Driving those diddy speakers is Sony’s 32-bit S-Master digital amp and unique sound processing technology. The unit offers Dolby Digital and DTS support, Dolby Pro Logic II processing and a range of Sound Field modes that includes Omni-Directional sound and a special setting for portable audio devices. Rounding up the features list is an FM/AM radio tuner.
The system is a breeze to setup. The main unit links to the subwoofer with one cord, and each speaker has a colour coded cable that plugs into the bottom of the subwoofer. Once it’s rigged up, there’s a superb automatic calibration mode that sets the speaker distances and channel levels in just 30 seconds using the supplied microphone and built-in test tones.
Once the system’s been tweaked to perfection, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the show, and the system’s performance defies all our expectations. Despite their size, the DAV-IS10’s satellite speakers produce a surprisingly powerful sound with the spectacular ”Fellowship of the Ring” DVD, more than living up to Sony’s hype.
The Mines of Moria sequence is an absolute blast, with the front channels pumping out the action with remarkable clarity and control, but with enough snap and crunch to get you jumping from your seat. Amid the chaos however, the centre speaker delivers dialogue with lucidity and directness.
The rear channels generate a superbly eerie ambience during quieter passages, but when the excitement levels raise, they deliver surround information with jolting accuracy and steer the effects smoothly across the soundstage. The subwoofer does a fantastic job too, injecting bursts of tight, punchy bass into the mix without bullying the other channels into submission – which is yet more evidence of the satellites’ quality.