This week’s hands-on tech column:
Definitive Technology’s SoloCinema XTR, a long and appropriately lean soundbar with a wireless subwoofer, costs more ($1,999) than the everyday HDTV and looks equally striking in its slick black finish. Definitive Technology has somehow put its soundbar on a diet to match the best HDTVs: It measures less than 2.5 inches deep while spanning 43 inches wide and slightly more than 5 inches high.
No soundbar is as good as full-blown surround system. For all its technical sophistication, the XTR still can’t produce true surround-sound effects. You’ll hear more from Monoprice.com’s $80 5.1-channel system, Model No. 8247, with five speakers (including two for the rear-channel surrounds) and a subwoofer.
Yet the XTR goes where no surround system can: on a wall, under or over an HDTV. With essential contributions from the subwoofer, which has an 8-inch driver built into an unusual cabinet that’s only 6.5 inches deep, the XTR approximates a surround system — everything, of course, except the actual surround effects.