Verizon has been quietly making its way into the home entertainment space, first with an Android TV streaming player and now with a couple of Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars designed in partnership with Bang & Olufsen.
Available today via Verizon, the $400 Stream TV SoundbarRemove non-product link and $1,000 Stream TV Soundbar ProRemove non-product link arrive with Verizon’s Android TV-powered Stream TV interface, along with virtualized Dolby Atmos sound and 4K passthrough.
In a press release, Verizon says the Stream TV Soundbar and Stream TV Soundbar Pro were “designed in collaboration with luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen,” with the speakers featuring “Bang & Olufsen-tuned” drivers. But as Android Police reports, an FCC filing from earlier this year notes that the soundbars were actually manufactured by Asus-owned Askey.
The primary difference between the two all-in-one soundbars is the number of drivers they have. The Stream TV Soundbar comes equipped with five drivers in its rounded housing—three full-range drivers and two woofers—while the boxier and pricier Stream TV Soundbar Pro has a total of nine drivers, including four full-range drivers, three tweeters, and two woofers. Neither soundbar has a wireless subwoofer or satellite speakers for true surround sound.
While most Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbars use upfiring drivers to bounce height cues off the ceiling, others use virtualization to achieve Atmos height effects without upfiring drivers, and Verizon’s new Stream TV Soundbar models fall into the latter category,
Another difference between the Stream TV Soundbar and the step-up Pro version concerns the number of available HDMI connectors; the Stream TV Soundbar has two HDMI 2.1 inputs and a single HDMI 2.1 output (presumably HDMI-ARC), while the Stream TV Soundbar Pro comes with three HDMI inputs in addition to the output.
Both soundbars boast Wi-Fi 6, built-in Chromecast, Bluetooth 5.0, and 4K passthrough at up to 60 fps. There’s no word on whether Dolby Vision or HDR10+ passthrough is supported.
Meanwhile, Verizon’s Android 11-powered Stream TV interface offers access to such streaming services as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. You also get a voice remote with Google Assistant that offers a Find My Remote feature.
Verizon debuted its original Android-powered Stream TV streaming box in early 2020, and it released a follow-up last November.