Hands-On Review: Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini Soundbar

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A minimalist design and maximum sound make this speaker system a great deal for the price.

Continuing advances in audio technology have made it easier and more accessible than ever for everyone to have studio quality sound in the comfort of their own homes. 

But as options for home stereo systems have struggled to differentiate themselves, only a few stand out as having top notch combinations of 1. Thoughtful design, 2. High fidelity sound, and 3. Affordable pricing.

The Studio 3D Mini Soundbar from heritage audio company Definitive Technology puts all of that together in one easy to set up package. 

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of these soundbars for in-home testing, and want to share with you just how cool they really are. Bottom line: In multiple home settings of varying sizes, this little soundbar puts out big theater style sound, all for under $1000.

Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini Soundbar

The Design

I’m not usually a big unboxing guy; the trend has always been kind of lost on me. But when I started unpacking the Studio 3D Mini, I think I finally got a sense of why people will watch hours of unboxing videos on YouTube.

The packaging itself is neatly functional, with no extra bits and bobs floating around to make things messy. And from the moment you dig into the system itself, it’s gorgeous—in a subtle, understated sort of way. Rather than going for the “big round tube” or “flat as a board” shapes that are so popular for soundbars today, the Studio 3D Mini actually looks like something you’d like to display. 

The soundbar’s trapezoidal face and low-profile material contrasts are just enough to complement a room’s decor, but not so much as to draw unnecessary attention to itself. It measures just under two inches tall, and sits a little bit under two feet wide (primo sizing to complement wall-mounted smart televisions). And the eight-inch wireless subwoofer is sleek enough to blend in with the rest of your furniture, all while pumping out deep low-end sound.

Overall I really like the refined aesthetic that Definitive Technology has prioritized here. It’s subtle enough to blend in with the rest of your room, but distinct enough that you’ll continue to find new details to appreciate about it the longer you own it.

Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini Soundbar

The Features

Of course, the shell of a sound system is far from being its only design feature. Without a well-rounded selection of connection options and playback features, any soundbar will be dead in the water.

The Studio 3D Mini really delivers on the simplicity and scope of its features. Voice control compatibility and multi-room audio are both integrated through HEOS—a Home Entertainment Operating System that can be downloaded as an app to control your audio from anywhere in your home.

HEOS ends up being a bigger advantage than you might at first assume, because it’s also well-equipped for high fidelity playback. Integrating it with a hi-res music service like Tidal will turbo charge the sound quality for this system relative to your favorite albums, delivering new vistas of sound in every song.

Setting everything up for streaming music, games, and movies is fast and easy too. The few cables you need are neatly arranged in a separate section of the product’s box, and the subwoofer connects wirelessly to the soundbar at the push of a button. Then either connect your devices via Bluetooth, or use the included cables for wired sound.

Definitive Technology Studio 3D Mini Soundbar

The Sound

Flashy designs and abundant features would be for nought, though, if a sound system couldn’t deliver ear-tingling pleasures. And from what I can hear, the Studio 3D Mini seriously delivers on sound quality—especially when compared with any system near the same price.

After testing this soundbar in three different sizes of rooms—a small studio apartment, a full sized living room, and a small auditorium—I can tell you without a doubt that its soundstage is wide. That’s a direct product of the stacked racetrack style drivers, each measuring in at about a foot long and three inches wide, modulated further by two side-firing drivers. Even in suboptimal positions within the room, this little system puts out a surprisingly detailed and pleasant sound. 

And the depth of the system’s bass carries through especially nicely while you’re sitting down, thanks to the downward-directed subwoofer. It has a respectable eight-inch driver, giving it just enough power to make movie explosions pop without adding so much that it destroys the balance of hip hop and electronic albums.

To help you test out your new sound system, we built this playlist with big highs and deep lows:

Open in Spotify

Final Verdict

In short, Definitive Technology has put together a soundbar system that really punches above its weight. The design and aesthetics are on point for modern homes, without being too flashy. Thoughtful features give you plenty of power to use it however and wherever you want in your home. And the sound quality easily competes with systems that are significantly more expensive. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your at-home listening experiences, I think it’s one of the best options out there for you.

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