Raising the bar: immersive surround sound from a single speaker

Promising immersive surround sound from a single speaker, Polk Audio’s SurroundBar is designed to mount beneath the shallow screen of a flat panel TV.

Originally developed by Polk in the 1980s to extend the soundstage produced by a pair of stereo speakers, the SurroundBarrs patented SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) Surround technology couples seven midrange drivers and three dome tweeters  with a combination of signal processing and acoustical geometry that complements the spacing between your ears to produce surround sound without the need for rear-mounted speakers, according to the company.
A single 43 inch wide extruded aluminium enclosure, the SurroundBar mounts above or below a flat panel TV with the supplied bracket, and can be aimed up or down to fire sound more directly at the viewing position. It connects to an AV receiver via a single cable comprising five pairs of wires in a sheathed bundle, with each pair colour-coded to match corresponding sockets at the rear of the SurroundBar. Bass performance is claimed to be down to 80Hz, but the addition of a subwoofer will give best low frequency results from a home theatre setup.
The SurroundBar costs $1,299 and is available in titanium and black finish. Click here to read our review of the Polk SurroundBar.