Review: Bluesound Pulse Soundbar

The most accomplished

Bluesound’s soundbar costs a bit more, but pays off in the form of a much better experiences on both film and music.

Bluesound Pulse Soundbar

Our verdict

Very powerful sound, even without a subwoofer, timbre balance is great and user-friendliness very good.
There could also be even more air at the top.
  • HDMI: No
  • Digital in: Optical, USB-A
  • Network: Wi-Fi, Ethernet
  • Wireless: Bluesound Multiroom, Bluetooth (aptX)
  • Analogue in: RCA
  • Subwoofer: Peripherals (wireless)
  • W x H x D: 107.3 x 14.1 x 7 cm
  • Colour: Black
Show more
Show less

Price: £ 9998

Like the Sonos and Yamaha YAS-306, Bluesound lacks HDMI inputs. Instead, the TV must be connected using optical cable.
Bluesound’s multi-room system works very similar to Sonos and Heos, and connecting to the wireless network is a piece of cake. Bluesound supports high-definition audio, which is worth noting for those interested in hi-fi. The interface with the app works fine, and Bluesound supports Sonos and Bose wireless subwoofers, which can be purchased as optional accessories. However, it does not support external, wireless back speakers, which the two competitors do.
As with Sonos and Heos, it does not come with a remote control. Here you have to use the mobile app. Like the two, Bluesound can learn the volume commands from the TV’s remote control, but here it is not part of the steps in the initial setup: you you have to enter in the setup menu and save it there.

Sound quality

If you think Bluesound seems expensive compared to Sonos, you will understand why when you hear it. On film, it is evident that Bluesound has more powerful sound and better dynamism than both Sonos and Heos. The sound pressure is not quite the same as with the Klipsch, but the sound quality is much better.
Even without a subwoofer there is a lot of power here, and there is surprisingly good punch in the mid bass range. Depending on its physical placement, there may be some colouring in the upper bass area that masks the dialogue. We therefore do not recommend having this on a shelf, but preferably on the wall. Then you’ll get a more open sound. If you purchase Bluesound’s subwoofer and connect to it, the soundbar will cut out all tones under 80 Hz and instead transmit them to the subwoofer. This will also solve the problem.
The soundbar has three Wide modes of stereo width: Off, wide and wider, where the latter produces the widest soundscape. This works best for movies, so will get the best experience of surround sound. The sound effects in Deadpool resonate around the room, while the dialogue is clear within the plot.
We like music in stereo in Wide Mode best. You get a little extra width, without it sounding exaggerated and phase delayed, which we experience in Wider Mode.
Music is rendered with great body below. A cello is rich and warm, and hiphop and rock music sound tough even without a subwoofer. We would have preferred more air at the top. It does not feel like an advantage to have high-resolution sound when the treble rendition is not airy enough to render it, but all in all, the Pulse soundbar works great with music.

Conclusion

The Bluesound Pulse Soundbar has great power, and sounds tough for both movies and music. The dialogue is huge and clear, and there is plenty of oomph in action movies, aplus the rhythms in party music come out well. Along with the subwoofer, this will be even fiercer. There is no doubt that the soundbars with subwoofers have even deeper and cooler bass.
But Bluesound has so many qualities combined with power; in addition, we like the usability and multi-room feature that it is overall the best in the field.

Alternatives to Bluesound Pulse Soundbar

Sony HT-G700

Impressive sound

Few soundbars can simulate surround sound like the Sony HT-G700.

JERN W8000

Columbus egg in cast iron

Audioform has made a speaker that is so cheap and good that everyone can join.

Sigberg Audio Inkognito 12 onwall

Bass beast on the wall

Finally, an interior friendly subwoofer that delivers real physical bass! Sure, it will cost you but the returns include gorgeously musical bass notes and hefty low-frequency effects i movies. And best of all: you can hang it on your wall.

Samsung HW-Q66T lifestyle

The most balanced sound

If you are willing to give up Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, there is hardly any better soundbar for the price, than the Samsung HW-Q66T.

Google Nest Audio

Just OK, Google

I have rarely been pissed off about a product. Especially one as user-friendly as Google Nest Audio.

702 S2 Signature

Refined signature edition

They look gorgeous, but it's not just the cosmetics that are appealing with the B&W 702 S2 Signature.

Sonus Faber Lumina I

A little miracle

It is rare that such small speakers play so well. But this one can.

Harman Kardon Citation Tower

Towering convenience from Harman

Harman Kardon Citation Tower proves that convenience sound does not have to be small, discreet table speakers with big compromises.

SVS SB-4000

American lowrider

Are you one of those people who likes the bass to feel as good as it sounds? Then you will love SVS's new worsting subwoofer.

9 Travel speakers

Whether on a trip to a ski slope or the beach, a battery-powered, sturdy travel speaker is perfect for the journey.

smart speaker

Smart speakers we recommend

Need a new speaker to listen to? A smart speaker can control the entire home. But how good do they sound?