Nakamichi’s epic Dragon 11.4.6 Dolby Atmos soundbar, which debuted at CES 2023, is about to go up for preorder starting at 9 a.m. PT on April 26. But instead of the usual preorder process, Nakamichi has decided to make the first Dragons off the line limited editions. Officially, it will be called the Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 Home Surround Sound System 75th Anniversary World Premiere Edition, and only 500 will be made.
Nakamichi has set the price at $3,499. That includes free shipping, but apparently only to U.S. residents. In a footnote on the preorder site, it says that Nakamichi initially planned to offer international shipping too, but had to reevaluate those plans after it discovered the logistics company it’s using (eBay’s Global Shipping Program, for some reason) has a maximum weight and dollar value threshold, which the Dragon exceeds by almost $1,000. I guess some dragons don’t fly.
Still, eligible buyers will not only be among the first 500 people to own a Dragon, but they’ll also have visual bragging rights. The World Premiere Edition comes with a stamped gold plate on the main soundbar, a laser-etched logo on the remote, and you’ll get access to a behind-the-scenes digital photobook, which will presumably give you a peek at how your fabulous new toy was created.
Calling this thing a soundbar is like calling the Bugatti Veyron a car. The Dragon is the world’s first 21-channel surround system, with 15 digital amplifiers, two twin-driver subwoofers, six up-firing speakers, and two “Omni-Motion Reference Surrounds.” Digital Trends’ own Caleb Denison got a chance to hear the Dragon do its thing at a special invite-only listening session and he came away deeply impressed. Without even getting a chance to formally review it back at the Digital Trends lab, he proclaimed it “the best Dolby Atmos surround soundbar I’ve ever heard.”
In addition to Dolby Atmos, the Dragon is the first wireless system with DTS:X Pro technology, which is an enhancement of DTS:X that makes better use of systems with plentiful channels like the Dragon. Unlike most surround speakers with fixed-angle up-firing drivers, the Omni-Motion surrounds have height drivers that can be rotated up to 180 degrees to help you get the best performance for your particular seating and speaker arrangement.
The main soundbar also has four up-firing drivers to complete the height effects. But we’re especially happy to see that it also has three HDMI 2.1 inputs with 4K/120 and 8K/60 support. These are often missing from soundbar systems, and it keeps them from being true home theater replacements.
If you want the Nakamichi Dragon but you’d prefer to wait and see what reviewers have to say once they give this beast a full workout, your next opportunity will be in the third quarter of 2023. Nakamicihi hasn’t specified a date, but it has confirmed the price will be the same as the limited edition — $3,499. Hopefully, by then, it will have found a way to ship the Dragon internationally.