This review originally ran in the October issues of Live Magazines, four luxury lifestyle magazines distributed to a readership of more than 120,000 homes and businesses around the Cheshire area. It was my final piece of work for that magazine, after a tenure of more than two years. Hit the jump for the full text or grab the PDF version here.
It can’t have escaped your notice that TVs are getting thinner. Our recent trips to the department store have seen me sneaking off to peer around the backs of the latest screens and nod approvingly at their razor-thin panels. And I’m convinced I’m not the only one; I sometimes catch a furtive glance from other men cut loose from their reins and milling conspicuously around the newest Samsung models, and I return a sort of imperceptible brotherly nod – as if to say “I know. We’re living in the future. I want one too”.
But while screens are slimmer and lighter than ever before, the march towards slightness hasn’t been without its casualties. Technology has allowed us to cram more pixels into less space, but unfortunately the laws of physics dictate that we haven’t been able to do the same for sound. Big sound comes from big speakers, and with space at an absolute premium in today’s LED and plasma chassis, customers have had to accept that pin-sharp cinema visuals and teeth-rattling bass simply can’t co-exist in the same slim housing.
And so it was that almost all screen manufacturers (Samsung, Phillips, Toshiba, LG et al) began to offer their own separate “soundbars” – elongated single-unit speakers designed to sit beneath and match the look of their latest screens, but capable of producing the kind of expansive, room-filling audio that the TVs themselves can only hint at. Continue Reading