Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42
Passive 5-channel home theater sound bar
Our take on the Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42 by Crutchfield's Kristen Schaub
Slender, wall-mountable sound bar delivers spacious sound
Definitive Technology's Mythos SSA-42 is the perfect solution when you want superb surround-like sound with a simple setup. Definitive's Spatial Array™ technology precisely controls which sounds are played by each of the nine drivers, creating the illusion that you are surrounded by five separate high-performance speakers. The result is a wide listening area with excellent performance to the sides, in which you can clearly pinpoint action happening to your left and to your right. The SSA-42 doesn't depend on bouncing sound off of your walls, unlike some sound bar speakers, so it works well in just about any room. And it's designed to perform equally as well with your favorite music as it does with your Hollywood blockbusters.
High-tech speaker design produces detailed surround-like effects
The SSA-42 houses nine total drivers — five for the front soundstage and four to handle the rear channels. Three of those drivers have a pure aluminum dome tweeter mounted in front of the speaker cone, for extended highs that reveal nuance and shimmer without a trace of edginess. And Definitive's BDSS driver technology helps increase the tiny speakers' output without increasing the size of the enclosure. Connect it to a multi-channel receiver and you've got a simple, high-performance home theater solution that's sure to impress.
Gorgeous aircraft-grade aluminum cabinet
The slim enclosure is made of stunning black hand-polished aluminum, and is sized to match TVs with screens measuring 42" or larger. The SSA-42 can be wall mounted using the supplied mounting bracket, or placed on a shelf in front of your TV.
Add Definitive's ProSub800 subwoofer to get full bass that reaches down to 20 Hz.
Did you know?
Your new speakers will probably sound better after several weeks of use than they do right out of the box. That's because the material surrounding the woofers will loosen up, allowing the drivers to move more fully. Definitive Technology estimates a break-in period of 24 to 48 hours of playback before the speakers will deliver optimum sound quality. For more information and helpful tips, check out this article from Definitive's website about conditioning your speakers.
- frequency response 60-30,000 Hz
- sensitivity 89 dB
- 8-ohm impedance
- handles up to 175 watts
- Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) technology places rubber surrounds on both the outer and inner edges of each speaker cone for greater, more precise motion resulting in exceptional clarity
- three 3-1/4" BDSS drivers with axially aligned 3/4" pure aluminum domed tweeters
- two 3-1/4" BDSS full-range drivers
- four 3" full-range surround drivers
- non-powered for use with a home theater receiver
- five pairs of 5-way binding posts
- aircraft grade extruded aluminum cabinet
- gloss black finish
- includes wall mounting bracket and leveler feet
- 40-3/8"W x 4-3/8"H x 4-1/8"D
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 1 Black Solo Surround Array 5-channel speaker
- Removable cloth grille (installed)
- Mounting bracket
- 2 Rubber-tipped threaded feet
- 2 Foot brackets
- Two M4 x 10mm screws
- Self-adhesive rubber bumpers
- Owner's Manual
- Online Product Registration card
Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.
This speaker provides great sound at a great price. I had an older Polk Audio surround bar speaker and this is definitely huge improvement in sound quality.
Jeff, Dorchester, MA
Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42 Reviews
Average Customer Review(s):
Thanks for submitting your review
Features and Specs
|Pieces in System||1|
|Tweeter||0.75" Dome (x3)|
|Midrange||3" Cone (x4)|
|Woofer||3.5" Cone (x5)|
|Surround Sound Decoding||No|
|4K Video Compatible||No|
|HDR Video Compatible||No|
|Audio Return Channel||No|
|Remote IR Passthrough||No|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||No|
|Control by App||N|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Yes|
|Surface Mount Stand Included||No|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||N/A|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||N/A|
|System Frequency Response||60-30k Hz|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||0|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||N/A|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Sound Bar (inches)||4-3/8H x 40-3/8W x 4-1/8D|
|Sound Bar Weight||20 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||No Subwoofer|
Overview: The Definitive Technology Mythos Solo Surround Array 42 (SSA-42) is a unique multichannel loudspeaker that provides a 5-channel surround sound experience from just one speaker. The Definitive Technology SSA-42 is the perfect surround audio solution when you are unable or unwilling to wire and place rear channel speakers in your room, but still want a home theater experience. The SSA-42 uses Definitive Technology's best drivers and tweeters for audiophile-grade sound quality so you can enjoy enveloping surround sound from a single speaker. The Mythos Solo Surround Array 42 features five discrete channels to connect to your 5.1-channel Dolby Digital receiver, so you don't need to run wire to five separate speakers. The Mythos SSA-4 can be wall- or shelf-mounted using the supplied hardware.
Spatial Array: The Definitive Technology Mythos SSA-42 incorporates Spatial Array, a unique patented technology that optimizes the spatial presentation of five-channels to create the illusion that you are surrounded by five separate high-performance speakers. Spatial Array Surround technology uses subtle, but complex directional cues to completely free the sound from the speaker enclosure and convince your ear/brain listening mechanism that you are surrounded multiple speakers. Since Spatial Array technology does not depend on bouncing sound off walls, it works in virtually any room and set-up configuration. The SSA-42 uses Spatial Array technology on the front left and right speakers as well as the surround channels, so that you get big three-dimensional imaging from both stereo and multi-channel sources.
BDSS Driver Technology: The Front left, Front right, and Center channel drivers of the SSA-42 utilize Definitive's exclusive and patent-pending Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) technology. Speaker cones usually have one support point at the circumference of the cone (called the surround), but BDSS drivers have two support points or surrounds. This design suppresses cone resonance and promotes a longer, more linear cone motion for higher output, lower distortion and more accurate frequency response. As a result you will enjoy perfectly natural and lifelike timbre with crystalline clarity on voices, musical instruments ,and movie sound effects, even at high-volume levels.
Pure Aluminum Dome Tweeter: The Definitive Technology SSA-42's tweeter is a pure aluminum dome, which has been heat-treated to relax the crystal structure and then coated with a ceramic to produce extended highs. In order to keep the enclosure from being longer than popular sized video displays, Definitive engineers positioned the front channel tweeters in front of the drivers. While this is a commonly used space-saving technique, a tweeter placed in front of the driver usually interferes with the driver's sound waves. Using computer and physical modeling, Definitive engineers developed unique tweeter-housing geometry and venting that eliminates interference effects for audiophile-grade clarity, precision, and accuracy.
Drivers: The Definitive Technology Solo Surround Array 42 features three 3-1/4" BDSS drivers with axially-aligned 3/4" pure aluminum dome tweeters; two 3-1/4" BDSS high-output full-range drivers, and four 3" full-range high-output surround drivers.
Break-In Period: The Mythos SSA-42 will sound good right out of the box; however, an extended break-in period of 20-40 hours or more of playing is required to reach full performance capability. The break-in period allows the suspensions to work in and results in full bass, a more open midrange, and smoother high frequency reproduction.
Extruded Aluminum Enclosure: The SSA-42's enclosure is fabricated from aircraft-grade, hand-polished gloss black extruded aluminum, styled to perfectly match today's flat panel plasma and LCD TVs. Internal baffles and braces inside the enclosure eliminate interference effects between drivers and channels for true audiophile purity and maximum channel separation.
5-Way Binding Posts: The SSA-42 is equipped with 5 pairs (Front left, Front right, Center, Rear right, Rear left) of gold-plated, 5-way binding posts to attach your 5.1-channel home theater receiver's speaker wire.
Placement: The Mythos Solo Surround Array 42 is designed for horizontal use only. The 5-channel loudspeaker can be positioned below or above your flat-panel television. The SSA-42 matches perfectly with 42-inch and larger flat-panel televisions.
Mounting: The Definitive Technology SSA-42 comes with easy-to-install mounting hardware that allow it to mount on the wall above or below your television. The Mythos SSA-42 comes with a wall mount bracket that allows direct mounting to a wall. The SSA-42 can also be mounted directly to select flat-panel TV swing out arm-style wall mounts, so that the speaker angle changes with the TV angle. It also includes hardware that allows you to place the speaker on the TV, on a shelf , or on a table-top (surface must be at least 5-inches deep).
Angle Adjustment: The Mythos Solo Surround Array 42 comes with two brackets and two feet which screw into the speaker's wall-mount bracket to stabilize the speaker and allows you to adjust the vertical angle when the system is placed on a flat horizontal surface. When you set the speaker down, the speaker will lean back and rest on these feet. By varying how far you screw in-and-out the feet, you can adjust the vertical angle of the speaker. It is recommended that you aim the center-speaker so that it aims directly towards the height of the listeners' ears.
Our Product Research Team
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
Why did you buy this?
Reviews and price point [ Paul Jan 29, 2018 ]
recommended by Bryce [ Thomas F. May 23, 2017 ]
Great reviews and Crutchfield advice! [ Joy Christine Oct 31, 2016 ]
Low profile design. [ Brian Mar 10, 2016 ]
2 questions already asked
Hmm, that's an interesting idea. This speaker has 5 channels, 2 of which you already have (and the R/L channels in this bar can't be reassigned, so they would just be unused drivers). So basically, you'd be buying this for a center and for surrounds. If that's the case, the center is limited to 1 driver and 1 tweeter, and the surrounds don't really simulate surround all that well. With that in mind, I think you'd be better off just buying a center and surrounds, or just buying a center and going without surrounds. As a total package, I think this bar works well, but if you already have R/L speakers and are just wanting a center and surrounds, it just doesn't make sense to me. Just my opinion. [ ADAM May 24, 2018 ]
4 answers Can I use this loud speaker for a center channel speaker if I hook up only the center channel ports from my Sony 7.1 receiver to the loud speaker center channel ports? And use my existing surround back speakers and my sub woofer and my existing front left and right? May down grade to get rid of all my wires to sound bar. Will this work until I decide? [ Richard Jul 02, 2014 ]
I recently purchased the SSA-42. There are five separate speakers in the SSA-42. Each has its own connection knob for a speaker wire. If you don't hook up each speaker you aren't utilizing the whole soundbar. [ ROBERT Jul 02, 2014 ]
I can't think of any reason why that wouldn't work. But, I would be sure to re-run the auto-calibration on your receiver with microphone in ideal listening area after setting up this soundbar as the new source of the center channel, as the frequency response won't be exactly the same as the center speaker that you are replacing. For the record, this sound bar has exceeded my expectations for providing all of the surround channels in my room, which would be very difficult to hard-wire surround speakers due to bookshelves, doorways, etc. The SSA-42 sounds amazing with my Sony mid-level surround receiver. Very powerful, clear, and convincing surround sound effect with that combo. [ Erik Jul 02, 2014 ]
You can but only the center speakers will work defeating the purpose of the total sound from the sound bar. My suggestion would be if possible would be to the full function of the sound bar and use your front speakers as front height speakers. This will giv you a much larger sound field and fuller sound. [ ROBERT J Jul 02, 2014 ]
Hi Richard, Yes!!! That is the beauty of this sound bar. Any configuration will work. Just remember, you will need to adjust the center channel speaker volume to match you other speakers. A few minutes at most. If you have a receiver that has a speaker calibration unit, no problem. It will do the work for you. If you have all five channels going to the sound bar, set everything to neutral. Then rock and roll. I could not be happier in my choice. It sounds so good, that I am surprised at films I have seen/heard dozens of time. New life! You will be impressed. Take care... --Tom [ TOM Jul 02, 2014 ]