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Speakercraft CS3

Powered home theater sound system and platform with Bluetooth®

Great sounding home theater for less: Save was $599.99 was $599.99
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  • Speakercraft CS3

    Supports most HDTVs (not included)

  • Speakercraft CS3

    Back

  • Speakercraft CS3

    Back

  • Speakercraft CS3

    Close-up of drivers

  • Speakercraft CS3

  • Speakercraft CS3

    Remote

  • Speakercraft CS3

    View of internal drivers

 

Our take on the Speakercraft CS3

by David Brown

Sound bar speakers: room-filling sound with less clutter

Add big sound to your TV without a roomful of speakers. Sound bars require minimal space and wiring, and their sleek designs complement today's flat-panel TVs. Most sound bars have their own built-in amplification, so you won't need to use a home theater receiver. Some models use advanced surround processing and carefully aimed speaker drivers to simulate the effects of a full home theater audio system.

Make room for thrilling sound

We all want better TV sound. But some of us have a hard time figuring out where to put a sound bar or surround sound speakers. Speakercraft's CS3 offers a simple solution: put your speaker system under your TV. This 4-channel sound system with two built-in woofers is also a platform that can support flat-panel TVs weighing up to 160 pounds. Just place it on your TV stand, place your HDTV on top, and you can start actually hearing every word of dialogue and feeling the impact of every explosive sound effect.

Built-in woofers add impact

The CS3 features two tweeters and four midrange drivers across its front panel. Those alone are enough to dramatically improve the sound of any TV. But when you add in the CS3's dual down-firing 5-1/4" woofers and ported enclosure, you get extended bass response necessary to drive home the low frequencies that give movie and TV soundtracks depth and power. You'll hear all kinds of things you never hear through your TV's puny speakers. Eighty watts of built-in amplification and digital signal processing deliver virtual surround sound that's engaging and immersive.

Enjoy wireless music with Bluetooth

This sound system is not just for movies and TV. Built-in Bluetooth lets you enjoy wireless music with your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Play songs from your digital library, listen to free Internet radio streams or Pandora, and stream tunes from your favorite subscription service like Spotify® or Beats Music™.

Simple setup

A single cable from your TV to the CS3 gets you up and running in seconds. There are optical, coaxial, and RCA inputs, so it's compatible with just about any TV. The included remote control even lets you adjust bass and treble response, so you can fine-tune the sound of this powerful speaker system to your satisfaction.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • virtual surround sound speaker system designed to fit under flat-panel HDTVs
  • designed to support flat-panel TVs weighing up to 160 pounds; TV pedestal base should be no more than 28" wide and 15-9/16" deep
  • built-in 4 x 20-watt RMS amplifier
  • two 1" silk dome tweeters
  • four 3" cone midrange drivers
  • two 5-1/4" down-firing woofers for deep bass response
  • built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from compatible smartphones, tablets, and computers
  • digital signal processing delivers simulated surround sound
  • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet offers enhanced bass response
  • optical and coaxial digital audio inputs (accepts 2-channel PCM only, no Dolby decoding)
  • analog stereo RCA inputs
  • optical digital and stereo RCA cables included
  • remote with bass and treble tone controls
  • frequency response: 35-20,000 Hz
  • 28"W x 4-1/16"H x 17-15/16"D
  • weight: 25 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Enclosure
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Bass Reflex
Pieces in System
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1
Color
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Black
Tweeter
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1" Dome (x2)
Midrange
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3" Cone (x4)
Woofer
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5.25" Cone (x2)
Separate Subwoofer
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No
Subwoofer Driver
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None
Bluetooth Connectivity
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Yes
Wall-mountable
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No
Mounting Bracket Included
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No
Surface Mount Stand Included
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Yes
Speaker Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Speaker Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Amplifier Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Amplifier Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Specifications
System Frequency Response
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35-20k Hz
Powered System
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Yes
Sound Bar RMS Power
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80
Subwoofer RMS Power
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N/A
Audio Inputs
Mini Stereo Audio Inputs
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None
RCA Stereo Audio Inputs
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1
Optical Digital Audio Inputs
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1
Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs
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1
HDMI Audio Video Connections
HDMI Inputs
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None
HDMI Outputs
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None
Dimensions
Sound Bar (inches)
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4-1/16H x 28W x 17-15/16D
Sound Bar Weight
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25 lbs
Subwoofer (inches)
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No Subwoofer
Subwoofer Weight
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N/A
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Active soundbar speaker
  • Rectangular grille (installed)
  • 2 Round grilles (installed)
  • 6' AC power cord
  • 39" Optical digital cable
  • 39" Stereo RCA cable
  • Remote control (CR2025 battery installed)
  • Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Active Soundbar Speaker Base: The SpeakerCraft CS3 is an under-the-TV soundbar solution that dramatically improves your audio/video experience when watching your flat-panel TV. The CS3 soundbar speaker is designed to sit on an A/V stand with a flat-panel TV sitting on top of it. Your television's pedestal base should be no more than 28" (w) x 15.5625" (d). The soundbar speaker base system connects to your television via a single analog (RCA) or digital (optical/coaxial) cable.

Stereo & Simulated Surround: The SpeakerCraft CS3 provides full stereo sound for music soundtracks. The CS3 uses advanced digital signal processing (DSP) to create simulated surround sound that spreads the soundstage coming from the soundbar speaker so ambient sounds of movie soundtracks appear to come from all over the room and not just from the speaker.

3-Way Speaker Design: The SpeakerCraft CS3 features two front-firing 1" silk dome tweeters, four front-firing 3" treated paper cone midrange drivers, and two down-firing 5.25" treated paper cone subwoofers for clear highs, detailed midrange, and deep bass response.

80W Digital Amplifier: The SpeakerCraft CS3 soundbar speaker employs an 80W digital amplifier to power all eight drivers for dynamic, room-filling sound.

Bass Reflex Enclosure: The SpeakerCraft CS3 features a bass-reflex enclosure with dual rear-firing and dual front-firing ports for greater efficiency and bigger bass.

Bass & Treble Control: You can adjust the soundbar speaker's bass (100Hz) & treble (10kHz) level in order to increase or decrease low and high frequency output.

Analog + Digital Inputs: The SpeakerCraft CS3 is fitted with both analog and digital inputs to connect your external AV components. There is one optical (toslink) and one coaxial (RCA) digital input to connect up to two digital audio sources, such as your flat-panel HDTV and Blu-ray player. The digital inputs will accept PCM (2ch) only. There is also one analog stereo RCA input for connecting an external audio device or TV without a digital output.

Note: The soundbar speaker's digital inputs do not support a Dolby Digital/DTS audio signal.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming: Pair your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to the CS3 and stream music wirelessly via built-in Bluetooth (v.2.1) technology. You'll be able to wirelessly stream stored music and music apps on your Bluetooth-enabled devices to the SpeakerCraft soundbar speaker. You'll still use your Bluetooth-enabled mobile device for music navigation and song/artist information. Pairing is done without the need to enter a pin-code.

Note: Due to the differences in Bluetooth technology, some Bluetooth enabled devices may be incompatible, function improperly, or may not support all features when used with the SpeakerCraft soundbar speaker system.

Remote Control: The CS3 includes an IR remote control for wireless operation of the soundbar speaker system.

 
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Speakercraft CS3 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

7 people say:

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4 out of 5

Awesome sound, terrible remote...

Written By ThomasM, North Carolina on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had the CS3 for about a week and I'm overall very pleased. It sounds fantastic, looks great, and is solidly built. The Bluetooth functionality with my iPhone works really well. The only negatives are the lack of visual feedback when making changes with the remote (volume, etc) and the remote itself. It's a five star product otherwise.
Pros:
Sound, looks, build quality, Bluetooth
Cons:
Remote
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Really like this Sound Pedestal

Written By Rich B, Omaha. NE on Friday, June 20, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound! I have had the ZVOX 555, the JBL Cimemate SB400, and the Speakercraft CS3 all hooked up to my family room TV this week. I used to have a dedicated receiver, front and center channel speakers and subwoofer, but wanted a smaller footprint and a unit capable of producing clear dialogue for my wife to hear when watching movies. The CS3 is the easiest to setup and in m opinion really good sounds with only a few tweaks to the treble and bass. Both the JBL and the ZVOX can decode Dolby Digital, but not if the source is from a DirecTV Genie Client or ROKU 2. I had to turn Dolby Digital "OFF" on both to get decent sound without dropouts or chirps/pops. So even though the CS3 can't process anything other than a PCM Digital signal through the optical or digital coax, this did not effect my configuration. I personally think the CS3 has the most realistic sound reproduction. Vocals are not "tinny" and bass is not overwhelming.

Unlike the others, I will not be returning the Speakercraft CS3.
Pros:
- Sound Quality - Easy of Hookup - Simple, but Quality Cabinet Construction
Cons:
- No display to show what level treble or bass is at. Have to also try to listen to the output to determine whether or not the "surround" sound is on or off. - Cheap remote, but I'm using a Logitech Harmony 650, so no big deal.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Perfect Blue tooth device

Written By Mark W., Omaha, NE on Saturday, April 26, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Pleasantly surpised - great speaker system.
Pros:
Good Sound, Good value, easy setup, pretty.
Cons:
Heavy so not as portable as Id hoped but probably just leave it in one spot anyway.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Speakercraft CS3 speaker system

Written By Scottyz, Mystic, CT on Friday, April 18, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
If you are looking to avoid an invasion of speaker wires in your home then this home theater system fits the bill. It incorporates two 5 1/4 sub woofers to enhance the overall effect. Is it true surround sound?...not really, but it is better than I expected. I can't say the same about the remote, however. Credit card size and there are no displays for sound adjustments.
Pros:
quality sound at all volume levels.
Cons:
The remote
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
4 out of 5

Speakercraft CS3

Written By Rick, Vt, Randolph, Vt on Monday, March 24, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very good sound and looks great, but the remote is small and hard to use in dim light. Can't use the TV's remote to control the sound level, like some other units.
Pros:
Good Sound
Cons:
Must use remote, Hard to use remote
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

speakercraft cs3

Written By richard s, umatilla fl on Sunday, March 16, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great piece of equipment, looks good under tv sound is perfect, nice job speakercraft
Pros:
Good base actually raises the tv higher and provides better viewing
Cons:
heavy
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Speakercraft CS3

Written By Ryan, NJ on Saturday, March 15, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Absolutely blown away. The depth and quality of sound from such a small package is quite something. I have it in a large room and it still does a good job. It is by no means a substitute for a complete system, but it does afford a nice experience for those with space constraints.
Pros:
Sound, space,
Cons:
Remote range, hard to tell when making adjustments by the visual blue light.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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2 questions already asked

Does this product include the Dolby decoder box in case TV's optical out does not support PCM? I know Speakercraft was including them for a while, but not sure what they are doing now. Thanks. [ cabbycab  Mar 17, 2014 ]
5 answers
  • There wasn't one with mine. [ RYAN   Mar 18, 2014 ]
  • Yes you do not have to purchase a separate unit. The sc3 comes with an optical cable as well. Unit works good but no inidcation of sound level bass and treble contols kindnof stinks. Remote is lame as well small enough to be lost. We're not TV people but we often struggle with dialogue and heart--stopping sound effects. Getting a good balance isn't easy and nobody wants to play with the remote during movie. Overall I'd get it again. Simple to use has Bluetooth and if you're listening to music it sounds pretty decent Hope this was helpful. [ ROY   Mar 18, 2014 ]
  • I just received mine and there was no such box included. [ JOSEPH   Mar 17, 2014 ]
  • there is no decoder box [ HUGH   Mar 17, 2014 ]
  • Setup is as simple as any audio-only soundbar. You just connect power, and then connect your input of choice: optical or co-ax digital, analog RCA, or paired via BlueTooth. Once paired, the CS3 can only be paired with one device at a time. A word on the digital audio inputs: It???s worth noting, that the enclosure does not have any Dolby Digital decoding onboard. the optical and co-ax input will only play back linear-PCM signals. If your source component does not convert Dolby and DTS encoded signals to linear PCM, you'll need a separate converter device, or you???ll need to just use the analog inputs. [ SALIYM   Mar 17, 2014 ]
Opinion on Speakercraft CS3, Zvox 555, or Klipsch SB 120? [ Jonathan  Feb 18, 2014 ]
2 answers
  • I'm not a big fan of soundbars, but they work. I've got a 400w cerwin vega sub crankin' in my living room. Good for smaller rooms, not really loud. [ DANIEL M   Mar 04, 2014 ]
  • We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Jeff Staff  Feb 21, 2014 ]

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Speakercraft CS3, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_866CS3/Speakercraft-CS3.html ).