Canadian manufacturer Bluesound makes some big audiophile claims for its Pulse Soundbar and Pulse Sub. Based on my experience with these speakers, those claims are valid. With all due respect to the competition, the build quality for both speakers is head and shoulders above average. Think high-performance luxury car versus run-of-the-mill econobox. 

The Pulse Soundbar is among the beefiest soundbars I’ve reviewed. The 42.25 x 5.5 x 2.75-inch speaker weighs in at a hefty 15 pounds. Furthermore, there’s a noticeably dense feel to the soundbar when you hold it, thanks to an aluminum enclosure and a metal grille that’s in stark contrast to the plastic shells gracing much of the competition. The speaker is available in black (as my review unit was) or white, but the white finish will cost you another C-note.

The Pulse Soundbar and subwoofer unboxed with included accessories. Theo Nicolakis

The Pulse Soundbar and subwoofer unboxed with included accessories.

The Pulse is a three-way soundbar outfitted with two 0.75-inch soft dome tweeters, two 2-inch treated-paper-cone midrange drivers, and two 4-inch woofers. A pair of passive radiators further emphasize low-end frequency response.

You can wall-mount the Pulse Soundbar or rest it on a table in front of your TV. If you take that approach, as I did with a 65-inch Vizio P-Series TV in for another review, you might discover that the soundbar blocks the lower part of the TV screen. While watching football, the speaker obscured the lower 25 percent of the lower-third ID that displays that game’s score and the current down. It also blocked the TV’s IR receiver window, and since the speaker doesn’t have an onboard IR repeater to re-send the TV remotes commands, I had to elevate the TV a few inches to compensate for the soundbar’s height.

The Pulse Soundbar comes with a high-quality wall mounting bracket for wall installations, and optional feet to keep the sound bar upright when placed on a credenza. These feet are metal, not plastic. Bluesound also offers a well-built tabletop TV stand ($299 at Amazon) that will accommodate up to a 65-inch TV that has a special aluminum-and-steel mounting bracket for the Pulse Soundbar. This is a slick option that you won’t find with other soundbar manufacturers.

Detail view of the Pulse Soundbar’s high quality metal feet. Theo Nicolakis

Detail view of the Pulse Soundbar’s high quality metal feet.

Given the soundbar’s overall dimensions and the size of its drivers, you might be surprised to learn that it is only rated to reproduce frequencies down to 55Hz +/-3db. Some smaller sound bars claim to produce deeper bass, but numbers don’t always tell the whole story. The Pulse Sound Bar delivers noticeably superior performance and control compared to lesser models claiming better specs. 

Add a subwoofer (or two) 

Played by itself, the Pulse Soundbar delivers deeply satisfying sound. Should you want to take its performance to the next level, add the optional wireless Pulse Sub. You’ll create a 2.1 setup with low-end performance rated down to 30Hz +/-3db.

Detail view of the Pulse Subwoofer’s driver. Theo Nicolakis

A detailed view of the Bluesound Pulse Sub’s driver.

The upright Pulse Subwoofer comes in a slim profile, measuring just 17.6 x 11.25 x 4.8-inches. The sub’s slim profile makes it super easy to prioritize placement for peak performance or aesthetics. It’s easy to tuck in a corner, slide under a sofa, or hang on a wall. Yes, hang on a wall. The sub comes with both a wall-mount bracket and a pair of rubber feet for standing it upright.

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