If you'd like to avoid some of the hassles associated with running wires from the front of your room to the left and right surround speakers, pick up Panasonic's SH-FX50 rear-speaker transmitter and receiver module ($199 list). The two-part device is compatible with the Panasonic SC-HT730, SC-HT830V, and SC-HT930 home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems.

The transmitter portion of the FX50 attaches to the back of the HTIB's head unit and wirelessly transmits the surround-channel audio signals to the 70-watt FX50 receiver, which in turn connects to the rear speakers. The wireless system was remarkably easy to set up, but it uses the crowded 2.4GHz spectrum, which may be prone to interference from some cordless phones, Wi-Fi networking equipment, and microwave ovens. That said, we found its signals never dropped out or got noisy. Yes, you still have to plug its 4-by-8.5-by-6.75-inch (HWD), 70-watts-per-channel receiver into an AC wall outlet and run wires to the surround speakers--but at least you don't have to string wires from the front to the back of the room. In terms of sound quality, it's the best wireless system we've tested so far.

For a detailed report on how the SH-FX50 performed, please refer to the SC-HT930 review.