Home theater aficionados probably won’t be interested in this minimal setup, but I kind of like it. The five-speaker-plus-sub thing is great if you’ve got a room for it, or can afford to outfit it correctly, but for the average apartment-dweller or someone who just doesn’t care that much about surround sound, a good soundbar like this SB 16 from Harmon Kardon could be just what the doctor ordered.
It connects directly to your TV or A/V receiver, and there’s a wireless subwoofer that you can place wherever it resonates best. The soundbar isn’t underpowered, either, with two 3-inch drivers and one 3/4 tweeter for each channel, totaling 100 watts. Add the subwoofer and you’ve got, well, adequate sound for most shows and games.
I was just watching Star Wars last night on my laptop, and even with those tinny little speakers you can still get into a movie — but I’m not a surround sound connoisseur by any means. The thing is about this soundbar, though, is it costs $600, which puts it in competition with plenty of semi-budget surround systems. It’s got a nice, convenient design and (one hopes) decent sound, but it’s putting itself out there with that price. People may not believe it’s that much better than built-in speakers on some TVs.
At any rate, you can find out more over at HK — inputs, remote settings, and such.