There are many high-end LED televisions being launched in the market, which boast of some pretty impressive specifications. These range from Smart TV capabilities to 3D playback options. However, in an attempt to pack these HDTVs with features, sound quality took a backseat. This is not just restricted to one brand, but across a variety of television manufacturers. This is also not to say that all the HDTVs in the current crop have poor sound quality, but sadly, most of them do.
Full gloss exterior
The solution to this problem is a sound bar and many speaker manufacturers have launched their iteration of the product that can be extremely useful to get the best out of a home theatre experience. Panasonic, a well known brand for AV products have launched the SC-HTB520, a 2.1 channel soundbar that features a wireless subwoofer and HDMI connectors.
Design and Build Quality
As for looks, the SC-HTB520 does not drop many points, as it is slick, stylish and has a gloss-filled exterior. One may tend to be wary about placing soundbars near their televisions, as it may sometimes take the look away of the beautiful looking HDTV. But, if placed accordingly, the SC-HTB520 can actually compliment the TV. It measures at 1018 x 75 x 44mm and is ideal for televisions measuring between 42-inches to 50-inches.
Apart from being placed in front of the TV, it can be wall mounted as well ensuring that there is a reduced amount of clutter. The speaker comes bundled up with wall brackets, which reduce the worry of purchasing separate brackets just to mount it. Speaking about clutter, this soundbar has a very minimalistic design with all connections slotted in niches at the back. The connectors located at the rear include an HDMI out for the TV, an HDMI input for a Blu-ray or DVD player, an IR blaster terminal, an optical in and a wireless terminal for connecting to the subwoofer.
Simple and stylish subwoofer
Moving back to the design, this soundbar has a full glossy finish, which although looks appealing, does retain a lot of fingerprints when handled. The front panel is devoid of any controllers and using the same minimalistic approach, Panasonic have placed the drivers on either ends, underneath a grill, which the brand terms as a mirror coated stainless mesh. The drivers featured on the soundbar, include a two way, two speaker, bass reflex placement. There is no display on this, instead, the different commands sent to it are denoted by LED indicators, which are located on the upper portion of the front panel in the centre.
Coming along with the soundbar is a wireless subwoofer that gets connected using the VIERA link. This subwoofer, like the soundbar has an entire gloss finish and the driver featured with it is downward facing. The only button featured on the woofer is the power button located at the back. With the speakers, a remote control also comes along that is quite tiny. It is quite lightweight and features basic controls, such as switching between the different inputs, adjusting the volume, etc.
The small and lightweight remote control
Summing up this bit, the SC-HTB520 is quite stylish and is extremely light in weight. The build quality is pretty sturdy as well and it appears that it could withstand some accidental bumps.