Pursuing the inexpensive soundbar space further, Majority sent us a sample of their Sierra Plus model, which includes a wireless subwoofer and Dolby Atmos. However, is it really the soundbar for you?
The Majority Sierra Plus Soundbar is 37.8-inches wide and can be stand/shelf or wall-mounted.
The soundbar has an internal four-channel speaker configuration, complemented by an external subwoofer with a total system output of 400 watts.
The 4-channel speaker complement in the soundbar section includes (1 left channel speaker, 1 right channel speaker, 2 x upward firing drivers, and 2 “Airports” that add lower frequency extension. This provides a smoother transition between the soundbar and the subwoofer.
Tip: The Sierra Plus doesn’t have a dedicated center channel speaker (more on that later).
The rear-mounted connections provided by the Sierra Plus Soundbar include:
- 1 Power receptacle
- 3 HDMI connections (1 with ARC)
- 1 Digital Optical audio input
- 1 Aux Analog Audio Input (3.5mm)
- 1 USB port (MP3, FLAC, WAV, WMA)
Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth ver 5.0
The Majority Sierra Plus comes with a remote control that is divided into three sections. Starting at the top are power, mute, Bluetooth pairing, and input select buttons.
Moving down is a ring that provides the volume and the fast forward/reverse controls (for playing USB and Bluetooth content). The Play/Pause, setting reset control is in the center of the ring.
Below the ring, controls are EQ sound setting buttons for Music, News (best for voice enhancement), Movie, 3D audio, treble, and bass.
The Majority Sierra Plus also has limited controls on the top of the soundbar (Power, Volume, Source Select).
What’s In The Box
Here is what the Majority Sierra Plus comes with (in addition to the soundbar and subwoofer) to get you started:
- RCA Stereo Audio Cable (red/white)
- Remote Control (requires AAA batteries – not included)
- Detachable Power Cord for Soundbar
- Wall Mounting Accessories
- User Guide
Tip: HDMI and Digital Optical Cables need to be purchased separately
After unboxing the soundbar, subwoofer, and accessories, I found the Sierra Plus easy to set up. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Place the soundbar in front of your TV (or just below if the TV and soundbar are wall-mounted).
Step 2: Find a place for the subwoofer and plug it into AC power.
Tip: Don’t place the subwoofer tight in any corner and think you’re done. Moving it 6-inches or more from the corner will decrease its output but also tighten up its impact and avoid overloading the room. Check out our reference article for more subwoofer setup tips.
Step 3: Connect an HDMI cable (not provided) from the soundbar’s HDMI-ARC connection to the HDMI-ARC/eARC port on your TV.
Step 4 (Optional): Connect a digital optical cable from the TV to the soundbar. This is handy if your TV doesn’t have an HDMI-ARC connection option.
Step 5 (Optional): Connect an analog audio cable from the TV to the soundbar.
Step 6: Plug the soundbar and subwoofer into power using the provided detachable power cord (soundbar) and attached power cord (subwoofer).
Step 7: Put batteries in the remote, turn on the soundbar, and start using.
HDMI-ARC transfers audio from your TV (including the audio from devices connected to your TV) to the soundbar. This means you don’t need a separate digital optical or analog audio connection from the TV to the soundbar for audio. ARC passes stereo and Dolby Digital audio. Dolby Atmos is only passed through ARC if it is riding on top of a Dolby Digital Plus audio signal.
For added convenience, the Majority Sierra Plus provides two HDMI inputs for connecting external devices. The inputs provide 4K/HDR video pass-through and access to Dolby Atmos directly from compatible devices and content.
The Majority Sierra Plus has enough power to fill a 15′ x 20′ foot room with two-channel sound for music and surround sound for movies.
The Sierra Plus also has two vertically firing speakers (that’s where the .2 means in 2.1.2) housed in the soundbar, that support Dolby Atmos.
When Dolby Atmos is detected or 3D sound is activated via the remote, there is a definite expansion of the soundfield up and out.
I found that “overhead” sounds were not as precisely located as they would be when Dolby Atmos is supported with actual overhead speakers. This is not unexpected for a soundbar.
In addition, the Dolby Atmos and 3D Audio effects are not adjustable, which would have been nice to accommodate different ceiling height distances. When using upward firing speakers for Dolby Atmos, the sound needs to reflect off the ceiling and back down to the listening position to be effective.
More Details on Accessing Dolby Atmos
Accessing Dolby Atmos with the Sierra Plus is mixed. If you connect Dolby Atmos sources directly to the soundbar via one of its two available HDMI inputs, and Dolby Atmos content is available, the soundbar will process the Dolby Atmos signal.
However, since the Sierra Plus is equipped with HDMI-ARC and not eARC, Dolby Atmos is not always available from sources connected to the TV, or from some streaming services installed on the TV.
The reason for this, as mentioned previously, is that while eARC can pass available Dolby Atmos content from the TV to the soundbar, ARC will only pass Dolby Atmos if that signal is riding on top of a Dolby Digital Plus surround sound signal, which is used on some streaming services. Dolby Atmos more commonly rides on Dolby TrueHD signals.
This means if you are a Dolby Atmos fan and have a Blu-ray or UHD Blu-ray player, it’s advisable that you connect it to the soundbar directly, rather than through the TV when using the Majority Sierra Plus.
That being said, the Sierra Plus provides several audio settings that allow you to tailor the sound. There are four preset EQ modes: Music, News, Movie, and 3D (Audio). Other settings include Bass and Treble.
Tip: Since the soundbar doesn’t have a dedicated center channel speaker if the dialog is hard to hear, the News EQ mode is your best option, but unfortunately it is either on or off and is not adjustable.
The subwoofer packaged with the Sierra Plus provided a usable low-end response of 50Hz, with a slight drop off below that point to 40Hz. Below 40Hz, I didn’t perceive any usable audible bass.
On the other hand, there was a significant increase in bass output at 70Hz. This means that although there is satisfactory bass emphasis, it doesn’t go that deep.
I didn’t have any AV Sync issues which was a good thing because the Sierra Plus doesn’t provide any AV sync (Audio Delay) adjustment.
The Sierra Plus supports Bluetooth ver 5.0. You can use Bluetooth to play music wirelessly from compatible devices, such as smartphones.
Tip: The Majority Sierra Plus doesn’t support Apple AirPlay but you can connect an Apple TV media streamer to one of the soundbar’s HDMI inputs, then use its Apple Airplay capabilities. The same thing does for Google Chromecast for Android phones.
The 37.8-inch wide soundbar fits under most TVs without blocking the bottom of the screen. You can also wall-mount the soundbar (hardware is provided) if desired.
The Sierra Plus works with any TV that has an analog stereo output, digital optical output, or HDMI-ARC/eARC connection. Just keep in mind that the Sierra Plus will not be able to access the additional features supplied by eARC.
The soundbar instantly paired with the wireless subwoofer once both were plugged into power. However, should you have difficulty, and manual pairing option is provided.
The Sierra Plus provided mixed performance. It sounds great for two-channel music and the vocals are clear. In addition, the 3D audio setting provides a more immersive soundfield with all content.
In addition, when Dolby Atmos was available it could have sounded more precise if the Sierra Plus had separate dialog and height channel level controls so that you could balance the speakers more accurately. No automatic room correction feature is provided.
- Dolby Atmos and 3D sound provide a more immersive listening experience.
- Good Voice Presence (the News setting provides an extra boost).
- Easy Setup
- Two 4K/HDR-compatible HDMI inputs
- Wall mount hardware included if needed.
- Lacks HDMI-eARC support.
- No DTS support
- No Center Channel Speaker in soundbar.
- No dedicated level controls for the height channels.
- HDMI and digital optical cables are not included.
- No Ethernet or Wi-Fi
Price & Availability
The Majority Sierra Plus is available for $279.95 on Amazon.
Another soundbar to consider at the $279 price point is the recently announced Sonos Ray. It doesn’t include Dolby Atmos, but supports room correction software, and internet streaming, and can be integrated into a Sonos multi-room audio setup.
For more options, check out our list of Best Soundbars