So Q Acoustics has become the latest speaker company to go down the flatscreen soundbar route, right?
Not quite – what we have here is the front trio of speakers in its new Q-AV system, due in the shops from the end of next month.
There are three separate speakers, handling left, centre and right channels, and they mount on a bracket which is adjustable for width to suit different TV sizes.
They're covered by a stretch grille on a 'trombone'-style frame, which expands to give the speakers the appearance of a single unit below the screen. It's all part of what Q Acoustics describes as its 'disappearing' speakers concept, designed to remove the usual clutter of enclosures at the front of the room.
Central to the system is the use of Balanced Mode Radiator drive units, which give the speakers a very wide dispersion pattern, This also allows the system to have compact rear speakers designed for mounting either at floor-level or up close to the ceiling.
The Balanced Mode Radiator technology is licensed from NXT, and the Q-AV is the world's first production speaker system to use it. The design combines the conventional piston-like motion of a conventional drive unit with the advantages of a flat speaker panel. This combines with that near-180-degree dispersion to make positioning of the speakers extremely flexible.
Even the subwoofer in this system is designed to be discreet. It's a slimline wall-mounted unit packing a 120W power amp, and designed to be mounted low down to achieve that 'heater' look, thus 'vanishing' into the room decor.
Or as Q Acoustics puts it, "It’s styled to look like something normally seen in the home, not something that stands out because it’s alien to it, as with conventional subwoofers."
To complete the 'hidden' theme, the mounting bracket for the front three speakers can be used on the wall when the TV is wall-mounted, with optional brackets available for floor and table TV stands.
It's even possible to remove the Q Acoustics badge on the front speaker assembly – it's held on with a magnet – so the speakers look even more like part of the TV.
The Q-AV system will cost £600 for a complete 5.1-channel system, or just under £520 for three front speakers and a subwoofer.