Typically, sound bars are horizontal speakers that are designed to be placed below your TV.
Samsung's upcoming HW-E550 Surround Sound Bar is just that--but with a twist. Not only can you place it horizontally below your TV (the speaker weighs 4 pounds), but you can split it in two and turn it into a traditional 2.1-channel floor-standing system using the included bases.
Yes, there's also a subwoofer, but the sound bar (or speakers if you split it in two) connects to it wirelessly using Samsung's proprietary dual-band 5.2/5.8GHz wireless technology. Samsung says the subwoofer, which has a frequency response of 40Hz to 200Hz, can be placed anywhere in the room "without any compromise."
Needless to say, the HW-E550 offers virtual surround sound (Samsung says it's enhanced with something called 3D Depth Sound) and has six settings--movie, game, drama, music, news and sports--to "deliver optimal sound quality according to the content of the video."
You also get Smart Volume, "an active audio monitoring system that prevents spikes in volume when TV channels or radio stations are changed." Samsung says this not only protects the listeners' ears but also the soundbar's speakers.
As far as connectivity goes, you get two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output, as well as a USB port. It's also worth mentioning that the speaker is Bluetooth-enabled so you can wirelessly stream audio files from other Bluetooth-enabled devices directly to the speaker.
Alas, no word on pricing or availability yet, but we'll add that to the post as soon as we get more details.