The way the svelte profile of a flat panel display blends into the decor makes many folks look to "slim down" the rest of their setups. Target number one is usually the collection of speaker cabinets in the room. We love the look of serious speakers
(not to mention the performance), but for everyone else a "surroundbar
" is appealing. Definitive Technology has introduced its entry to the field, the Mythos SSA50. Tuck the 46-inch array underneath that new FPD and you not only get LCR audio, but also some sense of surround thanks to psychoacoustic trickery built into the unit. Add in a subwoofer and say good-bye to all your old speakers. There are only nine drivers in the array, so it's using a different approach than, say, Yamaha's "Sound Projectors
." Definitive is known for its bipolar designs, so they know how to deal with acoustic phase -- hopefully they'll keep the pseudo-surround from being too phasey or just plain weird. Available in February for $1099.