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Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar review

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Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar
  • Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar
  • Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar
  • Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar
  • Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar
  • Sharp HT-SB200 Soundbar
  • HTSB200 Home Cinema System (Single Speaker/2.1 System, 32 Watts)

Summary

Our Score:

7

Following in the footsteps of Samsung's HT-WS1G, B&W's Panorama and Crystal Audio's SSB-1, Sharp's first soundbar is designed to offer an upgrade from the soggy sound quality of most flatpanel TVs.

Sharp HT-SB200 soundbar not for you? Check out our round up of the best soundbars to buy

But improved audio isn't the only reason why these all-in-one sound systems are taking off in a big way - they're wall-mountable, which makes minimal demands on your living space, the lack of rear speakers keeps ugly cables to a minimum and their stylish, unimposing designs are guaranteed to get the green light from sceptical spouses.

At one end of the soundbar spectrum, you have models like the Philips HTS8100, which packs everything you need into a single box - DVD player, 5.1 sound decoding/amplification and speakers. At the other end are models like the Monitor Audio Radius One HD, which are simply three passive speakers shaped into a soundbar. The Sharp sits somewhere between the two, boasting 32W of built-in amplification and sound processing, but no on-board decoding.

It's a 2.1-channel system, housing full-range left and right speakers and four built-in subwoofers, but like most soundbars it features some token surround sound tech that claims to simulate the 5.1-channel experience. In this instance it's HDSS (High Definition Sound Standard) and SRS WOW HD.

The HT-SB200 is an unassuming unit, designed to blend in seamlessly with your TV rather than divert attention from it. That's not to say it's ugly - the black finish is actually smart and tasteful - but it lacks the upmarket sparkle of the Samsung HT-WS1G.

At 65mm high and 70mm deep, it's remarkably compact plus its 800mm width makes it best-suited for TVs between 32 and 42in. It doesn't have to be wall-mounted - four screw-in feet are supplied for table top placement on your AV rack, but wall-mounting is the most aesthetically pleasing option.

Read more: Best soundbars to buy

DrDark

August 20, 2009, 7:05 pm

Hmmm...


Been intrigued by sound bars for a while, but found them a bit pricey.


Now trying to decide though: this soundbar or Creative Gigaworks T40 series2 speakers?

smc8788

August 20, 2009, 11:02 pm

@ drdark - Probably neither. For a living room TV setup the T40s, while great 2.0 computer speakers, will be far too puny for said use. The soundbar would be better but going by the review I doubt I'd use them to listen to music. If you want the best quality for as little cash as possible, then your best bet would probably be to look at getting a second hand amp/receiver and some speakers on the cheap, which you could probably do for not much more.

austin316gb

August 23, 2009, 12:02 pm

@smc8788 - Going for second hand is all well and good if you know what to look for but I have no clue so I'd either end up paying too much, getting the wrong thing or buying rubbish. I'd love to get a good speaker set-up on my TV but the multitude of options just baffles me so the all in one solution is about the only way I can go. I just wish videologic had carried on with thier digitheater surround sound systems. The digitheater DTS was awesome and I'd really like a "Digitheater True-HD" if such a system existed

Geoff Richards

August 23, 2009, 1:09 pm

Digitheatre DTS - amen to that! :)





Instead, the lads in Kings Langley created the Pure brand and have dominated the DAB radio market ever since. Oh, and in their spare time they designed the 3D graphics core that's inside the iPhone, iPod touch, Palm Pre and a bunch of others. Not bad going :)





If you're looking for a quality all-in-one 5.1 setup like our old Digitheatre, Onkyo has a good set that's not crazy expensive: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

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