Forrest E. Dexter on Amazon
5 years ago
08/03/2016, 07:35 AM
I'm quite impressed.
A little background info: I'm a semi-audiophile (I buy the best I can reasonably afford). I'm a serious music lover. I want movies and TV to be a visceral experience. Visceral (in my mind) requires both aural and physical stimuli. My bonus room audio system reflects that philosophy, as do both of my automobiles.
Now on to the actual review:
My wife and kids got this for me as a Father's Day gift. We/I needed a better audio transmission device than our Sony TV was providing in our downstairs living room. Our living room is adjacent to our kitchen, and we like to watch TV together while we have dinner. My wife did a lot of research prior to settling on this Sony. It comes up quite often in online reviews as one of (if not THE) best soundbars in this price range.
I was very skeptical that this soundbar would be much more than adequate. My previous experience with Sony home theater products left me less than impressed.
Upon receipt of the box, I was a little worried. It is a large "L" shaped box and it appeared to have been opened. I probably just looked a little rough from UPS "handling". After opening the box, I examined all of the components and everything looked great.
Our TV is in a nook/cutout above the fireplace. Our TV is suspended in the nook by a dual-arm wall mount (VideoSecu MW380B2). It allows the TV to appear as if it is floating in the space. It floating allows me to place our source devices below the TV and have easy access to them. I placed the Sony HTCT780 soundbar beneath the TV (in front of the source units). I placed the subwoofer behind a large leather chair that is on the same wall as the TV and soundbar. The distance from the soundbar to the subwoofer is roughly around 10 feet.
I was initially going to use the optical out from my Sony Bravia TV and let the TV do the source switching. Well, that didn't work out so well. Turns out my Sony TV only transmits optical out audio when receiving Over The Air HDTV. Oh well - Plan B it is. I connected the HDMI sources (DirecTV, BoxeeBox) to the soundbar and then the soundbar out to the TV. Turned everything on and fully expected to be hit with sonic mediocrity. Nope. What I got was actually a pretty warm, full, and room filling sound. The subwoofer has a full range of adjustment - all the way from "Sub?" to "just right" to "LMAO". If set on it's highest level, it's boomy. It seriously might be loud enough to shake the pictures off the wall in its' half of the room. So will movies/ dramatic TV be visceral? I think it's just perfect.
As previously mentioned, I'm a bit of a music lover. I listen to many different genre's of music. Classical to EDM to Metal. I tried several different settings, but I believe I just settled on leaving it set to Standard. For music, I found it very pleasing. I currently have a 2-year old little girl that loves to dance. Her favorite song is Major Lazer & DJ Snake - Lean On (feat. MØ). Vocals are great, bass is more than adequate. When she hears that song start playing, she comes running into the room and starts getting down. I really don't think I could ask much more from a 2.1 setup, much less a 2.1 soundbar.
I recently was able to compare it to a Harman Kardon SB26. I have to say that the Sony outperformed the HK SB26 by a very large margin, but I know that several factors were hurting the HK system. My Sony subwoofer is corner loaded in my room, and my soundbar is in the center of my wall. The HK sub was located on top (30 inches above floor) of a TV stand along with the TV and soundbar. Definitely not optimal placement, but I felt like the soundbar was a bit, eh, cold sounding. So yeah, not a very fair comparison.
Overall, I and my family really enjoy this soundbar. It performs very well and leaves me wanting for nothing more.