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Hi Fi sound bars that deliver 5.1 channel sounds from a single device are set to be hot as several vendors roll out new offerings. Ideal for football or watching sporting events some of the new sound bars have up to 40 speakers.

At this year’s CEDIA Expo on the Gold Coast several vendors showed new sound bars including Boston Acoustics, Marantz and the new range of Slimstage offerings from Melbourne based distributor Sound and Image.

David Ackery of Harvey Norman said “So far there has been a limited range of sound bars however I do believe that they will appeal for a lot of environments particularly when watching sporting events”.

Early Pioneers of sound bars have been Philips and Yamaha. Now they are set to compete with the likes of the Marantz ES7001 which packs left, center, and right speakers, digital amplifiers, surround image processing with listening position optimisation features all in one very stylish aluminium enclosure.

It also has HDMI and optical digital inputs and a programmable remote control. Users can set up the system by placing the SSX directly above or below a display device.

The new range of Slimstage stems come in 30″ 40″ and 50 inch sizes. The Slimstage delivers a surround like effect from a thin, flat-panel-friendly form factor. Despite measuring a mere 39 inches wide by 3.3 inches high by 3.4 inches deep, the single enclosure encompasses four main drivers plus nine “bass drivers,” including three that Sound matters claims can hit 45Hz–low enough that some users may forgo the addition of a separate subwoofer.

 

The Slimstage is rated at 210 watts of power, and the combination of built-in amplification and Dolby and DTS surround processing allows it to be connected directly to an audio source.  The Slimstage also offers ample connectivity options: three digital audio-ins (two optical, one coaxial) and three analog stereo inputs (including a front-panel jack for easy hook-up of iPods/MP3 players) will obviate the need for an A/V receiver for many users. The Slimstage can be controlled with the included infrared remote or via its front-panel buttons (which include LCD readout). Units are available in black, which  guarantees that the Slimstage will match pretty much any TV, and the included “easy tilt” bracket should facilitate easy mounting.

The Slimstage prices start at $1,299 up to $2,499 for the 50″ model.

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