Orbitsound T12
If you're tight on space and scared off by the psychoacoustic trickery done by virtual surround tech in TVs and surroundbars, maybe Orbitsound's T12 soundbar / subwoofer combo will appeal to you. While it looks like a traditional surroundbar, this unit is all about creating a wide stereo image, sans rear effects. Packed in the bar are eight drivers that do the stereo magic courtesy of airSound technology and 50-Watts of power. Combined with the external, but wired subwoofer, the company claims a "substantially flat" response from 20-Hz to 25-kHz. It reminds us of Boston Acoustic's TVee Two, but wired. Processing of the two stereo inputs can set to "off," "stereo," and "extra wide" courtesy a three-way switch. And of course, there's a dock to welcome your iPod when it ventures away from the warm tube glow of Orbitsound's T6. Our advice -- if you're into stereo, get yourself two small bookshelf speakers and a receiver; if HT is your thing, go for a HTIB or surroundbar.