Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 review: big Dolby Atmos sound on a budget

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Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 wireless situation speakers and wireless subwoofer.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4

MSRP $800.00

“The Milan 5.1.4 sets caller expectations for a compact location theatre system.”

Pros

  • Accessible price
  • Compact, minimal design
  • Four discrete up-firing drivers
  • Lots of inputs and settings
  • Very immersive sound

Cons

  • No distant control
  • No automatic room tuning
  • Requires clip and patience for nan champion sound

If you’ve been searching for Dolby Atmos soundbars, you apt already cognize that there’s an insane magnitude of choice. It seems conscionable astir everyone is promising Atmos’ immersive 3D sound, and yet prices are each complete nan representation — from $230 to $3,200. Where do you start, particularly if you request to support wrong a reasonable budget?

Platin Audio thinks its Milan 5.1.4 soundbar is nan answer. It follows nan aforesaid look arsenic its competitors, but nan WiSA-enabled Milan packs 4 discrete up-firing drivers (a cardinal constituent successful nan Dolby Atmos recipe) and comes successful astatine a little value than immoderate different company: $800.

Has this comparatively chartless marque managed to outmaneuver nan large boys and propulsion disconnected a Dolby Atmos upset? I spent a week pinch nan Milan 5.1.4 to find out.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4: design

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 broadside controls.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Milan 5.1.4 comes pinch everything you request successful a very ample box. The package includes nan soundbar, 2 wireless situation speakers, a wireless subwoofer, powerfulness cords for each of those units, an HDMI cable, and 2 overseas rubber feet. Oh, and a quick-start guideline and a alleged user’s manual. I opportunity alleged because there’s almost nary useful accusation astir really to usage nan product. And you don’t get a distant control, which is unusual.

Design-wise, nan components are arsenic nondescript arsenic it gets. The soundbar and surrounds are mostly wrapped successful achromatic acoustic fabric, and isolated from for nan subwoofer, there’s nary branding aliases badging to beryllium found. It’s a strategy that’s intended to beryllium heard, not seen, and I’m connected committee pinch that approach.

The rubber feet I mentioned get placed nether nan soundbar. On nan 1 hand, it makes sense. If you want to wall-mount nan bar, who needs feet? But connected nan different hand, it’s besides benignant of dumb: There’s nary measurement to unafraid nan feet to nan bar, truthful each clip you move nan barroom (to particulate nan area, for example), nan feet inevitably autumn off, and you person to popular them connected again.

Despite nan beingness of 2 keyhole slots connected nan back, there’s nary mounting hardware aliases moreover a mounting template — you’ll person to improvise thing if that’s nan measurement you want to go.

At 35.5 inches wide and conscionable 2.75 inches tall, nan soundbar is simply a bully fresh for astir TVs and hopefully won’t artifact your TV’s infrared receiver. If it does, that could beryllium a problem — dissimilar soundbars from Sony and immoderate different brands, there’s nary IR repeater built into nan backmost of nan Milan. On nan correct extremity cap, you’ll find nan system’s controls: power, source, Bluetooth, and volume. A top-mounted position would person made them easier to usage (and see).

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 beforehand display.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

A three-character alphanumeric scrolling matter show is built into nan beforehand of nan soundbar, and it’s a much-needed feature. It shows your measurement level and your existent root selection. But astir importantly for folks who want to beryllium reassured they’re getting a existent Dolby Atmos signal, it will show you precisely what’s being processed: from PCM 2.0 to Dolby Atmos successful Dolby TrueHD and everything successful between. The companion app won’t springiness you this captious portion of feedback.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 wireless subwoofer adjacent to couch.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The surrounds are very compact — astonishing fixed that each hosts some a front-firing and an up-firing driver. It should beryllium easy capable to find a location for them. Wall mounting is erstwhile again an action (each speaker has a modular threaded insert connected nan back), but you’ll person to root your ain mounts since Platin Audio doesn’t waste any.

The wireless sub is besides very mini for a subwoofer, helping you spot it anyplace — perchance nether nan furniture. Sadly, astatine 5.3 inches successful height, it was conscionable excessively gangly to sneak nether my sofa.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4: ports and connections

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 ports.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Many soundbars attraction connected giving your TV amended sound, pinch nan broadside effect that not overmuch thought is fixed to making it useful to different devices. You’re fortunate if you get an analog input.

The Milan 5.1.4 is overmuch much generous. In summation to an optical larboard that tin beryllium utilized arsenic an replacement to HDMI aliases a relationship for a CD player, you besides get a integer coaxial larboard and 2 types of analog input (stereo RCA and a 3.5mm line-in) — positive Bluetooth.

The Milan doesn’t hide astir non-TV devices.

In theory, you could link your TV, positive 4 different devices, and still person a Bluetooth relationship for wireless streaming. An HDMI input (or two) would person been welcome, but this is simply a rarity connected soundbars that costs little than $1,000.

Keep successful mind that if you usage nan optical larboard pinch your TV, you won’t get Dolby Atmos.

Another information successful nan HDMI ARC versus optical choice: an HDMI ARC relationship will fto your TV’s distant power nan Milan’s volume, but that doesn’t activity pinch nan optical connection. That mightiness not beryllium a problem if nan Milan shipped pinch its ain distant (or if it had an IR receiver that could beryllium linked to your TV’s remote), but sadly, it doesn’t.

You whitethorn person publication that nan Milan 5.1.4 uses WiSA, a wireless audio exertion for location theatre systems. It uses WiSA to nonstop lossless audio from nan soundbar to nan wireless situation and nan subwoofer. I’ll talk astir why that mightiness matter successful a bit.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4: Setup and configuration

Setting up nan Milan 5.1.4 is elemental to do but easy to botch. The instructions are clear: link nan sub and surrounds to powerfulness first, past link nan soundbar to power, past link nan soundbar to your TV via nan included (or your own) HDMI cablegram (making judge to usage your TV’s HDMI ARC/eARC port), and decorativeness it up by double-clicking nan Link fastener connected nan backmost of nan soundbar. But do this retired of order, and you whitethorn find that nan individual speakers don’t find each different wirelessly, and you’ll person to commencement again.

Take attraction to group up nan speakers successful nan bid you’re instructed.

If each goes well, you’re done. Because nan Milan 5.1.4 isn’t Wi-Fi enabled, you tin entree each of its basal functions from nan broadside controls. Still, you will almost surely request nan Milan Soundbar app (iOS/Android). Because there’s nary remote, nan app is nan only measurement to configure nan system. And because nan strategy doesn’t person room calibration built-in, immoderate tweaking will beryllium successful order.

By tweaking, I mean adjusting nan measurement levels of nan individual channels. There are 10 of them, which tin beryllium a spot daunting, but nan app helps — you tin make nan adjustments from a database of nan channels aliases usage a ocular representation of nan system.

You tin besides entree a bid of sound modes (auto, movie, music, party, night, and stereo) positive location are individual EQ settings for treble, mids, and bass. Finally, you tin set nan system’s crossover wave if you’re emotion adventurous. That’s nan invisible statement separating nan frequencies sent to nan main speakers versus those shunted to nan subwoofer. The higher nan crossover frequency, nan much your sound will return connected a bass-forward profile.

Don’t expect to fig these retired each astatine once. Keep nan app useful while you commencement watching movies and shows, and return statement of wherever nan sound feels for illustration it’s not rather keeping up (or is possibly excessively much). If nan speech feels excessively quiet, boost nan soundbar’s halfway channel. If nan bass is overwhelming, move down nan subwoofer, etc.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4: Sound quality

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 soundbar successful beforehand of TV.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Overall, nan Milan 5.1.4 delivers very bully surround sound, whether it’s full-fledged Dolby Atmos aliases simply 5.1 Dolby Digital. Dialogue clarity, a cardinal characteristic of immoderate soundbar, is fantabulous moreover pinch nan halfway channel’s level accommodation group astatine nan mill default.

The diminutive wireless subwoofer does a amazingly bully occupation of providing that low-end oomph which we subordinate pinch Hollywood blockbusters. The opening segment of Mad Max: Fury Road — an fantabulous trial of immoderate location theatre sound strategy — was rendered pinch its hallmark substance of gravelly voice-over and sounds of V8 engines astatine afloat throttle.

The situation speakers do what surrounds should do — they springiness you that back-of-the-neck emotion arsenic sounds creep up down and beside you. Unlike immoderate systems I’ve heard, these surrounds consciousness for illustration legitimate, full-range speakers, not conscionable small sound boxes that supply nan occasional chirp.

There’s besides nary problem getting nan Milan 5.1.4 to crockery retired volume. At 50%, I was happily immersed successful nan movie experience. At 60%, it started to return connected nan punch of a movie theater, and arsenic I edged person to 80%, I was thankful our neighbors were retired for nan evening. They would not person been pleased.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 wireless subwoofer.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Overhead sound effects were enjoyable. But for illustration galore soundbar systems that trust connected up-firing drivers to bespeak sound backmost astatine you from nan ceiling, immoderate adjustments were successful order. Maxing retired nan tallness channels’ levels was a must for my room, but still not capable connected its own. To really perceive those channels, nan strategy measurement level needed to beryllium astatine slightest 50%. Anything little simply didn’t deliver.

Listening position matters too: moreover leaning guardant versus leaning backmost connected my sofa could importantly impact nan afloat situation experience. This is wherever a calibration strategy would beryllium valuable. Without one, a batch of proceedings and correction is needed to get things dialed successful conscionable right.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 wireless situation speakers.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The Milan besides impressed maine pinch its euphony skills. Soundbars thin to beryllium tuned for movie and TV soundtracks, emphasizing highs and lows. But nan Milan’s midrange meaning is connected point. Even much astonishing for a situation sound strategy is really bully its two-channel stereo mode proved to be. It doesn’t measurement up to a dedicated hi-fi stereo strategy for illustration nan Klipsch The Sevens, but arsenic acold arsenic soundbars go, it’s a awesome experience.

Better yet, those were my observations while listening via Bluetooth — arguably nan weakest of each of nan Milan’s sources successful position of fidelity.  Playing Dolby Atmos Music via Tidal connected an Apple TV 4K proved moreover much enjoyable. If you hap to beryllium a Taylor Swift fan, you request to cheque retired nan Dolby Atmos type of her 1989 (Taylor’s Version) album. Music connected nan Milan is truthful bully that I’m a small depressed that Platin didn’t springiness it a Wi-Fi relationship for wireless streaming of lossless audio without nan request for a smart TV aliases streaming device.

Platin Audio Milan 5.1.4 soundbar successful beforehand of TV.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

So, what astir that WiSA stuff? WiSA has 2 main advantages: It doesn’t adhd immoderate further compression to your audio, and it’s accelerated — there’s very small latency. Given that nan soundbar’s relationship to your TV uses HDMI aliases optical, nan latency portion is almost irrelevant. If your surrounds aliases sub person a somewhat longer delay, you’re improbable to notice. Dialogue is wherever we’re astir delicate to latency, and that portion is handled by nan main soundbar.

That leaves compression. Again, surrounds and subs are location to capable your abstraction pinch nan other immersive parts of a soundtrack. They’re not nan main event. Moreover, you’d request to beryllium playing a movie connected Ultra 4K Blu-ray successful Dolby TrueHD for this to beryllium an rumor — virtually each different situation sound sources you’ll usage are already compressed. Can WiSA guarantee that you’re getting nan champion imaginable audio? Absolutely. You conscionable mightiness not announcement erstwhile utilizing nan Milan.

The bottommost line? The Milan 5.1.4 is simply a very tin Dolby Atmos soundbar strategy that’s easy to group up and use. For movies and TV shows, particularly pinch Dolby Atmos soundtracks, it will toggle shape moreover comparatively ample rooms into afloat location theaters.

It has a generous number of inputs, and each speaker, from nan soundbar to nan subwoofer, has been sized to fresh into a assortment of room configurations without sacrificing sound quality.

The absence of a distant power is annoying astatine times. Unless you’re strictly controlling TV measurement via HDMI, you’ll request to support your telephone connected manus to entree nan Milan app. This is particularly existent during your first fewer weeks, thing that could person been addressed pinch a room calibration feature.

Still, these insignificant gripes aside, nan Milan 5.1.4 is simply a awesome measurement to upgrade your TV room pinch Dolby Atmos astatine a value that’s very competitory pinch alternatives from Vizio, LG, Samsung, and others.

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