So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Sony MU.TE.KI (HT-DDW7500) home theatre system
This massive 7.2ch home theatre setup has the power to make your movies explode
- Exceptionally powerful, versatile and ‘complete’ sound, good DSP presets
- Nine speakers to set up, bulky, lacks overall clarity, no HD audio decoding
If you have the spare space to set up the Sony MU.TE.KI (HT-DDW7500)’s nine separate speakers and two amplifier stacks, you’re in for a treat. The MU.TE.KI home theatre system has plenty of power to give and the right digital sound processing to simulate multi-point surround sound.
Price$ 1,399.00 (AUD)
The Sony MU.TE.KI (HT-DDW7500) is an oversized 7.2-channel home theatre system. That’s right: seven speakers and two subwoofers. It may be large to the point of excess, but this lets the MU.TE.KI handle any audio thrown at it. Good virtual surround processing and an abundance of power means the MU.TE.KI home theatre system is well suited to large rooms and blockbuster movies.
The Sony MU.TE.KI (HT-DDW7500) has two imposing floor-standing speakers, two squat subwoofers, a centre speaker and four satellite surround speakers. As a 7.2 channel system, it’s got almost every conceivable angle covered — including the side-surround position that regular five-channel surround systems miss out on. Each speaker can handle a maximum 185W, while the two subwoofers are rated to withstand 200W. Add all this up, and you get a total power output of 1695W.
To put it into perspective, the two pre-built home theatre systems we tested before the MU.TE.KI (HT-DDW7500) — the LG HB954WA and the Samsung HT-BD1255 — each had total power output of around 1000W. We thought that these were more than powerful enough for use in medium and large rooms, so the extra power of the Sony MU.TE.KI ensures it’s never pushed to the limit in any regular movie-watching session. Of course, this fits in with the MU.TE.KI name: it’s apparently a Japanese term meaning “without rival” or “invincible”.
The Sony MU.TE.KI isn’t the prettiest home theatre system. There’s none of the lovingly polished wood of the AAD S Series and the speakers’ satin black finish isn’t as refined as the texture of the JBL ES900 Cinepack. It does have a sense of quality to it, though. The receiver and amplifier are solidly constructed and the speakers are heavy. Connecting all of these speakers to the receiver/amplifier is the main annoyance when setting up, since you’ll need to run nine separate cables around your room. There’s no wireless connectivity — but it would probably have done more harm than good.
Once the Sony MU.TE.KI is set up and installed, it’s simply a matter of connecting your digital video and audio devices. With three HDMI inputs as well as three sets of component and composite video and audio inputs, even the keenest enthusiast should be happy. Outputs come in the form of HDMI — preferred for its simplicity and high bandwidth — as well as component and composite. It’s nice to see Sony has done away with the outdated S-Video standard. We were surprised that no DVD or Blu-ray player was integrated into the receiver, and that the system only has support for a limited range of surround sound codecs: no Blu-ray standard Dolby TrueHD decoding is available.
Sound quality is good considering the reasonable price. The heavy floor-standing speakers have two woofers and a horn tweeter that can handle large volume levels without any distortion, while the surround speakers provide ambience and positional effects. Despite the size, the system’s overall treble response and clarity isn’t exceptional; it’s best suited to full blast party tunes and blockbuster movies. Where the MU.TE.KI shines is its digital signal processing, with 5.1 channel movies and stereo music equally well up-mixed to suit the seven-channel surround speakers.
If you’re looking for something to give your action movies an extra dose of audio power, or a music system for house parties, the Sony MU.TE.KI fits the bill perfectly. It doesn’t have the overall clarity that music aficionados will be searching for, but for everyone else it’s a good choice.
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