SpeakerCraft CS3 Review

Fabulous Solution

SpeakerCraft CS3 is too deep to be mounted on the wall, instead it should be placed on the TV stand or it can be put on a shelf inside the TV stand - if there's room, it is a full 16.1" (42 cm) deep.

The idea of ​​the large size is to avoid having a separate subwoofer. SpeakerCraft has mounted two 5.25-inch woofers on the bottom of the cabinet instead. That way you avoid having an unsightly subwoofer on the floor. Four midrange drivers and two tweeters take care of the rest of the frequencies.

​In addition to optical and coaxial digital inputs, the CS3 has bluetooth which allows you to play music wirelessly from smartphones and tablets.

​Ease Of Use?

​I like that this sound bar fits so nicely under the TV and that it is none wider than it looks great even if you have a smaller TV.

​SpeakerCraft hasn´t bothered with any display to show settings, but there are quick buttons on the remote for everything. Turn surround sound Off and On with a button, volume up and down with two other buttons and so on. The speaker has tone controls for bass and treble levels, and an EQ Reset button that resets all settings.

​The small remote is just as boring as the one you get with the H/K SB30, unfortunately.

SpeakerCraft CS3 sound bar

Sound Quality​

Movie experiences are really good with SpeakerCraft. The dialogue is open, full bodied and well balanced. Warmer and fuller than with the Harman Kardon, who were a little thinner.

​If you are anxious that the CS3 will lack weight because it has no external subwoofer I can reassure you that it allows both full-bodied and very balanced bass. It lacks a little 'punch' and sounds compressed and stressed when turning up the volume too much, but in return, the bass is very well integrated and sounds like a natural part of the mix. And that´s actually even more important. The Surround function also opens up the sound even more than with the H/K. The dialogue remains in the center while the sound extends far out to the sides, and I can swear that it feels as if the sound effects come on slowly from behind sometimes. CS3 does not play with quite as much weight as H/K, but is not far behind, and in four out of of five cases, I would rather have a balanced sound than the extra power.

​However, it´s when playing music that the benefits of the SpeakerCraft CS3 is clearest. The sound image gels significantly better than with the Harman/Kardon, especially upper frequencies sounds freer and more airy. Sure, rock music is not as powerful, but acoustic music sound better. The sound of an acoustic guitar sounds more coherent and rich in timbre, and the integrated bass improves the feeling on most of what you're listening to.

Conclusion​

​For a sound bar the SpeakerCraft CS3 sounds really good. Pure sonically it´s more coherent and the bass is better integrated than with many sound bars that have separate subwoofers. With movies, the dialogue is clear, resolved and mellow, and the sound is great and almost entirely encompassing. This is one of the best illusions of true surround sound we´ve heard from a sound bar at this price.

​Music sounds more resolved than with the Harman Kardon SB30. You can not play quite as loud, but it sounds more authentic and real.

  • SPecIFICATIONS
  • Stereo, 80 Watts Total Amplification
  • Two 1” Silk Dome Tweeters
  • Four 3” Treated Paper Cone Midrange Drivers
  • Two 5 ¼” Treated Paper Cone Subwoofers
  • Ported & Custom Tuned Cabinet
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz- 20kHz
  • Sleek Matte Black Finish
  • Remote Control Included
  • Bluetooth Wireless Technology
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 4” x 28” x 16½” 100 mm x 711 mm x 419 mm
  • Internal Power Supply: 100/240V

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Old Price: $379.99
Current Price: $379.99