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Five sound bars that can replace your AV receiver

Unpowered sound bars get rid of a surround-sound speaker system, but still require an AV receiver. CNET rounds up five powered sound bars that don't need an AV receiver and offer credible home theater sound from a single speaker.

Samsung HW-C450

Sound bars get rid of all the bulk that comes with a full 5.1-speaker home-theater system, but if they still require an AV receiver, they're not as minimalist as they could be.

Sound bar home-theater-in-a-box systems take it one step further, by building the amplifier into the sound bar and by including all the inputs you'll need to hook up your home theater gear. We've rounded up five recent sound bar HTIBs we've reviewed that let you kick your bulky AV receiver to the curb.

The Yamaha Digital Sound Projectors are the best of the bunch, but you're going to pay for it. Both the YSP-5100 and YSP-4100 are the only sound bars we've tested this year that do faux-surround effects right--you'll actually hear sound coming from the sides of your home theater where speakers aren't.

Read the full comparison of sound bar home theater systems.