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Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Oct 14, 2022 at 12:07 pm
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC Picture
Channels
9.2.4

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is a unique 9.2.4 Dolby Atmos setup released in 2022. Like the original Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch, it comes with two large subwoofers and four satellites to enhance your listening experience. You can place these satellites horizontally or vertically, with six different setup options to take advantage of your room. This new model comes with some extra features, including eARC connectivity for DTS:X and other immersive formats. Like the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1 SSE, it also features the company's Spatial Surround Elevation (SSE) technology, which lets you choose between three different soundscape presets based on the size of your living room.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is very good for mixed usage. It's a unique bar, and the additional subwoofers and satellites make it a solid choice for those with larger living rooms. It gets loud, and its setup is customizable, as you can set the satellites in different configurations based on your preferences. Also, there's Dolby Atmos support, and the added eARC capability lets you enjoy other object-based and lossless formats like DTS:X. With advanced audio formats, you don't get the same immersive, all-around-you feel that makes it feel like your favorite movies are taking place in your living room.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • EQ presets.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is great for dialogue-centric TV shows and podcasts. It has a discrete center channel to improve vocal clarity, and its balanced mids mean that you hear vocals in the mix. You can even use its TV preset as a dialogue enhancement tool, which is nice. However, if you're looking to stream podcasts and audiobooks to the bar, the options are fairly limited. There's Bluetooth support, but no Wi-Fi connectivity is available.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Bluetooth compatible.
Cons
  • No Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay, or Google Chromecast capabilities.
N/A Music

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is good for music. Out-of-the-box, it has very good sound quality, and its two subwoofers bring plenty of rumble in the bass range. Its overall sound is a bit bassy as a result, so you notice extra boom in the mix. Voices and instruments in your favorite tracks are clear and present thanks to its balanced mids, though the recessed treble leads to a lack in detail. It comes with some customization tools, including subwoofer level and treble adjustment features. They make it easy to switch up the bar's sound, so you can enjoy a more balanced frequency response if you wish.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • EQ presets.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
N/A Movies

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is very good for movies. This bar supports lots of different audio formats that you're likely to come across on different streaming platforms, from 5.1 surround sound Dolby Digital to object-based Dolby Atmos. Dialogue is clear in the mix, and there's lots of rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes. However, the overall listening experience isn't quite as immersive, and sound effects seem like they're just coming from the space in front of you. You don't get the feeling of effects happening all around you like with other premium models.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Oct 14, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Sep 28, 2022: Early access published.

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Black Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is available in Black, and you can see the label for our model here.

If you come across another version of the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update the review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is a unique 9.2.4 setup. It's one of the few bars on the market to come with two subwoofers and four satellites, which makes it ideal for those with larger living spaces like the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch. Compared to its predecessor, it offers more tools like eARC connectivity and the Spatial Sound Elevation enhancement feature. However, its extra components aren't ideal for everyone, and other premium bars like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module and the Samsung HW-Q990A are good alternatives for those with more typical living spaces.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars with subwoofer.

Samsung HW-Q930B

The Samsung HW-Q930B is better than the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC for most uses. These are two very different setups—the Samsung has one sub and two satellites, while the Nakamichi has two subs and four satellites. As a result, the Nakamichi is more geared towards those with large, more open living spaces. Still, it doesn't offer the same immersive listening experience as the Samsung model, especially with Dolby Atmos content. The Samsung is more customizable, too, with a more balanced sound out-of-the-box.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is the upgraded version of the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch. Unlike its predecessor, it has some extra features, including Dolby Vision Passthrough as well as eARC support for streaming formats like DTS:X. Its Spatial Surround Engine feature lets you choose between three different "soundscapes" based on your room's size. That said, there isn't a dramatic difference in sound quality between the two bars.

Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1 SSE

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is quite a unique bar, especially compared to the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro 7.1 SSE. The Ultra comes with two subwoofers and four satellites, so it's ideal if you want to fill a really large space with sound. With just one subwoofer and two satellites, the Pro 7.1 SSE more closely resembles other bars on the market. That said, unlike the Ultra, it lacks eARC support for formats like DTS:X.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T is better than the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC for most uses. Overall, the Samsung soundbar has a more balanced sound out-of-the-box, with more sound enhancement tools to customize its sound. It offers a more immersive sound with Dolby Atmos content, too. Since it comes with one sub and two satellites, the Samsung model more closely resembles other soundbars on the market. That said, the Nakamichi comes with two subs and four satellites, a unique design that's more suited for those with larger living spaces to fill with sound.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has a similar design to other Nakamichi-brand soundbars. It's mostly made of high-quality plastic, with a metal grille covering the front and the sides. In front, there's a display screen, as well as a rose-gold logo.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

Like the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch, the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC comes with two subwoofers. They're mostly made of wood, and they look similar to the subs that come with the previous model.

Design
Style - Satellites

The four satellites have a similar design to the original Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch. They're made of plastic with a metal grille in front. You can place them horizontally or vertically, depending on your preferences.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC is quite wide, so it doesn't fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. It's a little tall as well, so it may block your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC's subs are rather large, and since there are two of them, they take up a bit of space in your setup.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has satellites that aren't very large, and you can place them horizontally or vertically to meet your needs. However, there are four of them, and they have to be wired to the sub to work, which adds some extra cables to your room.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Locked

There are openings on the back of the bar for inputs and the power cable. If you want to mount it to the wall, there are proprietary mounts, and the kit is included in the box.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Locked

The ports are on the back of the subs. You also find the inputs for the power cable and the satellite connections, as well as the pairing button.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Locked

The back of the satellites is quite plain, with inputs for the wires that connect them to the subs. You also have mounts if you want to place them on the wall.

N/A
Design
Build Quality

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has great build quality. The satellites and the bar have a similar design, with high-quality plastic as well as metal grilles to help protect the drivers inside. The subs are wooden, and they feel sturdy as well.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
Lock m (Lock ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
Lock m (Lock ft)

  • Manuals
  • Remote with batteries (2x AAA)
  • Power adapter for soundbar
  • 3x power cables
  • Optical cable
  • HDMI cable
  • 3.5mm audio cable
  • 4x satellite speaker audio cables
  • Wall mount guide
  • Wall-mounting accessories

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
9.2.4
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has a very good stereo frequency response. With stereo content, it sounds most pleasing when set to its Music EQ, and its two subwoofers bring plenty of thump and rumble in the bass to bring bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop to life. Vocals remain pretty clear in the mix thanks to its balanced mids, which is great if you watch a lot of dialogue-heavy TV shows like sitcoms, too. However, the recessed treble means that audio lacks some detail and brightness, especially with higher-pitched instruments like cymbals. That said, you can always switch up its sound using its subwoofer and treble adjustments, which is handy.

For our tests, the bar's speakers were set in the Hybrid Elevation 2 configuration. Depending on your room, you may find a different configuration more appealing. All stereo content was tested in 'Stereo Only' to ensure comparability between this setup and other soundbars we've tested. However, the bar's performance isn't that different with all channels activated, as you can see here.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

If you prefer a more balanced sound with stereo content, you can set the subwoofer level to '1' and the treble to '9'. The resulting frequency response is even, so you don't notice as much boominess in the bass, and you hear more detail in the treble. Overall, voices and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix, making it suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has a good stereo soundstage. It has very good focus, so you can pinpoint vocals and instruments to exact locations in the soundstage around you. The soundstage itself is perceived to be about the size of the bar, which is good. If you want it to seem wider, you can activate all of the bar's channels. There isn't much difference in the focus with all the channels active, although if you pay close attention, it seems slightly more diffused.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has excellent stereo dynamics. The bar gets loud, so you don't have any trouble filling large and open spaces with sound. It doesn't get as loud as its advertised 113dB SPL, but unless you like a loud sound, this won't be an issue. There's not much compression, either, so you can crank up the volume without affecting the clarity of your audio.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has a good THD performance. At normal listening volumes, distortion falls within good limits, so audio reproduction is clean and pure. However, as with most bars, there's a slight jump in distortion when you push the bar to max volume. It's noticeable with real-life content, too. That said, you may not want to crank up the volume that loud, in which case it won't be much of an issue.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has a great center channel performance. Its discrete center channel enhances overall vocal clarity. The frequency response for this channel is very balanced, especially in the mids, where most voices reproduce. As a result, you don't have any issues following the action on screen.

Note:The center channel was tested in Native mode with the surrounds on. It was also set to the Music EQ.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC comes with four discrete satellite speakers, so it offers a more clear and real representation of sound effects in the space around you when compared to bars without satellites. Out-of-the-box, the frequency response of these channels is dark and boomy, with lots of extra punch in the bass and a lack of detail in the treble range. You find that sound effects are overpowered with all the additional rumble in the mix. Fortunately, you can switch up its performance with its customization tools, so you can get a better performance overall.

Note:The surround channels were tested in Native mode with the surrounds on. The bar was also set to the Music EQ.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC supports Dolby Atmos content. It uses front-firing drivers in the bar as well as up-firing drivers on its satellites to ricochet sound off the ceiling, which creates the illusion of height in the space around you. As with its surround channels, the frequency response is quite dark and boomy out-of-the-box due to the recessed treble and emphasized bass. Sound effects aren't as clear as a result, and the bass overpowers other details in the mix. With its customization tools, you can get a much more balanced frequency response to improve the sound if you wish (which would also improve its score for this test).

Subjectively, the bar does an okay job simulating an Atmos soundstage. Most of the sound effects are concentrated towards the front of the room, so you don't get the same immersive feelings as more premium models, and sound doesn't extend around you or behind you. Compared to the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch, the bar doesn't produce Atmos audio from its side-firing drivers, which explains some of the difference in performance.

Atmos content was tested in Dolby Surround mode, with Surround turned on. The Spatial Surround Elevation was set to 2, and the Music EQ was on.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has quite a few sound enhancement features on hand. Unfortunately, compared to other premium bars, there's no dedicated room correction feature with a microphone to measure your room's acoustics and adjust the sound accordingly. Instead, it has a 'Room' button that lets you choose between three preset acoustic environments: 'Small', 'Medium', and 'Large'. That said, you can still adjust its sound a bit to make up for this, thanks to its treble adjustment as well as its EQ presets, Music, Movie, Game, News, Sports, and DSP Off. The News preset doubles as a dialogue enhancement tool. Also, the 'Bass' button on the remote lets you control the subwoofer level.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC connects to your TV over Optical or HDMI connections. With three HDMI In ports, you can connect the bar to multiple devices and use it for high-quality passthrough. There's also a Coaxial input for older devices, as well as a USB port for firmware updates.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Locked
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X (eARC only)
Locked
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Locked
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Locked
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has incredible audio format support via ARC. It supports lots of different formats, including 5.1 surround sound like Dolby Digital, as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. Unlike the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2, it supports eARC, too.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
5.1 PCM
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has outstanding audio support via HDMI In. It supports lots of different formats, so you don't have issues watching content on streaming platforms and Blu-rays.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC supports both Dolby Digital and DTS over Optical. Dolby Digital is most commonly found on streaming platforms, while you're most likely to run into DTS content on Blu-rays.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
Lock ms

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC has fairly low latency. When you watch videos over different connections, you don't notice a delay between the audio you hear and the video you see, even with lip-synching. That said, when watching videos over Optical and ARC, there's a two-to-three-second audio delay when loading the video, but as soon as the sound comes on, we don't have any issues. The TV you use as well as the app you're on can compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary. If you have any issues, the lip sync issue lets you adjust the delay manually, which is nice.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC lets you wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar via Bluetooth.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC can passthrough some of the highest-quality bandwidth signals, including Dolby Vision Passthrough. When you connect the bar between two devices, like a TV and a PC, text on your screen is clear and crisp. It can't passthrough 4k @ 120Hz, though.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked

The subs connect to the bar wirelessly. You just need to plug them into power outlets.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Locked

The satellites connect to the bar wirelessly. However, you have to plug them into the wireless subwoofers to get them to work.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC's display is on the front of the bar. It shows the settings as you adjust them on the remote, like the volume and the input.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are a couple of controls on top of the bar. They let you power the bar on/off, change the input, and adjust the volume. The 'Demo' button plays the test tones for each of the bar's channels, so you can confirm that they're working properly.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
Locked

The remote is pretty big and lets you control the bar's functions. It looks different from the remotes with other Nakamichi models, as it comes with more colorful buttons. Like other Nakamichi remotes, it's backlit, so you can easily see the controls in the dark.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC doesn't have built-in voice assistant capabilities. You can connect a third-party device with Amazon or Google voice assistants if you want to control it using your voice.

Additional Features
App
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Acts As A Remote
Locked
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Locked
Casts Device Files
Locked
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Locked
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Locked

The Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2 eARC automatically switches off when there isn't an input signal if it's in ECO mode. You can also power the bar off using your TV remote since it supports HDMI CEC.

Discussions