The HT-SL70 is a decent performer, offering a more fulsome sound than you’d expect from such a slim unit. OK, it’s not likely to shake the picture frames off the walls but it goes reasonably loud and voices movie soundtracks with a crisp and detailed character.
The pivotal train crash scene in Super 8 is a great test, with its cacophony of crashing metal and explosions, and the HT-SL70 does a solid job of reproducing them without lapsing into unbearable harshness or distortion like some budget soundbars. If anything it could do with a little more aggression and bite to up the excitement factor.
On the downside, the sound is a little thin and doesn’t integrate very well with the subwoofer. The sub’s timing is spot-on, but low-frequency effects are a flat rumble that sounds disjointed from the midrange. It certainly lends greater depth and power to the scene’s explosions than your average flatpanel TV, but if you really want a true thrill ride you’ll need to step up to a proper home cinema setup or a more accomplished soundbar.
Its handling of TV material is also disappointing in places. The applause of the Loose Women studio audience sounds thin and hissy, and theme tunes blare out with less control than we’d like. That said, dialogue sounds clear and open.
We also tried out some music for good measure and the results are pleasant, with good timing and clean detail, although again it’s a bit too thin and unrefined to satisfy audiophile tastes.
The HT-SL70 is an unusual but versatile soundbar system, which can be installed with minimal disruption to your décor. We love the choice of installation options – floorstand, wall or tabletop – and the super-slim dimensions of soundbar and sub means they can be discreetly integrated into the room.
And for the most part, the system’s performance is pleasing. It offers a significant sound upgrade over flat TV speakers with its loud volume and crisp detail. But its performance is spoilt by the disjointed subwoofer and a lack of body in the midrange that leaves the sound a little thin. If you can live with that, then the HT-SL70 could be a very attractive home cinema problem solver.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 7
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