CE Week 2013: Pioneer launches Andrew Jones-Designed SP-SB23W Speaker Bar with wireless subwoofer

PioneerspeakerbarsystemwithsubwooferCheck out review of the Andrew Jones designed Pioneer SP-SB23W sound bar.

CE Week  is underway in NYC, and no sooner had we plunked some change in the parking meter than  Pioneer had unveiled a new series of Elite A/V receivers and its new SP-SB23W Speaker Bar. With so many sound bars being released lately, it’s kind of hard to get excited; we’re just not seeing a ton of innovation in this product category. But this one is different. When Pioneer told us that the Speaker Bar had received Andrew Jones’ treatment and would retail for just $400, out ears perked up.

Andrew Jones is best known for his super-expensive TAD loudspeaker series for Pioneer, but in recent years he has focused on designing affordable speaker systems such as the recently reviewed SP-PK52FS 5.1 system which earned our “Editor’s Choice” award. Not only does this system over-achieve in every possible way, it’s also remarkably affordable at only $550.

Unlike the vast majority of sound bars which are made out of plastic, Pioneer decided to use wood composite for the SP-SB23W, just as it did with the SP-PK52FS system. The wood composite isn’t just for aesthetics – it is intended to minimize unwanted resonance.

The SP-SB23W features six individual drivers: four custom 3-inch woofers, and two 1-inch soft dome tweeters.  The arrangement of the drivers is intended to produce a wide dispersion pattern, enabling open, more spacious stereo imaging, even in larger-sized rooms. 

Pioneer says sound bar’s woofers feature a vented pole piece to achieve improved bass response while its 1-inch soft-dome tweeters are encased in a custom “wave guide” enclosure for increased output sensitivity and controlled dispersion of high-frequencies.

Each of the six drivers has its own 28-watt Class ‘D’ amplifier and are complemented by a matching active crossover network for increased sound quality. Utilizing an active crossover enabled Andrew Jones to use higher order filter points to achieve improved audio transitions between the woofers and the tweeters, supposedly resulting in improved speaker response, vocals quality and off-axis listening. 

The Speaker Bar includes a matching wireless subwoofer featuring a 6.5-inch driver tuned to 42 Hz (-10 dB) to provide low bass frequencies.  The subwoofer is powered by a built-in 50 Watt amplifier. For and the sub’s output level can be adjusted from the the included Speaker Bar remote.

Pioneer had built three modes into the Speaker Bar, including movies, music, and dialogue. Dialogue mode is designed for late-night viewing when you want to hear more a film’s dialogue and less of its “loud” sections filled with explosions and gunfire.

PioneeerSpeakerBarThe SP-SB23W does not support any of the HD surround codecs such as Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, and it does not offer support for HDMI.  

The Speaker Bar is also Bluetooth-enabled from music streaming and you can program any of your existing remotes to control the SP-SB23W’s features.

Pioneer with be shipping the SP-SB23W starting in the fall and will include an optical cable and mounting hardware in the package.

If the SP-SB23W offers the same level of performance as its slightly more expensive brethren, it’s going to flip the entry-level segment of the soundbar category on its head and make the folks at Vizio, Samsung, and Polk Audio very unhappy. 

Product Review

SVS's stunning Prime speakers go wireless with (mostly) brilliant results

The latest offering from SVS is a wireless way to enjoy the company’s incredible sound. While they do come with a few caveats, those looking for gorgeous sound in a stunning package will want to give them a long look.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Home Theater

Samsung will stop releasing new Blu-ray players in the U.S.

Samsung, the first company to produce a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, is now exiting the Blu-ray market entirely in the U.S. The move comes after Oppo Digital also dropped out of the market last year.
Movies & TV

The Breaking Bad sequel might air on Netflix before it arrives on AMC

A Breaking Bad sequel starring Jesse Pinkman (and, possibly, Walter White) is on the way from series creator Vince Gilligan, and you might get your first look at it on Netflix, not traditional cable.

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for February 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!