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Sharp HT-SB602 review: Slick sound bar goes wide

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The Good The ultra-wide Sharp HT-SB602 squeezes a ton of features into an incredibly svelte package, with Bluetooth, Dolby, DTS, HDMI inputs and a wireless subwoofer. It's capable of creating a wide soundstage and movie dialog is very crisp.

The Bad The Sharp's sound quality is surpassed by competitors at the same price. There's an audible bass gap between the speaker and sub, and the sound can be annoyingly bright when listening to music. The unit's subwoofer looks cheap compared with the main unit.

The Bottom Line The Sharp HT-SB602 offers plenty of features, a wide soundstage and high-energy movie playback, but its overall sound quality can't stand up to similarly priced rivals.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Sound 7
  • Value 6

In the past 12 months we've seen some terrific values in sound bars, with the Yamaha YAS-203 and the Pioneer SP-SB23W in particular offering amazing performance for the money.

The Sharp HT-SB602 is part of a very competitive field, and it offers a couple of interesting features for the money, including HDMI switching with DTS decoding and Bluetooth streaming. Cosmetically the main unit looks decently stylish with its two-tone metallic finish, but the subwoofer is a little unfinished-looking. And it's really, really wide.

The Sharp's "movie-only" sound balance means it isn't quite as good for music as the 'bars mentioned above, so overall it's not our favorite sound bar for the money. That said, its sheer physical breadth makes it well-suited to owners of 60-inch-or-so TVs who don't mind its sonic limitations.

Design

Sarah Tew/CNET

The HT-SB602's cosmetics mimic the steel-gray appearance of the company's TVs. That makes sense because you will probably be buying this sound bar as part of a Sharp bundle deal, or to go with a Sharp TV, rather than seeking it out separately.

At 54.5 inches across, the HT-SB602 is quite wide for a sound bar, though it's not as tall as some, at 2.9 inches high.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The unit features two sets of twin metallic drivers across the front and a small LED display in the middle.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The separate sub is side-firing and features a frankly gaudy plastic port and large "NFC" badge. While competitors offer finished backs on their subs, the bare-MDF finish on the Sharp looks cheap. Good thing it will likely be facing a wall.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The remote control stands out from the pack of credit-card-style clickers by being surprisingly well-featured and reasonably easy to use.

Features

The HT-SB602 is a stereo sound bar that features a wireless subwoofer and it is capable of a claimed 80W per channel and 150W output, respectively.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The sound bar offers dual HDMI inputs (including HDMI ARC), Bluetooth with NFC pairing, an IR blaster in case your TV's IR sensor is blocked by the bar itself and an optical input. There is also an analog input.

Unlike many sound bars, the Sharp is capable of both Dolby and DTS decoding for potentially better sonic performance from Blu-ray discs.

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