Nakamichi 2.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer Review

Electronics Reviews
Nakamichi NK22 2.1 Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, now available in North America.

My experience with the Nakamichi NK 2.1 sound bar with wireless sub-woofer has been really positive. What I’m even more surprised about is the incredibly competitive price in comparison to other sound systems on the market today.

You see, I’m the guy that goes into a big box retail store that wanders over to the home theater section to browse when I’m not encumbered by three kids and a wife. I love listening to the demos of all of the stereo systems that I can’t possibly ever afford. After you do this for a few years you start to get a good idea of what differentiates a cheap system from a high end system, and these days the price tag is starting to have very little to do with it. I’m just a normal guy who likes explosions to rumble and voices to sound crisp and if all of the audio in-between can be heard it’s all good. If you want the complete breakdown and audio-science on my experience you will be disappointed.

I was contacted by the Japanese manufacturer of audio hardware called Nakamichi to review some of their new products now available in the United States. Naka-what-chee? No, it’s not some new fly-by-night manufacturer, they’ve been in this business for a very long time. This holiday season Nakamachi is making a big push back into the United States with a line of new products after nearly 15 years. Dr. Lye, Nakamachi USA-Group CEO and Director said,

“We’re thrilled to bring this historic brand back to the States, at prices that are literally half of what people pay for competing brands such as Beats by Dre, and Bose.”

I’m no audio engineer, but I love watching movies and listening to music and have never been able to afford Bose or Beats brands. Many years ago I paid for a premium Dolby Digital 5.1 setup that made the movie The Matrix come to life as Neo ran around dodging bullets and learning kung-fu. The problem was that the entire system required four specialized speaker mounts all at the optimal angels and enough room for it all to be in the proper configuration. There was also a huge shelf component and a bulky sub-woofer that has no place in a child-proofed room (you have any idea how button-crazed toddlers are?). I’ve spent the past six years watching Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, and My Little Pony using my TV’s built-in speakers and it’s been good-enough given the audience, but I’ve always wished movie night could have a little more sizzle. Unfortunately my old surround sound system did not survive the many moves since I was a bachelor.

Recently the popularity of sound bar audio components and wireless sub-woofers has driven more manufacturers to look into the space saving sound systems. Having done some research on the popular brands, the price tag for a brand name system is typically over $1000. Whereas if companies like Nakamachi can claim they use the same components as high-end competitors and can maintain the same high build-quality there just may be hope for budget-minded geek moms and geek dads like myself looking to improve their entertainment experiences.

My home setup with the NK22 Sound Bar.
My home setup with the NK22 Sound Bar.

I’ve recently had the chance to watch a weeks worth of TV shows and movies using the Nakamachi NK22 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Wireless Sub-woofer. I have it hooked up to my Xbox 360 using the digital optical out and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my wife and I looked at one another with our mouths wide open after watching a the opening scene of The Wolverine. Was this awesome sound in our living room coming from that slim black sound bar in front of our TV? The setup was way too easy for the sound that I was hearing. Good sounding audio is supposed to take special brackets, shelf components, and lots of individual speakers strategically placed around the room, right? The wireless sub-woofer was placed out of the way in a corner near an outlet, and the sound bar fit perfectly below our TV on the front edge of the entertainment center. Sound on a budget sounds great.

  • The Bluetooth input has allowed us to play our Pandora Radio Christmas Music via Airplay on our iPad and iPhone. It also offers NFC (near field communications) as one of the wireless communication options.
  • We hear background sound effects in movies that were completely lost on us before. The audio engineers that spend hundreds of hours on every Hollywood movie will be happy to know we can now appreciate their hard work through the sound bar.
  • For having gone as long as we did on built-in TV speakers it will be really hard to go back.

If you’re looking to improve your home movie experience or bring television shows to life, I can recommend adding Nakamichi to your list of brands to consider. I’ve yet to put a Nakamichi side-by-side with a Bose or Beats brand product. Although the only thing that matters to me is that when I turn the volume up, dim the lights, turn on an action movie, that I can hear the dialog and the sounds of ejected shell casings clink to the ground in the comfort of my own home.

Hardware Specifications:
The Nakamichi 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with Bluetooth® and NFC features Digital Dolby Sound and DTS.
  • Total power: 480 watts
  • 2.1 channel
  • Response Bandwidth (Hz): 20Hz–22kHz
  • Dynamic Range (dB): -46dB–+6dB
  • ABS Housing
  • Includes IR Remote Control, Y cables 3.5mm to RCA, Sound bar AC Adaptor, Sound bar cable, Sub-Woofer AC cable, User Manual

Disclosure: The manufacturer provided the hardware for review.

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4 thoughts on “Nakamichi 2.1 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer Review

  1. For the nakamichi sound sound bar you used an optical cable straight from the back of the xbox to the sound bar?

  2. what would you consider to be the best buy if yu compare it with the Harman Kardon and Bose equivalent of the 2.1 Sound?

  3. Personally for me, the system delivered very good audio, (music only), most films required constant audio adjustment to keep audio from sounding as though from coming out of a pipe.

  4. I’m a bit confused. You write that “The Bluetooth input has allowed us to play our Pandora Radio Christmas Music via Airplay on our iPad and iPhone.” Is the soundbar AirPlay compatible? Because Bluetooth and AirPlay are quite different. I like the lossless quality and versatility of AirPlay, but BlueTooth is more common.

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