AV Systems Guide
Performance - II
This Is It - Michael Jackson
For our Blu-ray audio tests, we chose Michael Jackson’s swan song performance, This Is It. His range of hits offer a myriad of challenges to audio products and are more than suitable for testing out the capabilities of this sound bar. Granted that the audio quality mastered on the disc may not be optimal due to the unfinished project, it's nevertheless a pretty good test when one is aware where exactly to focus and stress the audio device.
Kicking off proceedings was Wannabe Startin’ Something and the Philips HTS7140’s proclivity for emphasizing bass helped bring the funk rhythm of the song to the fore. Unfortunately, the bass also overpowered all other aspects of the track. Backup vocals in general were muted and almost sounded as if they were out of tune.
On the next track Jam, the sound bar from Philips did proceed to redeem itself slightly. A good soundstage and good bass helped bring the song’s drum beat to life. But on the percussive intensive They Don’t Care About Us, bad transient response resulted in subpar performance.
Rounding up this section of our testing was the Michael Jackson classic, Beat It. The Philip HTS7140’s performance for this track was close to being classified as bad. Beat It and its signature whammy bar solo suffered from muted highs and loose bass. It could safely be said that the sound bar was unable to handle this song and did not cover itself with glory with its performance.
A sound bar is not primarily going to be used for the purpose of listening to music. Seeing that the device can be paired up with the television and the fact that the HTS7140 in particular sports and integrated Blu-ray player, it can also serve to enhance your movie viewing experience. For this purpose, we tried out our contender from Philips with the Blu-ray version of Superman Returns.
The first scene we tested the HTS7140 with was the Opening Sequence of the movie. The Philips HTS7140 once again displayed a nice soundstage and the overall "boom-y" qualities of its bass performance helped give the sound a cinema feel. Muffled dialogue was a problem but was rectified after bumping up the equalizer settings.
Following up with the Airplane Scene [33:00 minute mark] the heavy bass, which was such a detriment to performance during music playback, turned to be a beneficial characteristic here. The turbulence and thumps during the shot could be heard and felt, which added to sense of chaos and turmoil. The background melody and dialogue did not flow effortlessly, but the primary task of rendering the scene’s special effects was handled well by the Philips HTS7140.
Our movie testing section was also an area where the AmbiSound feature of the sound bar was given ample opportunity to shine. However, the soundstage sounded somewhat constricted when we flipped through various parts of Superman Returns. It seems that the actual performance of the Philips HTS7140 was unable to live up to the marketing spiel.
|This Is It - Michael Jackson||Score|
|Wannabe Startin' Something||7.0|
|They Don't Care About Us||7.0|
|Airplane Scene [33:00 mins]||8.0|