Bowers & Wilkins has made its first foray into the soundbar market with the announcement of Panorama. The Panorama incorporates Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and six separate, individually amplified speaker channels – two front, two rear, one center and one subwoofer – positioned to reflect sound off walls and create a surround effect from a single enclosure. Panorama boasts of three settings that cater to different listening environments from hard brick walls to less reflective surfaces like fabrics and soft furnishings. Movie viewing will also be a whole new experience, with five of the unit’s nine drivers utilized in the active center speaker. The unit also boasts of technology that reduces the muddying effects of standing waves and at the same time ensures stability under pressure. The tweeters are the aluminum domes Nautilus tube-loaded type based on those found in the company’s high-end 800 Series. The six class D amplifiers provide a combined power output of 175Watts, allowing the unit to perform when positioned in a corner as well as parallel to, or mounted on a wall. The unit is designed for flat screen TV’s of 37-inches or larger and includes two optical digital inputs, one coaxial digital input, and two stereo analogue inputs. Panorama also functions as a highly impressive stereo speaker with an ergonomically shaped remote control that covers access to all settings with just seven buttons.
A beauty, the Panorama is due for release in Spring 2009 with an expected price of $2,200.