Feeds

Eight... spatial soundbars

Sonic boom

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Pioneer HTP-SB300

RH Numbers

The SB300 is designed to sit under TVs ranging in size from 32 to 37-inches. The main bar houses a centre speaker plus two side channels and this connects wirelessly to a subwoofer to create a 3.1 set up. On the back there are two HDMI inputs along with both optical and coaxial digital connectors. However, there are no analogue inputs, so you can’t, for example, hook a portable MP3 player up to it.

The on-board decoder works with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS and Dolby TruHD audio streams, and sound quality is on the whole pretty impressive. The sub helps the system deliver great bass effects and dialogue is also crisp and well centred. The two side channels also deliver a pleasingly wide stereo spread. However, the surround effects are quite poor, and the remote control is way too cluttered.

Pioneer HTP-SB300

Reg Rating 65%
Price £350
More Info Pioneer

Samsung HW-C450

RH Numbers

With its exposed speakers and the transparent lip that runs across the top of the bar, the C450 looks classy. However, if you’ve got younger kids who like to poke their fingers in things, you might not think the design is quite so clever. Like most of the soundbars here, the main bar is matched with a wireless, active subwoofer. Around the back there are two optical digital audio inputs, plus a mini stereo jack that can be used for hooking up MP3 players.

Sonically, the C450 delivers a pretty wide sound stage. Dialogue is nicely centred and punches through background music with impressive clarity. There’s onboard Dolby Digital and DTS decoding too, but it doesn’t deliver convincing surround effects in the way the Yamaha does. Overall, though, the C450 is a good upgrade for your TVs speaker as it does a good job of widening movie sound tracks, but it’s not really a replacement for a full surround sound system.

Samsung HW-C450

Reg Rating 70%
Price £250
More Info Samsung

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Sharp HT-SB400

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.