Sound Bar speakers can be a solution for people who do not want a lot of wiring running about their home and want to supplement the audio from their flat panel HDTV. They are designed to be used in a living room home theater application and are placed below a flat panel TV. The slim units normally house an amplifier and speakers which simulate the effect of actual surround sound speakers with varying degrees of success depending upon the brand and model.
One of the very best units to achieve near 5.1 surround effects is the Digital Sound Projector line from Yamaha. Their models use a multitude of digital amplifiers and tiny speakers to simulate actual surround from the main unit. Bass effects are enhanced greatly with the addition of an optional YST designated subwoofer. I've heard the YSP-800 in action and the surround effects are quite amazing. Setup is a snap with the included auto-calibration microphone. Check specs and reviews of the YSP-800 at Amazon.
Yamaha has recently released a less exotic line of soundbar plus subwoofer line with the YAS designation. Aimed toward a lower price-point they still offer a very nice sounding solution for people wanting to supplement their tiny TV speakers. Check specs, pics and reviews of the YAS-70BL.
Sony has entered the Soundbar market with their HTCT100. It features less speakers (three in the bar) and individual amps than the Yamaha YSP series but includes the subwoofer as standard equipment, includes three HDMI inputs and is priced much less. Although the simulated surround is not quite as effective as the Yamahas -- the Sony's surround effects are present with the effects dependent more upon symmetrical room dimensions and a bit of manual tweaking (opposed to the Yamaha's handy auto setup feature). The Sony HTCT100 is an economical and versatile alternative to multiple speakers with their cumbersome wiring issues. Check out the HTCT100 for under $300 and free shipping at Amazon.
Another entry into the Sound Bar speaker category (and an impressive one) is the Samsung HT-X810T. Featuring 300W of clear power this unit adds a built-in 1080p up-converting DVD player and a powerful wireless subwoofer. The HT-X810T also features sleek modern styling which compliments the looks of newer flat panel displays. For just under $600, the included wireless sub and up-converting DVD player make the Samsung HT-X810T worth a long look. Pics and owner's reviews for the Samsung HT-X810T.
The Boston Acoutics TVee Model Two Sound Bar speakers also feature a wireless subwoofer but does not include a DVD player. It is designed as a true supplement to your flat panel TV with one input and single cable simplicity. The TVee Model Two comes in three color combinations - Black, White and Mist (silver) to blend with any room decor and is priced under $400. Pics and reviews for the TVee Model Two in "Mist".
Audiophile worthy company Polk Audio long ago offered its SurroundBar model of un-amplified speakers-only sound bar. Polk has recently remodeled the unit a bit. The newer model - dubbed the "SurroundBar 50" - produces great sound for those who prefer the flexibility of a dedicated receiver with many more audio and video inputs than the limited number found on most sound bar units. Connectivity of SurroundBar 50 to your existing receiver is via the included color-coded, 25 ft. speaker wire bundle. I recommend the addition of the optional 10" sub for best full-range sound. Available in Titanium and Black versions, the Polk Audio models are top-notch choices for folks wanting performance, style and the flexibility of inputs that a dedicated receiver can offer. Check Polk SurroundBar specs and reviews at Amazon.
In conclusion Sound Bar speakers can offer the convenience of not having to run wires all around your room and also offer (depending on the model) remarkable simulated surround sound. If you want the tidy convenience Sound Bar speakers offer check out the links to Amazon above for more in-depth specs, pics and owner reviews.