The Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4 (Amazon) proved that you don’t need a name-brand soundbar to experience quality sound. With the high-quality sound setup that the 7.1.4 unit offered, and with the impressive user experience of simple setup and only a few cables to worry about, it was hard to picture how it could’ve been made better. Then, Nakamichi launched the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 (Amazon).
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 includes an all-in-one soundbar, dual subwoofers, and four satellite speakers. It’s easy to assemble, and one of the highest quality surround-sound systems you can get, with loads of advanced features and support for all advanced audio standards.
The Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 ups the game with some seriously impressive features, while only costing you a few small complications, with notable pros and cons including:
- A unique configuration that is comparable with some of the top name-brand systems.
- With 18 different drivers, the sound experience is immersive.
- The well-built, solid design exceeds expectations.
- Loud, dynamic, and easy to configure and control thanks to the well-designed remote.
- Max volume may suffer from some compression.
- Stereo content may not be as clear.
With that said, let’s take a much closer look at the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 and all it has to offer.
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 looks unimpressive. Designed to deliver quality sound without flashy aesthetics, the Shockwafe Ultra is unassuming. And if the reviews are any indication for what your in for, there’s plenty of, the unit is worth heaping praise onto.
Although relatively unknown, Nakamichi products are becoming more and more popular among true audiophiles and home theater experts. With plenty of features, easy setup procedures, and quality design, this package appears to have it all.
Features and Design
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 comes with tons of features to make it well worth the purchase. Designed to give you the full surround sound experience, the Shockwafe Ultra is ideal for your home theater based on the superb execution of the following premium features:
Nakamichi’s soundbar is uniquely shaped, maybe even eye-catching, and the soundbar includes six 2.5-inch full-range drivers. In addition to that, the two revolutionary Surround Effects 1-inch tweeters bounce sound off the walls to deliver a dynamic sound profile that is 35% wider than comparable soundbars.
The soundbar measures 45.5-inches long, 3.5-inches deep and 3-inches tall. At only 7.27 pounds, it is lightweight and enough to mount on the wall or the TV itself if desired. The front of the soundbar includes a five-digit light-emitting diode (LED) display, as well as buttons that control power, source selection, demo mode, and volume.
Two Wireless Subwoofers
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 package includes two subwoofers! Adding one subwoofer to your home theater is always a good idea if you’re looking to increase your bass. However, even experts agree, adding two prevents localized sound and helps everyone in the room to hear those rich, deep tones.
Each subwoofer included with the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra features a 10-inch, downward-facing driver, and the subwoofers themselves are 11-inches deep, 13-inches wide and 20.5-inches tall. Each subwoofer is solidly built, weighing in at 23.4 pounds to help dampen excessive vibration which can distort and detract from sound.
Especially in the comparatively small space of a home theater, there’s enough bass from the dual subwoofers to fill the whole room and really put you in the sound in the same way that a movie theater does (more on speaker/sub placements in our tutorial). It’s no gimmick…this difference is big, and immediately noticeable.
A Total of 4 Surround & Rear Speakers
The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 package also comes with four speakers to enhance your surround sound experience: two side surround speakers and two rear sound speakers. And each of those four included speakers features a 3-inch full-range driver, as well as a 1-inch high-frequency tweeter.
At only 2.8 pounds apiece, each of the speakers measures 5-inches deep, 5.4-inches wide and 8-inches tall. Powerful, precise and dynamic – these speakers complete your audio experience by offering what few other soundbar packages can: true surround sound from speakers that are physically located around you.
We’ve talked on the blog before about how to decide between a soundbar and surround sound setups, but the Shockwafe Ultra gives you the best of both worlds.
But there’s more to the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 package than “just” 18 drivers, dual subs, and wraparound speakers. In fact, the Shockwafe Ultra also includes the following creature comforts:
- Remote Control: The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 package comes with a sleek, full-feature 52-button backlit remote. This includes control features, such as user-friendly source selection, equalizer settings, Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) processing modes, audio focus selections, and more.
- Advanced Sound Support: Nakamichi products focus on delivering the best of the best when it comes to sound. In fact, they include a built-in cinema-grade 3D advanced surround sound quad-core processor to do just that. Because of this, the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4Ch soundbar supports, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD, and DTS Digital Surround. Wow!
- Video Pass-Through: The Shockwafe Ultra soundbar is compatible with Dolby Vision and 4K HDR. It also accepts audio inputs from all of your favorite source media; as long as there is an input port, your media will work.
In some cases, this may make the sticker price go down a little easier when you factor in that you likely don’t need to purchase a separate receiver because the Shockwafe Ultra largely replaces it.
- Input / Output Options: The Shockwafe Ultra comes with plenty of input/output options. These include three HDMI 2.0a inputs, one HDMI ARC output, as well as universal serial bus (USB), optical, auxiliary and coaxial ports.
- Bluetooth Connectivity: The Shockwafe Ultra allows you to stream music wirelessly from your mobile devices thanks to built-in Bluetooth aptX capability. With Qualcomm aptX technology, the built-in Bluetooth replicates the full frequency of your audio.
This means the sound quality is pure, full, and accurate. And you can even connect this soundbar directly to your TV through Bluetooth if you want to try out a setup with even fewer cables. And streaming music couldn’t sound better.
Designed as a plug-n-play device, set up is very easy with the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra.
If your television is able to use the HDMI ARC connection, all you need to do it plug it into the soundbar with the included cable. At that point, your television must be set to “external speakers” or have “CSC” enabled, both of which you can find on the audio menu.
As this is different on every TV, you will need to use your television’s manual to determine how to do this. (For some televisions, you will have a “receiver” mode instead of an “external speaker” option.) For those TV’s that are not HDMI ARC capable, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 comes with optical and analog cables.
Source devices, like DVD and Blu-ray players or game consoles, additional HDMI ports allow you to easily and directly connect to your Shockwafe Ultra soundbar’s HDMI ports.
After you’ve connected your television and source devices, you can set up your speakers. Speakers should be connected to your subwoofers, with the left side and rear connecting directly to the left subwoofer. The corresponding ports are clearly labeled and wiring is included to make this as simple as possible.
While placement is entirely up to you, Nakamichi includes simple diagrams and recommendations for speaker placement. Note that speaker stands and wall mounts are not included, so if you want these placement options you’ll need to purchase these items separately.
How Well Does it Perform?
Nakamichi has quickly become popular among audiophiles and electronics consumers. Winner of the best Dolby Atmos Soundbar Battle, hosted by former CNET host, Brian Tong, the Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 soundbar has also won the CES Innovation Award.
Accolades aside, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra package is the world’s first dual 10-inch wireless subwoofer system, targeting cinema-quality sound. Consumers and experts alike agree that the Shockwafe Ultra package exceeds expectations.
Challenging some of the biggest name brands like Sonos and Bose, this package delivers high-quality sound for less. Each piece is designed for unique configurations that will accommodate your space, so you can configure the pieces as you need them, making them work for your home theater set up in a way many pre-packaged surround sound systems will not.
Dolby Atmos effects come through clearly, and make the overall experience that much more immersive,
Will it Stand the Test of Time?
Some users noted in our Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1.4Ch review that the unit had some hardware quality issues that led to poor durability. That is not the case here. The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 package may be simply designed, but the construction is solid and sturdy.
The speakers all sport metal housings and grills that make you confident that you got what you paid for, and I’d even say that if you dropped any of the components the floor would be more likely to scratch or ding than the speakers. That’s how tough the feel.
What’s more, Nakamichi has a history of adding features via firmware updates, which suggest that there’s a good chance this unit will be able to support new audio formats as they emerge, saving you the expensive hardware upgrade cost.
Should You Buy the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4?
If you are looking to invest in a sound system that truly delivers, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 is worth considering. Experts and consumers alike agree that this soundbar, and the included surround sound system, deliver quality performance that will take your breath away.
Easy to set up, packed with plenty of features, and smartly designed – the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2.4 is a top contender for cinema-quality sound from the comfort of your couch.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Although experts have compared this to the Samsung HW-Q90R, Bose Soundbar 700, Sonos Beam, and the Vizio SB36512-F6, at this time there are simply no direct alternatives to the Nakamichi Soundwafe Ultra 9.2.4 soundbar.
We can’t recommend this soundbar/speaker package highly enough. It’s easy to forget when we’re talking about our Home Theater’s that the goal is, ultimately, to make it feel like you’re at the theater. This soundbar achieves that effect.
In a sea of soundbars that seem to be chasing each other’s features incrementally, the Nakamichi Soundwafe stands apart, choosing instead to take a giant leap forward toward the extreme of home theater audio. And it does this magnificently.