Soundmatters' last virtual surround effort, the $400
The Slimstage is rated at 210 watts of power, and the combination of built-in amplification and Dolby and DTS surround processing allows it to be connected directly to an audio source. The Slimstage also offers ample connectivity options: three digital audio-ins (two optical, one coaxial) and three analog stereo inputs (including a front-panel jack for easy hookup of iPods/MP3 players) will obviate the need for an A/V receiver for many users. The Slimstage can be controlled with the included infrared remote or via its front-panel buttons (which include an LCD readout). Separate black and silver versions (both of which offer removeable--and paintable--grilles) guarantee that the Slimstage will match pretty much any TV, and the included "easy tilt" bracket should facilitate easy mounting.
Soundmatters is pledging that the Slimstage's price will be "under $1,000." Consumers won't get their hands on it until the second quarter of 2007, but it will be on hand at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.