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Panasonic Urban Audio UA7GW Review: Powerful Sound, in a Rather Compact Home Theater

The SC-UA7GW-K packs in a total of 10 audio speakers—this includes 4 tweeters, four mid-range woofers and two super woofers.

Vishal Mathur | @vishalmathur85

Updated:February 3, 2019, 12:10 PM IST
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Panasonic Urban Audio UA7GW Review: Powerful Sound, in a Rather Compact Home Theater
The SC-UA7GW-K packs in a total of 10 audio speakers—this includes 4 tweeters, four mid-range woofers and two super woofers.
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Irrespective of how much money you spend on a high-end television, chances are that you will come away disappointed with the audio performance. For movie buffs, sports fans and for just about any streaming of TV shows, the built-in speakers in televisions are just not vibrant enough when it comes to bass, treble and the mid-range frequencies. What you end up with, therefore, is an incomplete experience. If you aren’t already pulling at your hair and swearing. Getting a separate speaker for the television is the only real solution. But it isn’t easy to pick from the millions of options, from the ultra-affordable price points to really premium pricing. The former may also not deliver in terms of the audio experience, while the latter may, well, simply be too expensive. Panasonic has perhaps a very neat solution as it turns out, and is a part of the Urban Audio speaker line-up—the SC-UA7GW-K. The name is a mouthful, but this speaker is priced at Rs38,990.

First things first, the SC-UA7GW-K has a tower design, which holds within itself everything that there is. This simply tackles the issue of clutter that home theatre set-ups generally suffer from. There are no multiple speakers and a woofer to place around the room. The hexagonal box design doesn’t take up too much space, and can really be installed neatly around the television setup. The speaker grille at the front holds behind it the audio hardware. There is a gap that you will notice between the top and the bottom segments, and that is for the subwoofer hardware—we will get into that later in the review. On the back are multiple connectivity ports, and the speaker works with Bluetooth as well as you can plug in a USB source. The control panel sits at the top, with backlit touch controls. The controls, with their backlighting, is great to look at visually. However, we did notice that the touch responsiveness wasn’t as great as the UA7, its predecessor. That could be an isolated incident, but then again, you’ll probably use the remote most of the time anyway.

The compact dimensions for what is essentially a very powerful home theater speaker, don’t really limit it in terms of the hardware it packs in. The SC-UA7GW-K packs in a total of 10 audio speakers—this includes 4 tweeters (6cm each), four mid-range woofers (8cm each) and two super woofers (16cm each). This is already an upgrade, at least on paper, compared with the UA7 which had four tweeters and four mid-range woofers. The result is a bit more of the same, yet quite different too.

It can connect with your phone and PC via Bluetooth, but an optical cable for the TV’s audio connection would be ideal if you want the best audio quality. In terms of the sound, the vocals and mid-range feel exactly as vibrant and rich as before. This means dialogues, vocals, instruments and detailing of pretty much any content that you see, is pristine. The SC-UA7GW-K can go very loud to, much to the envy of your neighbours. Bass, and how lower frequencies are handled, is where the biggest difference is. Since his has extra hardware on that front, what you hear is even more powerful bass. At the same settings, compared with the UA7, the UA7GW simply has deeper and more vibrant bass. If you aren’t careful, and dial up the subwoofer setting too much, you’ll end up with really bass heavy sound that will certainly overshadow the vocals and the mid-range frequencies. There are multiple sound equalization modes too, depending on what sort of content you are watching or the sound signature that you prefer. What we did not really like was the tiny display on the UA7GW itself which is quite uncomfortable to use as you change any settings. Tune the sound after taking your time to understand the differences, and the sound that you hear will be extremely well detailed for TV shows, vibrant enough for movies, rich enough for sports and bass-loaded for music. That’s pretty much all the bases covered.

Whether you own a direct-to-home (DTH) set-top box or you are using streaming apps such as Netflix or Amazon Video on the TV, we would prefer you configure these devices to pass-through unprocessed audio (Pulse-code modulation or PCM) to the UA7GW and let it do its own audio processing for better sound.

When it comes to a home theatre setup, users have their own preferences. Some prefer the elaborate setup that involves multiple speakers. However, the limited space in most modern day apartments tends to dictate a more restrained approach. The Panasonic Urban Audio UA7GW is most certainly a very versatile speaker that will work great as a Bluetooth speaker, a jukebox and as a critical addition to your TV. If the soundbars are too subtle for you, this is the speaker to consider.
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