The Good The Sony HT-CT260 delivers excellent sound quality for a budget sound bar/subwoofer system. It has a distinctive, angular design, plus a built-in remote control signal repeater in case the sound bar blocks your TV's remote sensor. There's also integrated Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming from most smartphones and tablets.
The Bad Some similarly priced sound bars sound even better. And the hexagonal design may not be for everyone.
The Bottom Line The Sony HT-CT260 is our go-to budget sound bar pick, with excellent sound quality, built-in Bluetooth, an adaptable design, and no major missteps.
Excellent sound that fits nearly every living room
If sound bars are the everyman's home audio system, the Sony HT-CT260 feels like the everyman's sound bar.
It starts with excellent sound quality, topping last year's sonic champ, the, and holding its own with the best we've heard this year, too. There's built-in Bluetooth, making it easy to wirelessly stream audio from just about every tablet and smartphone, and it throws in decoding for Dolby Digital and DTS for good measure. It has a signature, geometric design that's compact enough to unobtrusively sit under most TVs, but it also has a built-in remote signal repeater in case it does block your TV's remote sensor. Altogether, it does everything you'd want a budget sound bar to do in a flexible design that works well in most home theater configurations.
There are better-sounding systems (Sharp HT-SB60), and ones with more neat features ( ) or a better-looking design ( ), but none of them will appeal to as many buyers as the HT-CT260, which has balanced all the necessary trade-offs quite well and lacks a deal-breaking flaw. We haven't reviewed enough 2013 sound bars to crown an Editors' Choice yet, but it will be tough to top Sony's HT-CT260.
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