In addition to topping off its Elite receiver line with three new models at CE Week, Pioneer has announced the new SP-SB23W Speaker Bar, for use with flat panel TVs. Yes, it’s another soundbar in a very crowded market, but generally when Pioneer releases a product, it’s worth taking note.
Billed as the soundbar for those “who care about sound,” the Andrew Jones-designed SP-SB23W has a pretty solid spec sheet to back that up. Sporting a traditional wood enclosure, it features six drivers and a wireless subwoofer. The four custom 3-inch woofers and two 1-inch soft dome tweeters are powered by six discrete amplifiers, delivering up to 20 Watts of power. An eight channel active crossover ensures that the transition from driver to driver is smooth. The included, 6.5-inch subwoofer has 50 Watts of power behind it, and connects wirelessly to the speaker bar, making setup a snap, and making ideal placement an easy affair.
With those kinds of power ratings, the SP-SB23W isn’t going to blow your hair back, but it should represent a serious, significant upgrade over the speaker built into your TV. It also features Dolby Digital decoding, as well as three sound modes aim to tailor the sound, including a music, movie, and dialogue mode. The dialogue mode is a late night setting that brings the voices to the forefront, and attenuates the louder passages of sound, reducing the chance of disturbing others while watching TV late into the night. The included remote allows for adjustment of overall volume and subwoofer volume, making it easy to find the proper balance. The SP-SB23W also has a learning mode to respond to the user’s remote control.
Bluetooth connectivity rounds out the features, making it easy to play music from a smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device.
The SP-SB23W Speaker Bar comes with an optical cable and wall mounts for convenient set-up and will be available in the fall with a suggested retail price of $399.