Hands-on review: Majority Audio Everest 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound System
Image credit: Majority
Make every media moment cinematic.
Music, film, TV and gaming. As often as not, all four will be consumed and enjoyed in most homes via the same device: the big-screen television.
However, the speakers and overall sound quality of many televisions - even new models in 2023 - can be somewhat lacklustre, with manufacturers (understandably enough) reasoning that those who crave better, clearer, more dimensional, more enveloping, and just plain louder audio will go ahead and spend their own money upgrading their overall home sonic experience.
This is where soundbars step in. Naturally, there are approximately a million soundbars to choose from these days, ranging from basic stereo systems, to 2.1 systems that add a subwoofer (for the boom that shakes the room), up to full-on 5.1 surround-sound setups, like this Everest system from Majority Audio.
Where the Everest Dolby Surround Sound System scores highly is in overall sound quality, ease of use and setup, and its clever options for speaker placement.
"Powered by Dolby Audio", as the company puts it, the Everest comprises three distinct elements: the main Dolby soundbar, a wireless subwoofer and two detachable wireless satellite speakers. With both the sub and the satellites being wireless, you are totally free to place them wherever suits you and your room best.
While it is most typical to place the sub on the floor near the TV and the two satellites somewhere behind your viewing position, spaced wide apart to act as a remote stereo pair, you can mix this up as you see fit. You can do whatever works best for you. Top marks for this freedom alone.
The detachable wireless speakers are rechargeable, with a functional range of around 20 metres. In this reviewer's house, that kind of maximum distance would place them across the street in someone else's house! The subwoofer has an effective stated range of 10 metres. Without going to extremes, you will be able to place these anywhere in the room without issue.
It's also the case that you don't have to detach the satellite speakers if you don't want to, or you don't have the space, or you just want to simplify. They attach to either end of the main soundbar, acting independently. You will be missing out on the best experience if you don't opt for the full 5.1 set-up, though, and the fact that they're wireless means you don't have the hassle of routing cables. The only downside is that the speakers are recharged via micro-USB cable, not USB-C, so don't throw out all your old charging cables just yet. The charging cable connects to the main soundbar, so you must reattach the satellites to facilitate the transfer of energy.
The subwoofer recharges the same way, connected to the soundbar. Having a sub always makes a big difference to any sound system, bringing back all those low frequencies that go AWOL with basic TV speakers and stereo soundbars. This sub is more than capable of delivering a very thick and beefy low-end courtesy of its 5.25" driver. The Everest's thump acts like its bass camp, keeping everything tight and focused at the foot of its sonic mountain.
In terms of run time, optimistic estimates for both of the wireless elements is stated as being around eight hours of playback between charges, but as always YMMV according to type of use, volume levels and such like.
With the sub and the satellites operating in conjunction with the main soundbar, the Everest has the full frequency range covered. Majority describe the system as having been "Acoustically tuned in Cambridge" (the company's home city) and it sounds superb. With the 5.1 setup in play, the sound is spread all around you, just as the media creators intended it. With 300W of power behind it, the Everest can almost certainly go louder than you will ever realistically need it to. This capacity means plenty of headroom for a cleaner sound overall, free of distortion.
Connection-wise, there is provision for Bluetooth, optical, USB, Aux In and HDMI ARC. In the box is the remote control (plus two AA batteries, nice) and multiple power cables for the main system and to recharge the satellite speakers. Connecting to the Everest system from a Dolby Audio-enabled device is required for the best immersive listening experience. You can also have multiple devices connected to the soundbar's various inputs simultaneously, if you want to leave them wired up and ready to rock and/or roll.
We really are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to intelligently deisgned, well-made, great-quality audio devices. We've entered a golden-age sweet spot, where the price of technology that was considered exclusive and expensive even 10 years ago has tumbled to the point of mass market affordability. To have a fully immersive 5.1 surround sound home cinema system like the Everest available to everyone for a little over £200 is pretty amazing. Majority even offers a three-year extended warranty, as well as planting trees in the Majority Forest for every device (of any type) that it sells, so you can't go far wrong.
If you're spending any significant amount of time on your couch lately (and that is, almost certainly, almost all of us), consuming all manner of media, streamed and otherwise, a major audio upgrade could work wonders on your pleasure centres. The fact that you can do it (almost) all without wires with the Everest is the pinnacle - the peak, you might say - of affordable home entertainment hardware in 2023.
Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.