Santa squeezed an awful lot of flat-panel TVs down an awful lot of chimneys last year. (He bends the space-time continuum, that's how.) And as those lucky households recover from holiday bills, thoughts are turning to sleek on-wall speaker systems to finish the job.
The wait will have been worth it, though, because manufacturers have brought out plenty of models since the holidays. We've lined up three of the newest and most intriguing - Atlantic Technology's FS-3200 system ($2,465 to $2,625, depending on finish), the Klipsch RVX-42 package ($2,148), and the offbeat Magneplanar MC1 system ($2,250) from Magnepan, which specializes in flat-panel speakers.
I placed each pair of left and right front speakers on the wall to either side of my 42-inch plasma TV and the surrounds on the side walls straddling the listening position. I put the Klipsch and Atlantic center speakers directly beneath the screen - the Magneplanars required an unusual treatment described later. Each subwoofer went to the left of the front left speaker. (Click to see "Fast Facts" PDF for details on the different speakers that make up each system.)