What’s the Latest on Nakamichi’s 11.4.6 Dragon Soundbar System?

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Q Last year, Nakamichi introduced a home theater/audio speaker system bearing the iconic Dragon nameplate. What’s the latest news on the system and what are your impressions of it? — John Werner

A John, I was fortunate enough to experience Nakamichi’s Dragon soundbar-based surround system in action and, I have to say, it was impressive! (It was also awarded an S&V Editor’s Pick at CES 2023.) The system comprises a 58-inch-wide soundbar with 14 speakers (including four up-firing height drivers and four side/angled drivers), two subwoofers (each with two 8-inch drivers in a dual-opposing configuration), and two wall-mountable, multi-directional surround speakers (each with five drivers, including one up-firing height driver).

In all, we’re talking an 11.4.6-channel setup featuring seven ribbon-like Air Motion Transformer (AMT) tweeters, 16 digital amplifiers capable of delivering 3,000 watts total peak power, and subwoofers that deliver truly tactile, theater-like bass! I have listened to many high-end soundbar systems, and this is the first one that competes with traditional AVR/speaker systems in delivering a truly immersive experience.

With setup and calibration screens similar to what you find in traditional AV receivers and the ability to reach peak levels up to 125 dB, the Dragon system can actually outperform many traditional home theater systems. In my opinion, it lives up to the hype!

When the Dragon first became available, production capacity was limited so it was released in small batches. The system was so popular that, by last fall, Nakamichi said the system was sold out for the year and new orders would ship in early 2024. As of this writing, the system is still listed as sold out but new inventory is expected to be released later today (Tuesday, January 23, 2024). Dragon speaker stands ($399/pair) and wall-mounts for the soundbar ($79) and surround speakers ($45/pair) are also slated to ship in January.

Dragon is sold exclusively through Nakamichi’s website, so you can’t get an in-store audition but the company does offer a 30-day return policy with free shipping, as long as the system was purchased on the official website and the return request is made within 30 days of the delivery date. Nakamichi invites potential customers to check out reviews from Dragon owners on its website; as of this writing there are 160 five-star reviews and 15 four-star reviews.

At $3,900, the Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 Home Surround Sound System isn’t cheap, but I honestly haven’t heard a soundbar system that comes even close in performance. For more information, visit dragon.nakamichi-usa.com.

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slumkid's picture

...but that sure reads like a paid advertisement. How's their customer support?

mazz1's picture

I received my Dragon in November after waiting quite some time. I can say that so far the experience has been phenominal. Packaging was done extremely well and as lame as this sounds, even unboxing it was an experience. Their customer support as so far been great. I've had Nakamichi reach out to me just to follow up to see how things are going with it- not soliciting a review or anything. They have been responsive with their emails and have addressed questions and/or concerns personally, and not just with your generic faq type response.
Their instructions manual left no stone unturned, which is a breath fo fresh air considering more mfgs are moving to the "ikea type" instructions or just putting it online. They even giving you detailed instructions on ideal adjustments to make on components you hook up. Finally, they listen to their customer base: they made a firmware update to give you more control over some bass settings, among other improvements, all from customer feedback. It didn't take them years to make this update- they got on it right away.
I know I sound like I'm absolutely gushing over them right now, and trust me, the system isn't without its faults. However, I will say that my customer experience thus far has been great.

John Sciacca's picture

Nice comment, and great to hear from someone that actually owns it! I've heard the packaging and unboxing are really something. Why they put it all in one box doesn't make a ton of sense to me (seems it would be cheaper/easier to split it up), but I guess they know best! Would love to hear what you think the system's faults are... My experience was impressive, but pretty limited. Love to hear what you think it could do better. Thanks!

John Sciacca's picture

Well, I can assure you, I didn't get any pay for it! :-) I've listened to a bunch of high-end soundbars (Sonos, B&W, LG, Sennheiser, Sony) and the Dragon whooped them all. I do wish there was a dealer base for it -- my company wanted to sell it! -- so people could go and hear it before buying, but I think they are selling every one they can make currently, so the online model is what we have for now...

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