Let me say it up front: I’ve listened to a lot of soundbars and other one-piece audio systems, and the OSD Audio Sound Platform SP2.1 is as good as I’ve heard.
Once I placed my TV on top of the Sound Platform and set it up — which took virtually no time at all — my wife and I quickly realized that this was a piece that greatly enhanced our sound setup, such as it is. That is to say, we were using the built-in speakers of a Samsung Smart TV, which surprisingly aren’t terrible. But the Sound Platform took us to a whole new level.
That’s right, by the way: I put my TV on top of the Sound Platform. This isn’t your everyday (relatively) puny soundbar that you hang or place beneath or in front of your TV. It’s a solid, 25-pound piece of sonic equipment that rocked us to the core. It can support TVs of up to 85 pounds and 65 inches.
If you don’t have the option, or don’t want the option, of installing a full-blown stereo system near your TV — an AV receiver, at least two speakers, all of the cabling that goes with them — this device is a very fine compromise. It delivers weighty, clean, distortion-free sound at any volume. It’s got serious cojones.
Dual down-firing 5.25-inch subwoofers provide really meaty bass reproduction. Four front-facing 2.5-inch midrange speakers handle dialogue very well. Two one-inch silk tweeters do a bangup job with the highs. It’s a really well-executed mix that sounds real, which I mean as a high compliment.
There is one gimmick here, though: the DSP-enabled surround sound setting. I’m not a fan of digital sound processing, but this simulated surround mode was OK. Not something I plan on using too much, but worth a listen if you’re into movies or sports especially.
You can connect your audio from your cable box or TV to the Sound Platform via its inputs for RCA analog, optical or coax digital. We used L-R analog and had no issues.
What’s really cool is that you can connect to this bad boy via Bluetooth too, so the tunes were flowing from my HP Chromebook 11 and Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, and did they ever sound awesome. It was night and day compared to our TV’s speakers as well as many other soundbars I’ve heard. It’s an exceptional stand-in for a full multi-component audio system.
Eighty watts of amplification will do that. The cool thing with this piece is that it’s not a monolithic 80 watts. According to OSD, the Sound Platform provides independent amp channels for each woofer, each set of midrange drivers, and the tweeters. This “bi-amp” design, I suspect, provides nuance and depth as well as raw power. So do, I also suspect, the unit’s front and rear panel bass ports, which are two pairs of tuned openings in the cabinet that the company says allow air to release and enhance the low frequencies.
The included remote control, which enables input selection and bass/treble up/down, is a typical tiny bugger that offers no feedback to the user beyond a blinking blue status LED on the front of the Sound Platform. Like many such remotes, I found it to be not very responsive. But OSD included a nice touch on the remote: an EQ Reset button that takes you back to the factory settings. This is especially handy if you’re fiddling with the bass and treble, since you have no real way to know at what specific levels you’ve set them.
The OSD Audio Sound Platform SP2.1 is currently available on Amazon for a nice price of $399. We recommend you check it out!