works so hard to blur the boundaries of the soundbar category into true home theater replacement. While it is not the simplest soundbar to use due to its features and number of channels, it is still easy to setup and operate and introduces elements of AVR-based systems to novices.

Despite not having the upgrade path found on traditional multi-channel speaker systems with an AVR, I can see how it will appeal to some home theater aficionados looking for a soundbar format that offers something more in-line with the performance of an AVR-based system.

There’s no question that the Shockwafe Ultra is unique, and that means it requires a unique buyer. Maybe that buyer is you, but before you buy, consider the simplicity of a traditional soundbar or even a 2-channel setup vs. the performance and upgradability of a comparably priced AVR-based 5.1 discrete speaker system. If you find yourself swinging to one end of that spectrum, check out more articles on those types of systems here at Audioholics. If you still long for the best of both worlds, including discrete surround channels that make psychoacoustic gimmickry unnecessary, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 DTS:X is one of the few products I know of that can make a case for being both a soundbar and a home theater system. And for only $1,099, there is no other system out there packed with this amount of speaker hardware and connectivity options, making it a worthy home theater investment in terms of value-to-performance ratio. Readers looking for a similar experience with discrete surround channels, but in a slightly scaled back package should also consider the dual-sub Shockwafe Elite 7.2 ($799) and the single-sub Shockwafe Pro 7.1 system ($649).

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Maybe a calibration disc with test tones? I think that Disney WOW disc has discrete tones for each channel. Here is some test tones you can burn into a disc and run the tones for a 7 channel system.

Even if I disconnected other speakers while I tried to test a speaker at a time I’d have no way of bypassing the soundbar itselfs internal speakers to test the tears or side speakers

Probably a stupid question but how do u run tones thru each channel? My previous systems had test buttons that send a tone thru each channel. But this system doesn’t have that option. I have no clue how to send a signal thru just one channel

Nakamichi shockwafe ultra 9.2 sse manual
Nakamichi shockwafe ultra 9.2 sse manual

Glock134, post: 1274773, member: 86556
How did you calibrate the speakers there’s no test tones for the speakers? I’m aware how to use a SPL meter just not sure what I can do to calibrate when there is no channel test option on my Nakamichi 9.2. Any help would be appreciated

Why cant you just run tones for each channel? You don’t need the speaker system to have its own test tone generator.

How did you calibrate the speakers there’s no test tones for the speakers? I’m aware how to use a SPL meter just not sure what I can do to calibrate when there is no channel test option on my Nakamichi 9.2. Any help would be appreciated

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