Release Date: 3/11/2013
Sound systems for TVs are pretty expensive, and when I was wandering the aisles of Fry’s Electronics I honestly didn’t know what to look for. I’m more of a video guy, so the sound was new to me. I was tired of hearing everything from my plasma screen’s speakers and wanted something to bring my games and movies to life. After looking at the PC speakers I found out that they aren’t really designed for digital audio despite being much cheaper. The other route was to get a receiver box and then buy expensive speakers that go into that. What was I to do? These things caught my eye and it was one of the best purchases I ever made.
Soundbars emulate surround sound and 3D audio. It’s not as great as a 5.1 or 7.1 system, but the average person won’t notice a difference. First thing’s first, don’t ever buy a soundbar with the subwoofer built-in. It distorts the sound and drops the quality of audio significantly. These tend to be the lower-budget soundbars that are in the $150 range. The Sharp HT-SB40 has a separate subwoofer that’s made out of wood and not plastic. It gives the bass a rich and vibrant sound rather than being tinny. The 310-watt speaker is plenty and enough to blow anyone out of your house. Compared to the average TV speakers that are about 20-25 watts. The sound is crystal clear and there are some nice features on here.
The whole system is easy to set up. If you don’t want to constantly swap cables just buy a separate optical audio cable and plug it into the back of your TV. The power bar has 2 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output which is actually quite a lot for a soundbar. There is an aux jack as well for plugging up MP3 players and other devices. Thankfully, the subwoofer is wireless so there’s no hassling around with cables and keeping them close together. I didn’t even have to pair anything. I plugged everything up and I was ready to go.
There’s not much to fiddle around with once you start using it. The bass is VERY loud and booming. Even with the subwoofer and bass turned all the way down it was still pretty bassy. People who live with whiny neighbors in apartments need to watch out for this. The sound coming out of the bar itself was rich and some of the best audio I heard, it sounds just like you’re in a theater. Speaking of which, on the remote, there are many audios presets like cinema, gaming, night, sports, news, etc. Cinema really sounds the best because the other sounds too tinny. I also love the 3D audio button. There are 2 presets and the speakers don’t sound very good with it off.
There’s also an option for AV sync which lower-budget soundbars don’t have. If you hear stuff before you see it (video delay) then you can turn it up to adjust the delay. You can even dim the display on the power bar and put it in standby mode.
With all that said, this was worth every penny. The power bar is even wall mountable which is nice, this thing is long and you don’t want it on the floor. My only complaint would be that it doesn’t come with screws to mount it on the wall, and it’s very cumbersome and big. Other than that I don’t think I’d want any other system.