January 05, 2011
| by Rachel Cericola
Sharp wants those of you with small spaces to try getting a little loud. The company just announced five new soundbar offerings. Designed for apartments, bedrooms, dens and other smaller spaces, this new selection is also perfect for a variety of budgets, starting at a mere $249.99.
The cream of the crop is the HT-SL70 and HT-SL50. Sharp claims these 2.1 units to be “the world’s slimmest” soundbars, which makes them a nice addition to flat screens and wall-mounted HDTVs. Sharp says that the HT-SL70 goes well with 46- and 52-inch sets, with the HT-SL50 best suited for 32-inch HDTVs.
Both systems feature single speaker and single speaker/subwoofer systems, as well as support for 3D video, via HDMI 1.4 with Audio Return Channel. Both also include Dolby, DTS and SRS decoding.
The HT-SL70 has an active subwoofer with 200 watts of power, with the HT-SL50’s sub cranking out 100 watts. Connections include a headphone jack, RCA and HDMI terminals, and a 3.5mm audio input. The HT-SL70 can also mount horizontally or vertically.
Sadly, neither unit has a release date or pricing info. The HT-SL50 should be available in the spring, with the HT-SL70 coming in the summer. Sharp hasn’t announced pricing info for either product yet. If you need something more definite (and quicker), three other soundbars will be coming in February.
The 3.1 HT-SB600 has the 3D support via HDMI 1.4 with Audio Return Channel, as well as built-in Dolby and DTS decoders. Featuring three HDMI inputs and a total output of 400 watts, the HT-SB600 is geared towards 40- to 46-inch screen sizes. Sharp has listed this product’s MSRP as $399.99.
In the middle is the 2.1 HT-SB350, which cuts the 3D, but has Dolby Digital Pro Logic, DTS and SRS WOW HD decoders, as well as Dolby Virtual Speakers and total power output of RMS 32 watts. This set includes an amplifier, front speaker and subwoofer in one component, making it easy to fit a whole sound system into a small space—and a small budget. This one is priced at $299.99 (MSRP). Sharp says that the 2.1 channel HT-SB250 is similar with SRS WOW HD decoding, but drops the MSRP to $249.99.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.