Two makers of one-box solutions for virtual surround sound were at the show. ZVOX was covered earlier in our show report (below). Soundmatters is the other. The Soundmatters SLIMstage40 Surround Console ($899, available in July), available in either silver or black (the silver version is shown in the photo, just under the flat panel set) uses four seven active drivers and eight internal amplifiers (170W total) to simulate a full surround sound experience. At 3.4" deep, it's designed to fit under a wall-mounted, flat panel television.

Auditioning revealed reasonably convincing spacial effects, including flyovers, though they clearly weren't as palpable as those produced by a fully separated, multichannel sound system. The auditions also suggested that the SLIMstage40 could really benefit from a subwoofer for fully-balanced sound. Soundstage is ready for that with the SUBstage 200 sub ($399, also July), a tiny design (about 4" x 17" x 8") said to respond down to 32Hz.

There will also be a slightly larger SLIMstage30 and larger SLIMstage50, both available in September.