Review: Nubert nuPro AS-3500 Soundbar is the lively, dynamic, positively appealing way of playing with crisp, and offered a profound bass.
Review: Nubert nuPro AS-3500 Soundbar: “One more goes.” This could be the claim of the Swabian manufacturer Nubert, if the words “honest loudspeakers” didn’t stand in the way. Because the Swabian manufacturer has not only consistently expanded its portfolio in recent decades, it also does not seem to be anxious to leave this path. It all started with passive loudspeakers, then active sound converters and electronics (eg amplifiers and little helpers like the nuConnect system ) were added – and for some time now the soundbar device genre has also been active. It is a point of honor that there is not just one model for alibi purposes, rather Nubert has with the current nuPro AS-3500 (965 euros) added its third sound bar to the program within a comparatively short time. And this obviously closes several gaps at the same time.
In terms of budget, performance and features, there was still room between the entry -level nuBox AS-225 (EUR 398) and the fully- fledged nuPro XS-7500 (EUR 1,495) that I tested a few months ago. In terms of price, the Nubert nuPro AS-3500 is pretty much in the middle at 965 euros, which also applies to the nominal output in watts – but there is also a real innovation: the nuPro AS-3500 is the first soundbar in the Nubert range , who understands the decoding of Dolby and DTS, he should thus increase the basic group of interested parties.
What is striking in comparison: with its 20 kilos live weight and 90 centimeters width, you can just “wuppen” our current test subject alone, which is definitely an impossibility for non-bodybuilders with the big brother – because he is not only twelve and a half kilos heavier, but at the same time even more unwieldy due to its stately dimensions. The housing made of thick-walled, low-resonance MDF was additionally braced on the inside of the Nubert nuPro AS-3500, so that the soundbar has a load capacity of up to 100 kilograms for a television that could potentially be placed on it. Incidentally, it is essential to set up the soundbar on the feet supplied, because the two 169 mm woofers with polypropylene cones radiate downwards.
In addition, two 119 mm mid-bass drivers radiating in the direction of the listener are responsible for the playback – also equipped with polypropylene membranes – as well as two 25 mm silk fabric domes. The frequencies are divided using a combination of a classic, passive crossover (it separates the bass from the mid-high range) and a DSP, which allocates the signals to the midrange and tweeters. There are still bass reflex openings on the back, so the soundbar should not be placed directly against the wall. Nubert recommends a minimum distance of ten centimeters. The built -in Class D power amplifiers are declared with a total of 160 watts of nominal power. The Swabian bar can be fed digitally (S/PDIF coaxial and optical, HDMI eARC, Bluetooth aptX HD and AAC) or analog (stereocinch), a subwoofer output enables the connection of an external low-frequency buzzer at a transfer frequency of 80 Hertz.
The DSP allows the bass and middle/treble reproduction to be modified in 20 steps (-10 to +10 dB in 0.5 dB increments), an adaptive loudness circuit adds a little extra pound to the bass reproduction at low listening volumes . If you want to expand the sound stage, you can activate a two-stage “Wide function” – and for the quiet playback of films and TV programs there is also the “Voice+” sound mode, which is intended to ensure clearer and more understandable voice reproduction. I think it’s nice that there are a total of three memory locations for all DSP operations. In this way, you can easily create your own presets, eg for “Movie sound with boom”, “Stereo” and “Speech”.
Unlike its big brother, there is no app for the nuPro AS-3500 (at least so far, who knows what the Swabians will come up with): Operation is either via the supplied remote control or via a multifunction rotary switch on the front, around which it is located an armada of multicolored LEDs informs about the selected input or the status of the device. It is very commendable that all settings of the soundbar can be done without exception both on the device and via remote control. Unfortunately, this is not a matter of course. Practical: the LEDs can still be seen even with the front cover applied. This not only helps with the setup, but also looks quite elegant, even futuristic. But now to the sound.
Nubert nuPro AS-3500: sound test
One might think prematurely that the Nubert nuPro AS-3500 is simply the “little, quiet brother of the nuPro XS-7500”. However, that is only partly true. The two “bolts” certainly differ in terms of performance, dimensions and weight, but they also come with partly different sound-relevant features. First and foremost, of course, is the Dolby/DTS integration. With this, quite crazy and realistic effects can be called up, so with the smaller nuPro AS-3500 – assuming corresponding films – you are much closer to a special cinema experience than with the nuPro XS-7500. The latter also comes up with a room calibration via iPhone, which cannot replace an “official” measurement, but makes the optimal adjustment of the sound to the listening room quite significantly easier for home use.
What characterizes the sound of the Nubert nuPro AS-3500 – considered in isolation: It is definitely not a “device without properties”, because that often makes the editor’s work more difficult. No, this soundbar is definitely of the gripping kind and is characterized above all by excellent dynamics and “pounding” in view of the price range. Despite the amplifier performance, which on paper does not appear excessively high, this sound bar delivers unadulterated, clear and profound bass, which not only enables substantial experiences with stereo music, but also as effects with film sound. When a car explodes or thunder rolls in the film, the viewer in the armchair is definitely startled.
And when Spliff on the track “Carbonara” or Echo & The Bunnymen on “Over The Wall” allocate concertante licks and melody lines to the electric bass, then the Nubert soundbar shovels it emphatically into the room – that makes a difference really fun. In addition, this stable and deep-reaching bass can be mobilized quickly and without slag from a standing position.
The Nubert nuPro AS-3500 leaves nothing to be desired at the other end of the frequency response either: the treble is more on the bright than the dark side and can make splash and crash cymbals, but also sawing guitars or pounding monsoon rain almost physically tangible. It should be noted here that the high-frequency range of the brand-new device even comes with a certain over-presence, which, however, drops to almost zero after a comparatively short break-in period (roughly 80 hours). It still sounds a bit brighter than average, at least without the cover and with the equalizer set to zero.
If that’s too much for you, you can practically “turn the wheel” and soften the area. The mid-band is inconspicuous in the best sense of the word – there is no discoloration or nagging to be discovered here, but the resolution is more appropriate for the price range. Overall, the nuPro AS-3500 follows a similar path tonally as its big brother, with the latter sounding a bit more “earthy”, which is not only due to its overall somewhat more profound bass range, but also to the fact that the Nubert nuPro AS-3500 has a little more sound at the top more alert. However, as I said, all of this applies primarily to the factory settings – very varied scenarios are possible with both devices via DSP.
I was positively surprised that a more than usable stereo stage set can grow from a single housing. Although the perceived stage width is a bit narrower than with the big brother nuPro XS-7500 , the sound in a typical application scenario (listening distance 1.50 – 2.50 meters) fans out cleanly, sound sources can even be identified quite precisely locate on the X-axis. It doesn’t really go deep, but the sound detaches itself surprisingly well from the speakers and doesn’t “stick” to the box.
I even found myself using the first, more subtly intrusive, “Wide” setting several times during the listening sessions. It actually enables an even more spatial listening impression, even if this is of course not the pure lesson in terms of hi-fi – if you consider one thing: Since the highs in wide mode experience a slight boost at the same time, it is advisable to use the tone control here a little ( 1 dB) to take out. The second wide level is unusable for pure music enjoyment due to the resulting spooky effects, but it can certainly cause astonishment with effectively mixed films. The “Voice+” setting is very practical and successful. It actually helps immensely when you’re watching a movie,
Let’s look aside again: The Canton Smart Soundbar 10 with Smart Sub , which I also recently gave a guest performance at , has a slightly different focus. Overall, it sounds a bit more balanced and subtle in terms of tonality – this is mainly due to the high-frequency range, which is more fluently integrated and not quite as present compared to the nuPro AS-3500. In terms of fine localization of the sound sources in width, the Canton bar has to lag behind the nuPro AS-3500. Likewise in terms of bass pressure and depth, at least if you do without the Smart Sub. In return, the Soundbar 10 comes with other features such as very convenient operation via on-screen display, several HDMI inputs and multi-room functionalities.
Conclusion: Nubert nuPro AS-3500
What I particularly like about the Nubert nuPro AS-3500 is the lively, dynamic, positively appealing way of playing with crisp, profound bass, a balanced, unobtrusive mid-range and informative high-frequency range. But what is also pleasing is the astonishingly good detachment of the sound image from the case, the DSP area offering many sound options and the Dolby/DTS integration for film sound that pulls into the action. Furthermore, the AS-3500 is quite easy to “manage” in terms of dimensions and weight and is also literally balanced in this respect. Also on the plus side is the beautiful, cleanly finished case with a chic polished finish. All in all, it can be said: The Nubert nuPro AS-3500 is definitely a worthy filler and not a stopgap in the Nubert soundbar range.
- Product: Nubert nuPro AS-3500
- Category: Soundbar
- Inputs: Stereo RCA, S/PDIF coaxial and optical, HDMI eARC, Bluetooth
- Output: sub out
- Total rated power: 160 watts
- Dimensions: 16 x 90 x 34 cm (H x W x D, with feet and front panel)
- Colours: Polished black or white
- Weight: 20.3kg
- Warranty: 2 years, surcharge warranty extension to 5 years: 59.90 euros
- Price: 965 euros