Catching up with the latest series and movies has become a worldwide pandemic. A recent report showed that on average adults are watching 5 hours of TV per day, making overall TV watching take up to 77 days of our year.
Still, when you compare your TV with trips to the cinema, you couldn't possibly find a better surround sound experience which produces the same thrill.
Or can you?
What can you do to get that experience?
With more and more TV and video subscription packs and movie theatres seeing a decline in audiences, people are searching for those cinematic scores in their own homes.
The solution is rather simple. By purchasing a sound bar or a surround sound system you can begin to replicate that same cinematic experience.
What to look for in a sound bar
- Size – Before purchasing your sound bar it would be wise to review the measurements of the product to make sure it is the correct size for your room, this helps optimize the space in your selected room.
- Connections – HDMI, Wireless and USB ports can be found in most entertainment systems, the HDMI lead helps to link the sound bar to your TV but can also be connected to a laptop. In addition, the USB and wireless features are used to link smart devices to the sound bar so you can play your preferred media through it.
- Control – A remote control is an extra, you would like to be able to control it from your seat. All the same, being lost in a sea of remote controls isn't always ideal, this can however be rectified by purchasing a universal remote or by linking another remote to your sound bar.
- Location – Deciding where your sound bar will go is very important, will it be wall mounted or placed on a TV stand? It's best to check out the product size in order to fit your sound bar properly. Optimizing the sound output is key in the location process, if your sound bar is placed incorrectly it could produce muffled sound and that definitely won't help you achieve that cinematic feel.
- Sound – If it's possible, it's best if you try it before you buy it. Nothing is worse that opening up a new boxed sound system and then finding out those 5 bad reviews were right, it has terrible sound. Always check what other users have said, or go into a shop and try the product out.
- Price and Quality – Sound bars can get quite expensive depending on the brand and the many features they've added to the device. It's not always best to go for the high priced option though, instead many have found that there are cheaper options with better sound quality. Comparing prices could save you from too much hassle and it will aid in saving your pennies.
What product will we be reviewing?
Today we'll be focusing on the Sony HT-CT290 sound bar. Sony has really spent time on this product and has boasted its many capabilities as a surround sound system.
What's so special about the Sony HT-CT290 Sound Bar?
Customer satisfaction is at the forefront of the Sony company. The Sony HT-CT290 sound bar enhances the viewers experience and effectively blows them away. With a slim design in a sleek black colour the Sony HT-CT290 looks extremely stylish. Pairing style with the powerful volume, it really does set out to impress the audience.
What are the Pros and Cons of the Sony HT-CT290 Sound Bar?
- HDMI and Bluetooth. Nothing is more stressful than a tangle of wires behind the TV, but the Sony HT-CT290 comes with only ONE wire. With the HDMI lead connected to the TV or Laptop, you can also connect wirelessly with your phone via Bluetooth, impressing your friends and family whilst doing so.
- Subwoofer. A sound bar can struggle to reach those lower bass tones, luckily this Sony sound bar comes with its very own subwoofer to enhance your TV watching experience. The subwoofer is also able to stand upright or on its side, helping you to maximize on space.
- Blu-ray and DVD. The Sony HT-CT290 sound bar is also Blu-ray and DVD compatible, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your very own home movie theatre.
- Easy To Use. Yes, the Sony HT-CT290 is easy to use and to install into your home. Sony have also made sure that their sound bar is the right height so it doesn't block your television viewing.
- 1 Year Warranty. When buying a sound bar, a warranty can come in very handy. If something is amiss with your sound bar a warranty will provide that extra bit of safety so you will be able to return the faulty item. Make sure to find the best warranty deal by comparing different selling sites.
- Lip Sync Issues. Some users have found that the sound has a few timing issues, which don't quite match up with the speed of the TV's picture.
- Limited Sound Options. There are a lot of mixed reviews on sound quality, with some users saying it's not ideal for music and that it lacks bass, depth and tone, whereas other users are praising its powerful and clear volume. We're confused too.
- Price. The price of the Sony HT-CT290 sound bar varies from around £120 to over £200, leaving many customers disappointed with the value for money. I think we can agree that being able to trust the brand and count on its reliability is key in order for you to spend that much money.
- Reviews. Interpreting reviews can be tiresome when searching for a product but you can usually notice a good or bad trend. Unfortunately, the Sony HT-CT290 has gained more than a few bad reviews, however, this sound bar has gained some good reviews also. It's all in the eye of the beholder.
What do we think?
Sony are a reputable company who have made many useful devices. The Sony HT-CT290 sound bar has been praised by a fair amount of its users, however, with so many mixed reviews we have to leave this as a case of trial and error.
On the surface the Sony HT-CT290 looks like a great device, especially to use as a replacement sound system for the usual tinny television speakers, you might well be very satisfied with this product. Whether you're prepared to pay £120+ for it is your choice. You do run the risk of being underwhelmed, so, our only advice is to always be sure before you purchase an item.
We're 50/50 with this, what do you think?
- Immersive sound: Recreate that cinema feeling with Sony's S-Force Pro Front Surround sound technology
- Simple connectivity: one simple HDMI connection to TV and easy wireless link to your smartphone with Bluetooth
- Slim design: designed for style and substance offering a slim elegant profile to blend any living environment
- Interface : Input and Output Terminals - Opt. In, USB - 1 (USB-A), Bluetooth : Yes(A2DP (SINK), AVRCP)
- Main Unit Size – Body Only (W x H x D) (cm) :5.2 x 90.0 x 8.6,Subwoofer Size (W x H x D) (cm):34.2 x 17.0 x 36.2