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Perfect for small, simple home theater setup.

A Review On: Sony HTCT100 Sound Bar with Subwoofer - Black

Sony HTCT100 Sound Bar with Subwoofer - Black

Rated # 3 in Soundbars
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Pros: HDMI Inputs, Optical inputs, Great sound quality, saves EQ mode for each input

Cons: Limited options for Bluetooth

Firstly, my setup is:
  • Sony HT-CT100
  • Panasonic TC-P42X1
  • DirecTV Receiver
  • XBox 360
  • Wii U
  • Windows 8 HTPC

I have a very small apartment, so I don't have living room space for a traditional home theater setup. I bought this originally to provide enhanced sound over my TV's speakers. Without the logistics/desire/budget to go for a full surround setup, this seemed like the most elegant solution. It has filled this duty with aplomb. I have enjoyed all my movie-watching, game-playing immensely over the past few years.

I am very impressed on the quality of sound, and friends have commented on the quality as well. I can't speak much towards the simulated surround effect, but I have noticed it on a few occasions. The provided sound modes are great to my neophyte ears. "Movie" works perfect for both movies and general TV watching. "Sports" mode definitely enhances the NFL games. What I really love is the fact that the each input's soundfield is preserved, meaning that switching to DirecTV it defaults to "Movie", and over to my XBox it automatically switches to "Game", etc.

Since I bought this 4 years ago, I've periodically searched for an upgraded model, but have found little in the soundbar market with the inclusion of a mini-receiver. The convenience of having the receiver functionality built-in to the subwoofer can't be understated.

As for output, this unit has more than enough for my tiny apartment. I assume it would be equally perfect for dorm room situations, as well as modest man-cave type applications. Mileage may vary greatly for those with larger living room setups. I'm on a couch ~ 6 feet away from my entertainment center, so take that into consideration.

All in all, I've been blown away by the quality of this unit, in terms of ease-of-use, sound quality, and reliability. I can't imagine what I'll do if/when it eventually fails, but I hope there is an equal quality product out there to replace it's unique feature set.

I'm editing this to include some more info on the functionality:
This unit has 3 speakers in the soundbar. 50 watts each. and 100 watts for the sub. There are 3 HDMI inputs and 3 Optical audio inputs. 1 HDMI output and 1 component are also included. I have my TV outputting to the Sony via optical for anything that I might connect to the remaining HDMI inputs on my Plasma. It was extremely simple to setup.

I can't really speak to the remote, as I have been using multi-function alternatives from the get go (currently a Harmony Touch, which is supported by the Harmony software and works flawlessly).

Second Edit:
I wanted to note that I have found that this unit handles all of the audio formats that I've thrown at it. It recognizes native formats, as well as handling PCM from both my HTPC Blu-Ray playback and DTS-Passthru-encoded .MKV files that I've trans-coded, they all sound great!


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