Current popular audio visual category of product that is making a big splash in the small and mid-size “Home Theater” market is the “Sound Bar”. Of the selected “Sound Bar”, I had the opportunity to check out the most impressive one. It’s the Martin Logan Motion Vision.
There are several things that make this “Sound Bar “special. First, there is a separate amplifier for each speaker driver (for a total of seven), five channel audio decoding/processing, and both traditional cone mid-range/bass driver, and it comes with the “Folded Motion Tweeters”. These state-of-the-art tweeters provide faster response and more precise imaging for high frequencies, which really adds freshness to the audio listening experience.
For connectivity, the Motion Vision includes both digital and analog audio inputs, as well as Dolby Digital & DTS surround sound decoding, with additional Dolby Virtual Speaker audio processing. The Motion Vision also includes both wired and wireless external subwoofer connectivity. However, one of the noteworthy things about the Motion Vision is that its built-in internal cabinet design, which includes two rear mounted ports, actually maintains respectable Bass output, if you are using Plasma or LED/LCD TV’s you may like it as your own preference, note that you will not require an additional subwoofer for a small to mid-size family room.
Other popular selling brands are: JBL, Yamaha, Bose, Harman Kardon, Speaker-Craft, Vizio, Atlantic Technology and others not tested.
From experience no “Sound Bar” beats a full-blown “Home Theater” system, but for some people a “Sound Bar” is the best compromise between aiming for better sound and not wanting to impose on a full surround sound audio system. Generally “Sound Bar” is great if you want to upgrade from your Plasma, LED/LCD TV’s built-in speakers,
Practically every “Sound Bar” comes with some kind of “virtual surround” mode; it has potential to deliver surround sound like without the hassle of installing rear speakers. These virtual surround modes are not impracticable, but they do not get anywhere close to the proper surround sound effects. It’s most practical for small to mid-size rooms. In the best-case situation, “Sound Bar” will give you a wide-ranging sound field.