PSB’s new W3 soundbar, like the Artison Studio Series, is among only a few passive soundbars I saw displayed at CEDIA. The goal, according to master speaker designer and company founder/namesake Paul Barton, is a more straightforward, purer approach to an inconspicuous sound system. “I’m going for sound balance rather than trickery,” he told me. Barton relies heavily on measurement and proper technical assessment of his designs, so he did all of his measurements of the W3 with the prototypes attached to a baffle that conforms to IEC specifications.
The W3 retails for $1,200. You’ll need a couple of surround speakers, too, and for that Barton offers the $600-each W1 on-wall model. Both are rated to deliver -10 dB bass response at a comparatively low 60 Hz, so unlike most slim on-wall designs and soundbars, it shouldn’t be a problem to get a seamless blend between the speakers and your subwoofer.