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If you asked me one thing that most people could do to improve their gaming experience, it wouldn’t be a new TV — I would recommend an upgraded audio system. Sound is deeply underrated because it’s easy to ignore and seems complicated. No one wants to run cables around their room, but what about wireless sound systems — are they viable? Well, that’s the promise that Platin is making with its Monaco 5.1 system that uses WiSA wireless standard and its SoundSend tools.
I tested the Monaco system with the new generation of consoles as well as video content. The results are impressive especially considering how simple it is to set up. And that’s the big thing here — the WiSA wireless tech makes the Monaco easy to get started. I had my review unit in place and ready for surround sound playback in about 30 minutes.
The WiSA standard is one that is gaining adoption, so you could potentially connect the Monaco speakers directly to your TV. This works with brands like LG and others. But you can also get the Monaco with the SoundSend transmitter, which is what I used. This works like a hub that speaks to your TV via HDMI and then connects to the speakers.
Then you need to plug each speaker to power. For the Monaco, this includes the center channel, the left and right channels, two surround speakers, and a subwoofer. Using the SoundSend app on iOS or Android, you can then ensure that everything connects to the transmitter. Here is where you can also adjust volumes in case of odd placements.
Only needing a power cable is easier than running a speaker wire under your carpet, but it’s still something you’ll probably want to hide.
Immersive audio that sounds right for the price
At $1,000, you should expect some room-filling audio from an all-in-one system, and that’s what you get. The idea behind packages like this is to deliver something that is simple first, but you should also be able to notice the upgrade in your sound experience. And that is obvious with the Monaco. It does not, of course, measure up to more expensive, professional installations, but it does sound about equivalent to what you get to other options in this price range.
A lot of the strength of the Monaco comes from its robust center-channel speaker. This enables dialogue to stand out crisp and clear even during busy scenes. That clarity falters only slightly in the surround speakers, which can slightly crush mid and high frequencies. This is only really noticeable when I did a side-by-side comparison to the surround speakers of Vizio’s equivalent soundbar-plus-surround system.
But the Monaco has an advantage when it comes to presenting wide sound thanks to using standalone speakers instead of a soundbar. And that does a decent job making up for a lack of certain technologies like Dolby Atmos.
During actual use, however, I wasn’t noticing what is missing. The audio is as immersive as you would hope. In Forza Horzion 5, the broad soundstage and capable surround can really make it feel like you are whipping through Mexico at 200 miles per hour.
Finally, the wireless tech is well established and reliable. You won’t have to deal with weird connection issues. Everything just works. And that combined with the sound quality makes it easy to recommend the Platin Monaco.
The Platin Monaco 5.1 Surround Plus SoundSend is available now for $1,000. Platin sent a sample unit to GamesBeat for the purpose of this review.
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