Soundbars are a good way to get better sound from your HDTV sans an AV receiver, but connections are convoluted, the bar just sits awkwardly under your flat panel, you need a separate remote, and it rarely matches the length of your set and so always looks out of place.
A British company, Q Acoustics, has a more elegant 2.1-channel sound solution - side-mounted speakers that include a subwoofer connected into in a single assembly that snaps onto the back of any flat panel HDTV between 30 and 50 inches. No matter what set you have, the arrangement always looks as if it was part of the original TV.
The Q-TV2 needs only two connections - power and an optical audio cable. A bracket screws into the back of the flat panel (all HDTVs have standard spaced mounting screw holes), then you simply snap the Q-TV2 speaker/sub array into the bracket. For an extra $35 you can buy a mounting bracket to hang the whole business on a wall.
In the open show floor, it was hard to gauge the quality of the sound, but there seemed to be plenty of bass reflecting from the wall behind the set. The system pumps out 100 watts of volume, 25 for each side speaker and 50 watts for the sub. On top of the subwoofer section are switches for subwoofer compensation depending on placement (wall mounted, stand mounted or corner), and to adjust lip sync.
Q-TV2 comes in two versions, one for sets measuring 30- to 42-inches, and one for sets up to 50 inches.