Here we have the new soundbar from Prism+ - let me introduce the Ripple. This is their newest soundbar, which is a tear-down from the latest Dolby Atmos Symphony soundbar. It's not often that at this price point, you get support for Dolby Atmos with a reasonable amount of speakers. Let's open it up and see what's inside.
As expected, you get a soundbar and a subwoofer. The soundbar itself definitely follows the same design features as the Symphony - it has fewer speakers, especially if you look on the side and it has two instead of four speakers on the top. So this system is 3.1.2. We have three speakers firing forward, two speakers firing upwards, and a subwoofer.
Just like on the Symphony, the subwoofer has a bottom-firing speaker. The subwoofers are slightly different between Symphony and Ripple (check out the spec comparison side by side in the gallery).
On top it has the power button, the input, and the volume up and down. On the back, we have the coax and optical port, then there’s the USB port, which is mostly to update firmware, I believe. We've got an auxiliary out and probably the most important connection that you should have - the TV e-arc and arc so it can support both formats. This is where you use it to connect to your TV, that way you can share your volume control and turn the soundbar on and off with your TV remote. Basically, you set this up and throw away the soundbar remote. And then you have HDMI one and two in. These are HDMI 2.0, which means that if you had a modern console and you want to have a TV which supports 120 hertz, well, with this, you cannot; you're maxed out at 4K 60Hz, so bear that in mind if you have a high-end TV. Make sure that you connect the console directly to the TV and then use the e-arc to connect to the soundbar for sound. Lastly, we also have the little shotgun power connector. That's really it. You can actually mount the soundbar to the wall just like the other unit, with the connectors on both sides.
In the accessory box, we have the bag with the wall mount, the HDMI cable, the power cable, some batteries for the remote, and the manual with the remote. So, it's pretty straightforward. Basically, you can set it up in a few minutes and start using it. That's exactly what we're going to do.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
After testing the soundbar we can go over a few observations, starting with looks - even though this soundbar is actually higher than our existing Samsung soundbar, but due to its rounded corners and generally smaller size it actually blends in better on our console.
I like that both soundbar and sub are using user replaceable and pretty standard cables so if you want to do some convoluted cable management you can always buy a longer or shorter cable depending on your needs.
Once we powered it up we noticed how responsive the remote is. The changes are snappy and almost instantaneous. Do note though - it is an infrared remote so you have to point it at the soundbar. The soundbar does support Bluetooth as one of its inputs, so I would prefer it to be a Bluetooth-enabled device for better remote control functionality, but we must remember that this is a budget-friendly setup.
Ripple has multiple audio profiles available, such as movies or music, and I can confirm that using the relevant mode for the content being played provides the best listening experience. However, personal preferences may vary. Additionally, after setting up the soundbar to my liking, I prefer to dim or turn off the display completely, and as we use eARC, the TV remote controls the volume, rendering the soundbar remote unnecessary. On that subject - you can adjust both base and treble using remote for your liking.
Now on to the performance itself - we found that just out of the box the soundbar has a reasonably good sound and produces surprisingly clear dialogues. This is one of the benefits of having a centre mounted speaker. Personally, I think that is one of the biggest quality of life improvements that you can get from a soundbar, the simple ability to hear what is being said through action sequences.
We did find that the subwoofer is a bit hard hitting. In action packed scenes it was actually kind of distracting, but this is where adjustments come in. You can just lower it ever so slightly or if you really want to annoy the neighbours, bump it up even higher. For my ears turning base down by two and upping treble by two steps improved performance and made audio a bit more coherent.
Prism advertises this as Dolby Atmos soundbar with multidimensional sound, and while it is capable of outputting Dolby Atmos content, it creates a somewhat limited spatial feeling. We tested this by playing some movies and shows and got pretty similar outcomes. For example, in the first episode of The Last of Us there is a scene with a bunch of planes and helicopters going over a house. It did not feel like the sound was above our listening position but was certainly coming from above the soundbar rather than directly at us from the front of it.
As a comparison - we have a pretty high-end Samsung Q950a soundbar with the rear speakers and the effect was much more prominent but it costs double and you need to have room big enough to place the rear speakers behind you. However if you have the space and you crave for that extra realistic movie experience, then it may be a good idea to look for a second-hand high-end set.
When it comes to music the strong base may be at a bit of an advantage, it definitely resonates. The main sound is reasonably crisp and you get a decent amount of dynamic range. Again when we did the same tests on the Samsung we got a better sound stage, where if you close your eyes, you can picture approximately where certain instruments play, but again this is a more premium system so take that as you wish.
You can check out some sound samples in the video above (starting from 7:23). Do remember that this can be only a relative comparison since there are so many variables in between (the microphone we are recording the sound with, your speakers or headphones, video compression and so on). For the most accurate sound test we would suggest you go to one of the showrooms and experience it live.
To summarise - Ripple’s sleek design and responsive remote make it a solid addition to any home entertainment setup on the budget. The soundbar's multiple audio profiles provide a tailored listening experience, while the adjustable bass and treble allow for customization to personal preferences. Though the subwoofer may be a bit overpowering in action-packed scenes, the overall sound quality is clear and enjoyable. While it may not be a life changing Dolby Atmos experience, the Prism Soundbar and Subwoofer combo is still a great option for those looking to enhance their home theatre experience.
Affiliate disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.