July 22, 2008 No, that’s not a giant strawberry in the accompanying picture – it’s a mini speaker. The Sony HT-IS100 BRAVIA Theatre Micro System is a 5.1 channel system delivering 450 watts (RMS) of power through a subwoofer with integrated 32-bit S-Master digital amplifier and five incredibly small speakers roughly the size of a golf ball. Designing the system at people who don’t want their home theater system to overpower their décor Sony says the “HT-IS100 packs all the power of a conventional home theater system in five discrete speakers that practically disappear in your living room.”
The system includes three 1080p HDMI inputs with repeater functionality, and support for eight channels of uncompressed audio making it an ideal complement for high-definition sources such as Blu-ray Disc players.
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With the ability to add optional wireless rear surround speakers and multi-room wireless speakers that configure automatically, the HT-IS100 system can be set up with fewer wires and without complicated wireless IP settings. Wireless multi-room listening throughout the home is possible using Sony’s S-AIR Air Station speakers, which are sold separately.
Like Apple’s Airport Express, audio from the main system can be transmitted to multiple rooms throughout the home by connecting the Air Station into a power outlet. An optional speaker kit (WAHT-SA10) delivers audio to rear speakers wirelessly, eliminating the need to run speaker wire from the front to the back of the room.
The system also features Sony’s Digital Media Port, which adds control, networking and connectivity options for music playback through various accessories, including a Cradle for iPod, a Network Walkman cradle, a PC client device and a Bluetooth adapter.
Sony’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration (DCAC) simplifies surround sound setup with the push of a button by automatically adjusting speaker frequency, distance and level. Equipped with a Dialogue Audio Enhancer with night mode, the system can also adjust audio levels for dialogue when the receiver volume is turned low. Additionally, Sony says the updated Portable Audio Enhancer feature improves the clarity and depth of digital audio devices connected to the system by adding information to the audio signal that had been removed during compression.
While all this technology looks impressive on paper, tiny speakers often fail to impress in the audio stakes so we recommend putting the system through its paces at a retail outlet before shelling out your hard earned.
The HT-IS100 system is available now for US$699.99.
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