Sharp debuts 2.1-channel home theater sound bars

Sharp is releasing two new sound bars, the HT-SB200 and HT-SD300, that are designed to to be paired with the company's Aquos LCD TVs and other flat-panel TVs.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Headphones, Bluetooth speakers, mobile accessories, Apple, Sony, Bose, e-readers, Amazon, glasses, ski gear, iPhone cases, gaming accessories, sports tech, portable audio, interviews, audiophile gear, PC speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
2 min read

Sharp's $250 HT-SB200 comes out later this month. Sharp

Sound bars, which are designed to sit below a flat-panel TV and simulate surround sound from their compact chassis, are all the rage these days. With that in mind, Sharp has introduced two new 2.1-channel sound bars, the HT-SB300 and HT-SB200. The HT-SB200 will be available later this month for $249.99 (MSRP) while the slightly more feature-rich HT-SB300 will arrive in April with an MSRP of $299.99.

Both models are wall-mountable or they can be placed on a TV stand. According to Sharp, they should be paired with TVs 32-inches or larger (preferably with one of its Aquos LCD models).

In terms of specifications, you're looking at 34-watts of power, HDSS (high-definition sound standard) sound technology, and SRS WOW HD Sound, as well as adjustable bass, treble and sub-level options "for a unique surround sound effect without rear channel speakers," according to Sharp.

The step-up HT-SB300 adds digital audio decoding with DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro logic II decoder, as well as Dolby Virtual Speaker to simulate 5.1-channel surround sound

Both sound bars offer dual audio inputs, right and left RCA jacks, and a 3.5mm sub mini jack, which allows for a second audio source such as an MP3 player. The HT-SB300 adds a subwoofer output jack. According to Sharp, the included remote can "simultaneously control a Sharp Aquos LCD TV, as well as a programmed equalizer and an auto On/Off function."

We expect to see several sound bars come out these prices this year, and we'll be curious to see if any of them stand out from each other in terms of performance.