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Sony's sweet $300 sound bar sports 3 HDMI ins

CNET reviews the Sony HT-CT150, finding that it sounds great and is way ahead of the competition with its three HDMI inputs, but its IR receiver limits the subwoofer's placement options.

Sony HT-CT150
Sony HT-CT150 Sarah Tew/CNET

The number of sound bar home theater systems in the $300 price range has exploded this year, but nearly all of them lack HDMI switching despite it being the near-universal home theater connection. (Now you can even connect the Nintendo Wii via HDMI.) Sony's been way ahead of the game with its HDMI port count, which is why its HT-CT100 sound bar home theater system has been one of the most popular products we reviewed. It has three HDMI inputs, excellent sound quality, and an affordable price tag.

For 2010, Sony released an updated version, the HT-CT150, and little has changed on the features front. Sure, its HDMI inputs are now 3D compatible, but otherwise the feature selection is nearly identical, which is fine since the competition still lags. Other sound bars have caught up in terms of sound quality; we found that the HT-CT150 still sounds very good, but it's not a standout performer like the HT-CT100 was. The system's biggest letdown is that Sony made a couple of design tweaks that make it less flexible in terms of subwoofer placement. However, as long as the HT-CT150 fits your home theater environment, it's still the best value in terms of sound quality and features.

Read the full review of the Sony HT-CT150.