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THX Details First Standard For Soundbar Certification

9/19/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

INDIANAPOLIS – THX revealed more details
about its first performance standard for soundbars,
pointing out that active and passive models
would qualify for its certification mark but
that all would likely require the use of an active
subwoofer.

The certification standard would join standards
for A/V receivers and HTiBs.

The standard calls for flat response from 35Hz
to 20kHz through a two- or three-channel soundbar,
reference sound levels of a minimum 85dB
with 20dB of headroom at a viewing distance of
six feet, a smooth blend between satellite and
subwoofer drivers, and controlled horizontal and
vertical dispersion to minimize distortion-inducing
floor, ceiling and wall reflections, technology
operations VP Peter Vasay told TWICE. The
dispersion requirements would optimize sound
reproduction for viewers sitting anywhere on a
couch that’s 6 feet from a TV, he noted.

The crossover level between subwoofer and
satellite drivers is low enough to minimize location
changes in voices and instruments.

The standard also calls for a minimum of two
stereo analog connections. Digital inputs are optional.
The standard does not require the inclusion
of any virtual surround technologies or embedded
surround-sound decoding, he added.

Reference dB levels are optimized for rooms
with a volume of less than 2,000 cubic feet,
whereas the HTiB standard is designed for
rooms of 2,000 cubic feet with sound pressure
levels of 85dB with 20dB of headroom at a
viewing distance of 10 feet.

The first soundbar meeting the standards is
an active 2.1 system from direct-to-consumer
speaker supplier Teufel, which sells only in the
European Union. That model features 350-watt
output, subwoofer and analog and digital inputs.