Sound is an essential part of every movie-watching experience, whether it's the creaking of a door in a horror movie or the explosions in an action-adventure drama. But a true surround system requires multiple speakers, and placing surround speakers around your living room is not always practical or aesthetically pleasing.
That's the beauty of Lovesac's new Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System $3,700 home theater kit. Now, any of the company's highly configurable sectionals can be outfitted with surround-sound speakers that are hidden inside the sofa's arms, and a subwoofer that mounts below your seat.
Developed in partnership with Harman Kardon, the Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System is a full 5.1 surround system with a soundbar for the front left, right, and center channels. Inside, the soundbar there are four mid-range drivers, one one-inch tweeter and two 3.5-inch woofers. For the rear channels, the left and right arm of your sectional each houses a front speaker and an up-firing rear speaker.
The subwoofer unit serves are the receiver for the rear-channel sound. It plugs into a wall outlet for power, receives audio from the soundbar through a dedicated WiFi signal, and sends amplified audio to the right and left rear channel speakers. Since the subwoofer's low frequencies aren't directional, you can mount the subwoofer unit to any bottom piece in the sectional. You just unscrew the feet, insert the subwoofer, run your cables, and reattach the feet. There are clips included to help with cable management.
If you have a large sectional, you can add two additional speakers to the subwoofer or up to six additional speakers with a second subwoofer. However, the system only supports Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Prologic 2, so any additional speakers will repeat one of the rear channels.
A Bluetooth remote control comes included in the Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System that lets you control the overall volume, as well as the bass and treble. With the remote, you can also select one of four listening modes: movie, TV, news, and music. For movies, all the channels are at full volume. The rear channels are reduced for TV and turned off for news. And for music, the soundbar volume is reduced for balanced sound. There is also a button for Quiet Couch Mode for nighttime listening, which reduces overall volume for the sectional speakers and reduces peak loudness. You can use your TV remote, instead, for volume control if you have the soundbar plugged into your TV's HDMI ARC input.
The arms of the StealthTech Sound + Charge System will be visually identical to the rest of your sectional and be encased in the same fabric cover. There are more than 200 fabric options available, including microsuede, linen, velvet, chenille, denim, and leather, but each material and dye used for coloring impact the covering's impedance or ability to transmit sound. So Lovesac worked with Harman Kardon to design sound profiles for each one to optimize the speakers' sound. Accordingly, when you set up your StealthTech system, you select your sectional's fabric in the Lovesac app. And if you decide to swap out the covers, retuning your system is as easy as selecting the new material in the app.
In addition to sound, the rear-channel speaker units provide 5-watt wireless charging. There aren't any markings on the fabric to indicate where to place your phone, but the sweet spot isn't hard to find. My phone has a Speck CandyShell Grip Case and started charging with no problem. The StealthTech Sound + Charge System also comes with a Power Hub, which you can slide into any space where you clip the sectional together. The Power Hub has a regular outlet plus two USB-A ports and one USB-C for charging your devices.
How does the Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System sound
Lovesac's Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System is an interesting concept, so I was excited to check out the sound quality at one of Lovesac's stores in New York City. The StealthTech sectional on display was a loveseat and, when seated, I was close to both the rear right and left channel speakers and on top of the subwoofer.
The system delivered an immersive experience, with full rich sound, and dialog for movies and TV shows was crisp coming from the soundbar. However, the sound from the rear channel speakers was uneven, depending on where I was seated, because they are mounted on the arms. And since the subwoofer is mounted to the seat frame, I also felt some vibration that seemed to be coming from the subwoofer enclosure, rather than the sound itself. Depending on the scenario, the vibrations could add to the whole surround-sound experience when watching movies, but I wouldn't want it all the time.
I also listened to a variety of music on the sectional and while walking around the showroom. While seated, you need to sit equidistant between the speakers, or else one channel will be noticeably louder, which isn't optimal. (Since voices primarily come from the soundbar, I didn't notice this when watching movies.) However, when walking around, I was impressed by the clarity and richness of the sound. It's perfect for casual listening or a party.
While the Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System is impressive, at $3,700 it doesn't compete with dedicated 5.1-channel surround sound systems in this price range, where I would expect true (or at least near) audiophile-quality sound. And the fact that the rear-channel speakers are embedded in the sectional means that you can't place them optimally – there will be auditory compromises based on where you're seated and whether the speakers are blocked or partially blocked by other people, pets, or pillows.
The bottom line
If you're in the market for a sectional that you'll be using to watch movies, the Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System may be a compelling reason to put Lovesac Sactionals on your list. While it is a pricey upgrade at $3,700, for those who prioritize aesthetics over optimal audio quality, the StealthTech offers a seamlessly integrated solution that will satisfy the needs of the majority of movie watchers.
And if you already own a Lovesac Sactional 6 Series (which started shipping more than five years ago), you can upgrade it with StealthTech by just taking the arm coverings from your existing right and left arms, putting them on the StealthTech Sound + Charge arms, and swapping out the arms (along with adding the subwoofer and soundbar).
The Sactionals StealthTech Sound + Charge System upgrade is an additional $3,700 and is currently on sale for $3,145 on Lovesac.
[Image credit: Techlicious, Lovesac]