Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 Speaker Bar Review
The SLIMstage 30 is rather slim and about 31 inches wide. It isn't super heavy, but is obviously made well in a mostly metal casing. The unit contains four speakers and two woofers. Aperion offers it in two packages, one with just the sound bar and another which comes bundled with a larger Aperion Bravus 8A subwoofer. That latter package is good for larger spaces like a living room, while just the bar is ideal for smaller spaces such as an office or bedroom.
Aperion offers a few "mounting" options for the SLIMStage30. Alone it does not sit upright very well. There are small feet you can rest it on or some more intense mounts. The idea of course it to have the SLIMstage30 mounted to a wall either below or above your television set. As a high-end device, Aperion also includes a large range of cables with the SLIMstage30. This is a huge benefit as these days many devices don't come with all the cables in the box. However, there are a few option cables for the SLIMstage30 that you can get (such as an external IR sensor for the remote).
I have never seen such an array of connectors and options on much a small speaker. What you should understand is that Aperion designed the SLIMstage30 to be both a set of speakers as well as a receiver - and this is where the real magic comes in. Not only does the SLIMstage30 emit sound, but it also transforms sound with an included software equalizer, preset surround sound modes, and other sound options. The SLIMstage30 also has a series of inputs. In fact, it has 6 of them. These include 3 analog inputs, 1 digital SD/DIF coaxial input, and 2 optical / Toslink inputs. Included in these inputs are dedicated ports for a media player (such as an iPod), as well as headphones. The SLIMstage30 even supports very fancy headphones with support virtual surround sound. You really don't need to choose just one of these inputs at a time. Like any good receiver, you can switch between inputs on the fly using the remote or the "Source" button on the device.
Included with the SLIMstage30 is a really robust remote control. Seriously, you are going to be intimidated by the remote at first as you wonder "why would a speaker system possibly need so many buttons." Even though the remote has a lot going on it offers a rather simple way of accessing the options you need without having to dig through menus. The small screen on the front of the SLIMstage30 speaker usually displays the source and the volume level. Though it doubles as the menu and equalizer screen that you control via the remote. One issue that exists here (as with many other devices these days), is that you are mostly out of luck with many of the device options if you lose the remote. Though I should add that in among the physical buttons on the SLIMstage30 are those to change the sound source, adjust the volume, and mute the system.
Personally I am not the type of person to switch between all the sound modes all the time. Aperion included preset modes for movies, games, and more. They are fun to play with, but just choose what sounds best at the time or one that you like most of the time. One of the cooler modes is a night mode. This compresses the sound and (I believe) reduced the bass level. The purpose of this mode is to create sound that won't travel through walls very easy so as not to disturb sleeping people nearby. I thought that was very cool and haven't personally seen that function elsewhere.
OK, so all of these options are great, but how does the SLIMstage30 sound? Pretty good actually. I have experimented with stand alone speaker systems a lot and can easily say that for its size, the Aperion SLIMstage30 sits up there with the best of them. Sound was certainly clear and got pretty loud. Of course, a large system of five or seven speakers if going to be louder with a much more diverse range of sounds and directionality, but for a sound bar that is small and designed to be heard and not seen, the Aperion Signature SLIMstage30 is a fantastically capable and well-made system. It is well worth the $499 price tag and I can highly recommend it.
Get one or learn more here at Aperion.
Ariel Adams publishes the wrist watch reviews site aBlogtoRead.com.
Gallery: Aperion SLIMstage30 Speaker System