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Recent Soundbar & Surround Speaker Reviews

Paradigm Millenia CT 2.1 Speaker System Preview

Paradigm Millenia CT 2.1 Speaker System Preview

Paradigm released its Millenia CT 2.1 Speaker System, which is part of the company' SHIFT Series. The Millenia CT is a 2.1-speaker system that's really a compact plug’n play solution. The speakers include a built-in amplifier, so like other powered speakers, there is no receiver or amplifier required to get great sound. The Millenia CT system was inspired by Paradigm's Reference MilleniaSub and the MilleniaOne speakers. The system includes two high-performance speakers with adjustable table stands, a subwoofer with removable floor cradle, remote control, control box for instant connection to your audio/video equipment and the 6 cables needed for hook everything up (power, optical, 3.5-mm, controller and two speaker cables). The system is truly plug'n play and sets up in just minutes.

Paradigm released its Millenia CT 2.1 Speaker System, which is part of the company' SHIFT Series. The Millenia CT is a 2.1-speaker system that's really a compact plug’n play solution.

— January 09, 2013 01:25 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Paradigm SHIFT Soundtrack Soundbar System Preview

Paradigm SHIFT Soundtrack Soundbar System Preview

Paradigm Electronics released its new Soundtrack System, which is the soundbar component of its new SHIFT series. The system is a sleek, low-profile sound bar designed to complement today’s ultra-thin flat panels. The system includes a 6-driver soundbar and a compact, wireless subwoofer. There is no installation (unless you want to wall mount the speaker) and everything is included, so you don't need an AV receiver.

Paradigm released its new Soundtrack System, which is the soundbar component of its new SHIFT series. The system is a sleek, low-profile sound bar designed to complement today's ultra-thin displays.

— January 08, 2013 23:15 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Outlaw Audio OSB-1 Sound Bar with H-PAS Review

Outlaw Audio OSB-1 Sound Bar with H-PAS Review

The Outlaw Audio OSB-1 uses the H-PAS technology we first saw demoed in a trade show booth back in 2009. H-PAS, which stands for Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System, is essentially a proprietary cocktail of several speaker technologies - it's bass reflex meets inverse horn meets transmission line... Using a unique cabinet design, these technologies are more or less cascaded one to another to pressurize and accelerate low frequencies. The final result is that an H-PAS design can deliver extended deep bass with low distortion in a way that you'd think just shouldn't work. But it does. We've done a bunch of sound bars, but not one like this.

The Outlaw Audio OSB-1 uses the H-PAS technology we first saw demoed in a trade show booth back in 2009. We've done a bunch of sound bars, but not one like this.

— December 21, 2012 06:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Klipsch HD Theater SB 3 Soundbar Review

Klipsch HD Theater SB 3 Soundbar Review

In the Klipsch HD Theater SB 3, the company has taken their trademark horn design, coupled it with a wireless subwoofer, and cooked up an easy way to improve sound with minimal impact on aesthetics. Every speaker has its place, whether large or small. Free-standing speaker advocates are free to cast their derision, but for folks looking to improve on the anemic sound baked into modern flat-screens, without giving up that near-zero footprint, soundbars are an intelligent choice.

In the Klipsch HD Theater SB 3, the company has taken their trademark horn design, coupled it with a wireless subwoofer, and cooked up an easy way to improve sound with minimal impact on aesthetics.

— December 14, 2012 18:00 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Jamo 360 Series Speakers Preview

Jamo 360 Series Speakers Preview

We've heard enough Jamo speaker to know that they can make a good one when they put their minds to it. With home theater speaker packages at competitive prices and interesting designs, they certainly look like they'll make a splash with their new Series 360 speakers. With an Omnipolar design, integrated wall mounts, and respectable performance, we're sure more than a few consumers will take a close look at them. While their specifications may not be impressive, they strike us as absolutely honest. While other companies may try and pad their numbers, Jamo seems comfortable to tell you exactly how their speakers perform. That's laudable. We're very curious to hear how these little spheres perform.

With home theater speaker packages at competitive prices and interesting designs, Jamo certainly look like they'll make a splash with their new Series 360 speakers.

— November 22, 2012 11:20 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Polk Audio SurroundBar 9000 & 5000 Instant Home Theater Preview

Polk Audio SurroundBar 9000 & 5000 Instant Home Theater Preview

There isn't a ton of information about the Polk Audio SurroundBar 9000 and 5000 Instant Home Theater packages available at this time. They start shipping in September so look for more information as that date comes closer. At $799 for the SurroundBar 9000 and $399 for the SurroundBar 5000, the prices are certainly attractive. With a market as saturated as the Sound/Surround Bar is, price and a few key features may be all that is needed to separate you from the rest. Time will tell if Polk has hit on the right mix.

At $799 for the Polk Audio SurroundBar 9000 and $399 for the SurroundBar 5000 Instant Home Theaters, the prices are certainly attractive. This may be enough to make them successful.

— October 11, 2012 21:45 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

B&W Flagship In-Wall CI800 Speakers Preview

B&W Flagship In-Wall CI800 Speakers Preview

Bowers and Wilkins has always received a lot of positive attention about their 800 series speakers, and now they are bringing that performance and technology to 3 new in-wall speakers. The CI800 series includes one in-ceiling model, the CCM8.5, and two in-wall models, the CWM 8.5 and CWM 8.3. They brought down a lot of the technology found in their 800 Diamond Series speakers and brought down the price point as well in order to allow consumers to purchase a truly high-end in-wall solution without breaking the bank, well, not breaking the bank as much as the 800 Diamond speakers anyway.

Bowers and Wilkins is bringing the quality of their 800 Diamond Series to a new in-wall series. The CI800 series includes one in-ceiling and two in-wall speakers.

— September 26, 2012 12:05 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Niles Audio Outdoor GeoRealistic and Discrete Garden Speakers

Niles Audio Outdoor GeoRealistic and Discrete Garden Speakers

Niles Audio just released of a wide range of new outdoor rock and planter speakers, as well as a more discrete garden speaker and subwoofer. Among the new products are a host a GeoRealistic rock speakers, an in-ground subwoofer, discrete outdoor satellite speaker and two different planter speakers. A lot of new technology went into this series to make sure they last for years whether they are by a salty ocean or arctic cold. Read on for a full description of each new product.

It seems as though Niles Audio is trying to get in touch with nature with the release of a wide range of new outdoor rock and planter speakers, as well as a more discrete garden speaker and subwoofer.

— September 21, 2012 20:20 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Definitive Technology SoloCinema XT Soundbar Preview

Definitive Technology SoloCinema XT Soundbar Preview

We got to take a look (and listen) to Definitive Technology's new SoloCinema XT Soundbar. It's a fully active system - a full 5.1 channel bar and comes with a 250W wireless subwoofer. It's an ultra slim design, has 3 HDMI inputs, analogue and digital audio inputs and 1 HDMI output. Now, across the front of the physical sound bar there are three MTM (mid-tweeter-mid) speakers, and they use DSP to both increase the front soundstage and also to create the "discrete" surround sound effects channels you hear.

We got to take a look (and listen) to Definitive Technology's new SoloCinema XT Soundbar. It's a fully active system - a full 5.1 channel bar and comes with a 250W wireless subwoofer.

— September 10, 2012 06:05 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Yamaha YSP-4300 and YSP-3300 Soundbars Preview

Yamaha YSP-4300 and YSP-3300 Soundbars Preview

Yamaha's YSP-4300 and YSP-3300 both bring 7.1 HD audio to your living room in a pretty small form factor that can be wall-mounted or placed on a shelf underneath your television. The wall-mounting of these sound bars is actually pretty cool as they seem to float off the wall like a fancy IKEA shelf system. Now we've seen their sound projector before, but this year Yamaha is announcing two new models.

Yamaha's YSP-4300 and YSP-3300 both bring 7.1 HD audio to your living room in a pretty small form factor that can be wall-mounted or placed on a shelf underneath your television.

— September 07, 2012 06:35 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

WiSA Wireless Speaker & Audio Technology at CEDIA 2012

WiSA Wireless Speaker & Audio Technology at CEDIA 2012

Now I've looked at a lot of products here at CEDIA 2012 but now we're examining a new technology. It's wireless Audio - WiSA - Wireless Speaker & Audio. Because the deal is, I know how to run audio cable - some of us don't mind doing it. But a lot of people don't venture into surround sound or ever upgrade the speakers in their TV simply because they don't want to bother about running cables to their speakers. WiSA takes care of that because the cool thing about this technology is that it allows you to buy speakers that are WiSA-compliant and plug them into power and puts good to go - wirelessly connecting to your device, whatever that may be.

Now I've looked at a lot of products here at CEDIA 2012 but now we're examining a new technology. It's wireless Audio - WiSA - Wireless Speaker & Audio. Because the deal is, it just works.

— September 06, 2012 23:05 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Samsung HW-E550 Convertible Wireless Sound Bar Review

Samsung HW-E550 Convertible Wireless Sound Bar Review

Samsung has new options in the sound bar field for those people looking to improve on their TV audio without heading into the deeper waters of home theater. The HW-E550 is a subwoofer-based unit with flexible options for installation; wall mount, under TV and upright freestanding split stereo. Bluetooth connectivity provides the option of using it as a stand-alone music player as well. There are six audio settings for your video content; Drama, Music, News, Movie, Sports, and Game. The unit also has a Smart Volume feature, an active volume limiter that evens out the peaks or spikes in volume from TV commercials or channel changes. 3D Depth Sound is Samsung’s technology that analyzes the depth of an image and synchronizes the audio field to it without satellite speakers.

Samsung has new options in the sound bar field. Exhibit 'A' is the HW-E550 which is for those people looking to improve on their TV audio without heading into the deeper waters of home theater.

Scott Dente — August 28, 2012 21:25 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Sceptre Speaker Sound Bar Preview

Sceptre Speaker Sound Bar Preview

The important thing to remember about the Sceptre Speaker Sound Bar is the price at just a penny under $170, the Sceptre Speaker Sound Bar is likely to be one of the cheapest offerings in the store (sold at QVC, Sears, Kmart, and Costco). But if you are paying full retail, you really aren't getting more than less expensive offerings from other manufactures that utilize the same single-driver per channel design. Will the Sceptre Speaker Sound Bar sound better than the internal speakers in your new display? Probably. Will it sound $170 better? We're dubious.

Will the Sceptre Speaker Sound Bar sound better than the internal speakers in your new display? Probably. Will it sound $170 better? We're dubious.

— August 22, 2012 09:20 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews

Definitive Technology SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar Preview

Definitive Technology SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar Preview

The Definitive Technology SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar promises full surround out of three tweeters and six midrange drivers. The all aluminum enclosure, high quality drivers, and wireless sub has us intrigued as does the promise of support for lossless surround formats. So far, Definitive Technology hasn't released any information about the frequency response of the SoloCinemal XTR which would give us more information to base an opinion. At the $2000 price point, there is a lot of competition and a lot of technology out there. We're very curious to hear how this Def Tech offering stands up.

The Definitive Technology SoloCinema XTR Sound Bar promises 200 watts, five discrete channels, and a wireless subwoofer. But at $2000, there is a lot of competition.

— August 21, 2012 09:40 in Soundbars and Surround Speaker Reviews