First things first, you’ll know it’s there, there’s no hiding the Sierra Plus. This soundbar heavy weight made our old Majority K2 soundbar look like a flyweight. But does size matter? We were pretty happy with our current soundbar, but would the addition of Dolby Atmos 2.1.2 along with a bigger Wireless Subwoofer make THAT much of a difference? Can Dolby Atmos even be done for an RRP of £269?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is far more nuanced on how much yes that really is.
Firstly, the build quality, now if there was a zombie apocalypse this is one of first things, I’d pick up to protect the family, closely followed by the subwoofer. However, Majority expects that you’ll want to wall mount it as it comes with the hefty brackets you need. What it has done this time thankfully is to reduce the number of cables you get. The Majority K2 came with every cable under the sun and all, but one went into the box of cables.
The extra two HDMI inputs on the Sierra Plus are a godsend, especially as we have an older TV with only 3 HDMI inputs, but one that thankfully supports ARC, Dolby Atmos, 4K and HDR (Though sadly not Dolby Vision). One of the downsides of having a Pixel 6 is that to cast anything, it’s Chromecast or nothing. So, with a Fire Stick 4k, Xbox Series S and a Chromecast Ultra, plus with the Sierra Plus using the HDMI ARC channel, I was one HDMI short. Sadly, my TV doesn’t support HDR via the ARC HDMI input for some unknown reason that I don’t understand.
That aside, Philips Ambilight TVs and Dolby Atmos sound are a match made in heaven for me. The difference between the TV speakers and the Majority K2 was stark, but whilst it is a great soundbar and subwoofer for the money, I really didn’t realise how much better home sound could get.
Sierra Plus Dolby Atmos Performance
My TV doesn’t directly offer Dolby Atmos support, so if you’ve been on the fence about Dolby Atmos for the same reason, you might be in luck. You are best to do your own research but I was able to send the signal as Dolby Digital with the Sierra Plus doing the decoding. When you start watching something the LCD at the front changes to let you know what type of sound it is outputting. Disney+ has the best labelling, followed by Amazon Prime. Netflix seems to operate on a more need-to-know basis. Watching Dolby Atmos demos on YouTube was simply mind blowing, these demos really benefit from the upward firing speakers that help to give that surround feeling. However, I have found myself spending more time in Disney+ recently because of their clear Dolby Atmos support, but also their IMAX enhanced content that nearly fills the entire screen. Often, the best moments are those that you don’t expect. My favourite moment so far was the scene in the Eternals by the tree with the wind chimes. Hardly an exciting moment, but when I heard the wind chimes, I turned to look in the top right-hand corner of the room, I went back several times and even knowing what that there were no wind chimes or speakers in that corner of the room, I still got the same effect. Mind blown… The up-firing speakers of the Sierra Plus can clearly do their job well as does the stereo separation.
A Dolby Atmos soundbar on a budget
Whilst I’ve kept the settings pretty neutral, I have gone deep with testing the other sound modes. The remote comes with News, Music, Movie and 3D modes, plus options to increase the base and treble. Watching Baby Driver and Guardians of the Galaxy in Music mode has been a delight, as was watching Avengers End Game in Movie mode. Whilst News mode is reserved for… well the news, but also dialogue heavy shows, like comedies. The Cleaner, a comedy that I’ve recently discovered on BBC iPlayer and documentaries, benefits from the setting. Anything that is more voice focused will benefit, so whilst I understand why they chose News as the name, please don’t limit its use to just that. For me, it easily makes up for the deficiencies that a 2.12 Dolby Atmos system has without a dedicated voice channel. The 3D mode doesn’t seem to do a great deal for me, but I need to try it more with non-Atmos content. The Sierra Plus loudness is excellent and the balance all the way from the lower volumes all the way up to the very top is excellent, with little or no distortion right at the limit.
What’s the difference between the Sierra and Sierra Plus?
You can choose between the Sierra and the Sierra Plus. The Sierra Plus, which we are testing has the same soundbar but also comes with a 6.5-inch wireless subwoofer and wow it packs a punch. I’ve also spent a week or so without the subwoofer connected and the soundbar certainly holds its own, but I certainly prefer it on. If you’re short on space, the Sierra will be more than adequate for your needs. If you’re a bass junkie or love to feel the rumbles in your movies, you’ll want to pay the extra £50, it really is worth it. It’s just a shame that you cannot buy the Subwoofer as added extra further down the line if your budget can’t stretch.
Some of the other positives of the Majority brand is that they are British based and from the sonic powerhouse of Cambridge, they also plant a tree for every product sold and have a clear mission statement that stands them apart from other brands that you might not have heard of. Also, whilst you may prefer to buy from Amazon for that peace of mind (and to support this review), you can often get 15% off on the Majority website by buying direct. You also get 3 years warranty when registering the Sierra Plus on their website. You don’t do that without having confidence in your products.
Is the Sierra Plus worth buying?
After my month with the Sierra Plus, Majority have another winner on their hands as they have brought Dolby Atmos in reach of the masses. Don’t forget that you can also simply buy the Sierra without the subwoofer for £50 less, and it performs admirably. That said, once you’ve had the full Sierra Plus experience, you won’t want to go back. It’s an easy recommend if you’re current setup isn’t doing it for you, and you can’t afford £700+ for the big brand Dolby Atmos setups.
Finally, if you’re after a more traditional 5.1 setup. Majority, also have a 5.1 Everest system which comes with two detachable wireless satellite speakers. Or if your budget can’t stretch this far, then the Majority K2 is still a massive upgrade on your TV speakers.
Sierra Plus Dolby Atmos rating and final thoughts
Sierra Plus is an excellent value soundbar for those who want to experience Dolby Atmos on a budget. It's loud, its bassy, but it can also be controlled and delicate when required. Plenty of options and the added bonus of two extra HDMI inputs if you're using HDMI ARC.