Virtual Surround Sound? Is the Philips HTS8100 SoundBar for real?

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Jeff Block
Virtual Surround Sound? Is the Philips HTS8100 SoundBar for real?

I just read an article on about Virtual Surround Sound.  They were reviewing a product from Phillips (called the Philips HTS8100 SoundBar) that claims to be able to deliver surround sound rivaling 5.1 from a single speaker at the front of the room.  To accomplish this magic, the SoundBar bends sound around the room intead of shooting it out of each speaker in a cone.  See the following image...

My question:  Has anyone used this or other systems like it?  Even if not, do you think this is legitimate technology or a bit of hokum?  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Experiences?

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Tim B
From my experience I have

From my experience I have seen systems that use phase shifting and reflected audio waves to obtain the illusion of sound dispersion.  In most of these systems that use this technique a number of speakers are lined up to generate a sound wave that can be phaze manipulated by delaying or advancing the  audio voltage going to each of the speakers.   The end result is each audio wave coming from each speaker cone can either reinforce or reduce  the effective sound wave coming from each of the other speakers.  Depending where you sit in the room the effects will differ.

Matt Whitlock
In most of the demonstrations

In most of the demonstrations I've had with these kinds of systems, I've been left largely disappointed. If you're sitting in the perfectly shaped room, right in the center with walls on the back and sides in the correct spot, the effect can be relatively good.

However, from a practical standpoint, the chances your room meets the criteria to provide a super surround experience with products like these isn't great. I'd recommend a real surround system (with actual back speakers) to anyone looking for the best surround experience. If limited, and absolutely no back speakers can be used, I'd go with one of these virtual systems over defaulting to the TV's speakers. Smile

The TV is a Samsung PS42Q97HD

The TV is a Samsung PS42Q97HD. The audio sockets on the back of the set are discribed in the manual as "to connect RCA audio signal from the TV to an external source such as audio equipment"


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