Some soundbars act as full-on home entertainment hubs, acting as a junction for all your other equipment and sometimes offering multichannel audio decoding. If that’s what you’re after, up your budget and look elsewhere. This is a much simpler proposition, designed as a dedicated add-on speaker for your TV.
It’s primarily designed to work with the latest generation of 3D-compatible TVs, which boast ARC and CEC (Consumer Electronic Control) functionality. It doesn’t come with a remote control – volume is adjusted using your TV’s handset thanks to CEC.
Setup is simple. Hook up the HDMI output to the ARC-compatible input on your TV, and connect your Blu-ray deck (or other device) to another of your TV’s inputs and away you go. Audio signals from the Blu-ray deck and other devices connected to the TV are fed to the SL50 through the ARC HDMI connection, while CEC makes it possible to alter the SL50’s volume using your TV’s remote control – make sure it’s activated.
Alternatively if your TV lacks ARC, you can connect the TV’s headphone output to the subwoofer’s minijack input, which still allows you to control the system’s volume using your TV remote’s handset. It’s a rudimentary solution but it works. Should you need to channel your Blu-ray player through the SL50’s HDMI input/output for any reason, then rest assured that it’s 3D compatible.
Overall power output is quoted as 100W – that’s 2 x 25W for the left/right speakers inside the soundbar and 50W for the subwoofer. That’s a good 100W less powerful than the HT-SL70, which was designed to accompany much larger TVs. Inside the soundbar are two 2.2cm full range drivers, with a 16cm bass driver within the sub.