Originally Posted by Speakerphile
Are you referencing the 84X900A? If so, the 85X950B this year is without side speakers, which is the opposite of what you say above. If you are referring to the smaller X900A models, they were replaced with the X900B models, which still have the speakers.
In general though, there is much higher volume being done on the models without speakers. Vizio could learn something from Sony here and allow for this to be an option. Keeping it a requirement, especially for a company that is known for their low prices is just shooting themselves in the foot. Also, Sony does not have any hard data showing that customers prefer the speakers. Somewhat the contrary, actually. Customers do want better sound, in general, but most of that demand is on entry-mid level models. Customers of premium TV's generally have the audio covered, or are willing to spend some additional money to do it properly.
Regarding Sony, I was referring to the fact that the side speakers used to be a option and are now either fixed (900B series) or not. I was responding to the comment of the previous poster about having the option and wondering whether Sony's experience was that not that many people responded to the option to have detachable speakers (Sony has a long tradition of this, BTW. I have a 1990 26" CRT from Sony that has detachable speakers). Otherwise, why discontinue the option? Also, what do you mean by your statement: "Vizio could learn something from Sony here and allow for this to be an option." It seems like Sony could learn something from Sony too then since they no longer allow for this to be an option within the same model line.
But my broader point was that many manufactures are significantly improving the sound and speaker quality in premium flat screens. LG has side speakers now too as well as the 900B and the Vizio R-series, but even those panels without side front firing speakers still have put more focus on sound quality of late, reversing a trend of very weak sound that started when all the sets went super-thin profile.
Could you please send a link to your data point that "Customers of premium TV's generally have the audio covered, or are willing to spend some additional money to do it properly." Thanks. Why do you think Sony, LG and Vizio are all adding side front-firing speakers on premium sets if most of the customers don't want them?