updated 12:55 pm EDT, Fri October 27, 2006
Niro v. surround speakers
Niro's newest line of virtual speakers has arrived in the US, providing simulated surround sound for listeners who can't justify the cost or space of a full setup. Each package deal comes with a subwoofer, a single speaker bar, and an amplifier loaded with Niro's virtualization firmware. The new Niro speakers are touted as having an "expanded soundstage and enhanced surround effects, thanks in part to new digital filtering software and the extra wide speaker cabinet." The highest-end model (the 1000) also comes with a secondary amp for the subwoofer. Owners of earlier Niro setups can upgrade to the new technology for less simply by buying a new speaker separately, and using a bundled memory card to update the old amplifier's firmware. The Niro packages are available in four different grades: the 420 ($580), 620 ($780), 800 ($990), and 1000 ($1,390).