Niro 1.1 Pro provides surround sound in easy-to-install system


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April 15, 2004|By Kevin E. Washington

I'm a big fan of surround sound, ever since I saw the movie Midway in the 1970s. I'll never forget bugging my dad about taking me to see the movie because of the booming guns of the warships and such.

So getting that feeling at home - I have Midway on DVD - excites me. I'm not much of a regular television viewer, but movies on DVD hold a special place in my heart as solid, enjoyable entertainment. But getting the guns to boom on the tube requires adding some firepower to my television's sound system.

That's easier said than done because the surround-sound systems out there for you to set up tend to include more than a few speakers and require way too much effort to be placed properly around the room.

But Nirotek America has created a wonderful setup. Just two speakers in the Niro 1.1 Pro (only available directly from Nirotek for $799; the 1.1 Standard, $599, has fewer drivers in the main speaker unit) need to be installed, which allows more time for enjoying the movie.

You basically have one 18-inch-wide speaker to sit atop the television and one massive subwoofer that sits on the floor. Plug these into the progressive scan DVD/CD player (AM-FM tuner and digital amplifier) in the box and you're good to go. I clocked my installation time at 4 1/2 minutes - compared to a half-hour to an hour on other systems.

The sound from the Niro 1.1 is amazing. For one thing, as long as I sat (the recommended) 6 feet from the units and the television, I thought I could hear sound coming from behind my head - as if I had put up all those speakers. Equally important for me, after listening to the shallow sound of television speakers for months, I actually felt the joy of hearing a decent bass in the sound, just as in a theater.

Midway boomed its way across my living room. And, for once, I worried about disturbing my neighbors.

My only complaint about the system is a minor one. The buttons on the remote are too small and crammed together. I frequently, in low light, had a problem finding the volume buttons.

I consider the Niro 1.1 Pro a first-rate purchase for anyone who likes movies but doesn't want the hassle of putting up multiple speakers to get surround sound.

Information: 800-533-5617 or

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