CNET First Look
Superlong sound bar packs fittingly wide soundThe Sharp HT-SB60 is one of the best-performing sound bars we've tested, although its extra-long size and lack of Bluetooth will give some buyers pause.
-Hey. I'm Matthew Moscoviak from CNET. And today we're gonna take a look at the Sharp HT-SB60. This is a super long sound bar system designed for TVs 60 inches and up and is currently selling for around $320. This is the longest sound bar I've seen coming in at 54.5 inches. That makes it a good fit for jumbo TVs, but it also means it's not gonna fit well in most living rooms, unless you have a lot of space. Now while the sound bar is very long, it's actually pretty thin and short coming nowhere near blocking our TV's remote sensor like some sound bars do. The design itself has a plastic key kind of cheap feel and the alarm clock style display only adds to that. The included wireless subwoofer gives off the same vibe, although you can probably stash it at the site as long as it's close to a power outlet. The included remote is a good size but the button layout is a little confusing. The big volume rocker actually controls volume for your TV with the directional pad handling sound bar volume adjustments. On the upside, you can adjust the subwoofer level right from the remote which is a nice plus for program by program tweaks. Around back are the inputs including 2 HDMI inputs, 1 optical and an analog mini jack. That's more ports than most sound bars have, although if you plan on connecting all your devices to your TV first, then you connecting your TV its optical output to the sound bar, you won't necessarily need all those HDMI inputs. Still there are nice plus especially if your TV doesn't have many HDMI ports in the first place. The big missing feature is built-in Bluetooth. Most sound bars this year are including Bluetooth which is the easiest way to wirelessly stream audio from most smartphones and tablets. The Sharp doesn't have it so you'll need to get a separate device if you're looking for wireless audio streaming. In terms of sound quality, the Sharp is one of the most impressive sound bars I've heard. The extra long design means you get some real stereo separation between the speakers and it just sounds bigger than other sound bars in this price range. Even more impressive is that it actually sounds pretty good which is stereo music, which nearly every other sound bar struggles with. In head to head comparisons, the HT-SB60 overall sounded better than the competing Sony HT-CT260. And I also compared it to Vizio's 5.1 sound bar, and while the Vizio's rear channel speakers did create a more immersive experience for movies, the Sharp was better for music. So overall, the Sharp HT-SB60 is one of the best performing sound bars at this price. It's extra long size means that it won't fit well into every living room, and the lack of Bluetooth is a real minus. But if you're okay with those shortcomings, it's a great sounding value for just $320. I'm Matthew Moscoviak and this is the Sharp HT-SB60.