Nakamichi Promises 360° Immersion with New Soundbar System

Nakamichi has expanded its Shockwafe series of high-end soundbar systems with an upgraded version of its flagship Ultra 9.2 SSE, an advanced version of the Pro 7.1 system we reviewed back in 2017.

Like its $1,500 predecessor, the new $1,900 Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is a seven-piece setup with an elongated soundbar, four small surround speakers, and two wireless subwoofers that decodes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based soundtracks (up to 9.2.4 channels) and supports 4K Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) passthrough. The satellite speakers connect to the subwoofers via RCA connections.

System updates include features requested by Nakamichi customers in online reviews and surveys: eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) connectivity and 24-bit aptX HD Bluetooth streaming. The new model also features new twin-cone drivers and silk-dome tweeters for enhanced clarity and boasts higher total power output — 1,300 watts over the previous 1,000 watts, which ups the system’s maximum volume rating to 113dB SPL (sound-pressure level) over 110 dB SPL.

Also at play is SSE Max, a new version of the company’s Surround Sound Elevation processing that Nakamichi says interlaces a height effects sound layer on top of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing to create what it calls “the most immersive 360° movie, music, and gaming entertainment experience possible.”

Breaking the system down, the soundbar houses six forward firing 2.75-inch twin-cone drivers in an enclosure 3 inches high, 3.6 inches deep, and 45 inches wide with a 1-inch effects tweeter in each of its angled end caps. Unlike other Atmos soundbars, the Nakamichi has no upfiring drivers, instead relying on the SSE Max processing for the height dimension.

The satellite speakers, intended for placement to the sides and in back of the listening position, are two-way designs that mate a 3-inch twin-cone driver and 1-inch silk-dome tweeter in a cabinet 8 inches tall. Each subwoofer pairs a down-firing 10-inch driver with a 600-watt amplifier in an enclosure measuring 12 x 13.6 x 20.2 inches. System bandwidth is rated down to 20Hz.

Everything is finished in matte black and Nakamichi provides the kind of fully featured remote you would expect to get with an A/V receiver. There are some three dozen buttons in all, including those for input selection, all-channel stereo, bass, volume, and preset surround sound modes.

The system provides three HDMI 2.1 inputs (and one HDMI out) plus USB, optical, and analog inputs, the latter via a 3.5mm minijack. For more information, visit

John_Werner's picture

What company owns the Nakamichi name this week? Shame that the great NAK name is for a sound bar no matter how good.