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Study: Worldwide Soundbar Sales Double In '11

5/15/2012 12:43:29 PM Eastern

Boston - Worldwide
soundbar shipments doubled in 2011 to 2.5 million units, with North America
accounting for two-thirds of that volume, Futuresource Consulting said in a new
report.

North America is
expected to remain the largest world market for soundbars through the forecast
period through 2016, the company added. "Vendors and retailers alike have
vigorously promoted soundbars to the consumer, and premium TV brands have
benefited from bundling TV sets and soundbars, often at a discount," the
consulting company said.

In the mid-2000s,
Futuresource said, "soundbars were targeted at relatively high-end consumers
who did not have the space for complete home-theater systems, which are also
associated with multiple speakers and wires, but who wanted good quality
sound." As flat-panel TV market boomed, however, the "sound quality of some TV
sets has been compromised," and as a result, suppliers expanded the soundbar
market by targeting new models to people "who are not interested enough in audio
to purchase a home theater but who believe that the sound of their TV would
benefit from a little extra investment."