The Good Compact and attractive 5.1 channel home theater speaker package with 8-inch powered subwoofer; omnipolar technology produces remarkably spacious sound; extra satellites are available.
The Bad The satellites imaging isn't as precisely focused as box speakers'; the sound may be too diffused for some tastes.
The Bottom Line Mirage's gorgeous Nanosat 5.1 Home Theater System may be small, but it produces a huge, room-filling sound for music and movies.
Mirage Nanosat 5.1
It's safe to say that the Mirage Nanosat 5.1 Home Theater sounds unlike any box-type satellite/subwoofer combination system on the market. While conventional box speakers project sound forward, the Nanosat speakers are designed to produce a ratio of 30 percent direct and 70 percent reflected sound. The direct sound heads straight to the listener, while the other 70 percent is bounced off walls and the ceiling before finally reaching the listener. Mirage introduced this sort of omnidirectional technology--what the company dubs Omnipolar--in 2002 with the original Omnisat speaker. We recently raved about another Omnipolar Mirage system, the MX 5.1 Home Theater System ($1,200), but the new Nanosat 5.1 features larger satellites and a larger subwoofer. Incredibly, the larger system comes with a significantly smaller price tag at only $800. Even better, the $800 system sounds even better than the $1,200 one.
Design and features
The Nanosat 5.1 system comes with five satellite speakers and a subwoofer. The system doesn't include a dedicated center channel speaker; instead you get five identical satellites, which produce a better surround experience than a system with dedicated front, center, and surround speakers. Each Nanosat speaker is 5.8 inches tall and weighs 2.9 pounds.
Conventional box speakers have drivers mounted on their front baffles and project sound forward. The Nanosat 2.75-inch titanium/ polypropylene mid-bass driver and 0.75-inch pure titanium hybrid dome tweeter are mounted on the speaker's top-angled baffle. Top mounting isn't the only factor responsible for the MX's omnidirectional dispersion, as the speakers feature an Omniguide module, which has two deflectors itself. One tiny curved deflector is positioned over the tweeter, and the other is mounted atop the midbass driver's deflector. The deflectors project sound directly toward the listener, all while creating a 360-degree radiation pattern that reflects sound off your room's walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.
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