Soundbar Update: What's New For 2102

By Joseph Palenchar On May 21 2012 - 4:01am




Atlantic Technology: The audio company is bringing H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) bass technology to an active soundbar for the first time to deliver deep bass from a soundbar without the need for a separate powered subwoofer. The 2x45-watt PowerBar 235 will deliver bass response down to 47Hz at –3dB. It will ship in August at $899 and incorporates Dolby Digital and DTS decoding and a speech-enhancement circuit to address poorly recorded soundtracks.

Coby: The company’s first two wallmountable soundbars, both shipping in May, include the $129-suggested CSMP95 slim soundbar, which is also the company’s first soundbar with wireless subwoofer. The $79-suggested CSMP90 features built-in subwoofer and adds stereo Bluetooth.

LG: The company is expanding its selection with three new models, two with stereo Bluetooth.

The $299-suggested NB3520A comes with wireless subwoofer, stereo Bluetooth, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoders, and proprietary 3D sound algorithm to synchronize sound output with a 3D picture’s depth.

The $199-suggested NB2420A offers the same features as the NB3520A but without subwoofer.

Panasonic: Three new soundbars can be split into two separate left-right speakers that can be mounted on the wall or on included bases. They’re also the company’s first with a dialog-level control with four settings to boost dialog over background sounds in a video program. All also feature automatic gain control to level out abrupt changes in sound levels when a TV program switches to a commercial. They’re priced at $229, $299 and $399.

Philips (P&F): P&F USA is expanding its selection of Philips-brand soundbars. The black $129 CS2123 is available with separate subwoofer and virtual surround technology. A white version is no longer planned. Other new models shipping later in the year are the $179 HTS3111 with virtual surround and the $349 CSS5123 with Wi-Fi and DLNA- certification to stream audio and video from Android devices.

Samsung: An expanded soundbar lineup consists of three models, one available in two colors, priced from a suggested $229 to $449. They include the company’s first convertible model that can be split to create two separate speakers for placement on both sides of a TV. The lineup ranges from a suggested $229 to $449 for the convertible model, which is available in silver or black.

Sharp: The company’s three new 1-inchtall soundbars come with replaceable inserts that expand or reduce soundbar width to match different-size TVs. The inserts can also be removed to turn the horizontal soundbar into two separate left-right vertical speakers sitting atop their own stands.

The new $329-suggested HT-SL75 is already shipping. The $499-suggested HTSL77 ships in late May.

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