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CNET First Look
Sony sound bar with lots of connectivityConsider the Sony HT-CT550W if you need a sound bar with a lot of connectivity, but it's otherwise not worth its premium price.
Hey I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET and we're gonna take a look at the Sony HT CT 550 W. This is a sound bar home theater system from Sony and it's currently selling for around 400 dollars. And the first thing you'll notice what the Sony is that while most systems consist of just a wireless subwoofer sound bar. The Sony also has a separate head unit that powers the system. And also handles -- switching duties. It's actually a fairly large box and around back you'll see it's packed with connectivity especially for a sound bar -- three HDMI inputs. Three digital audio inputs and an analog audio and now that's -- more connectivity than you'll find on a typical budget sound bar. Although you really don't need all those ports if you end up using your TV as a switcher. And the downside of the head unit is that it adds bulk of the whole system which -- of -- against the idea of the sound bar in the first place. Not a sound bar itself is surprisingly heavy but it gives -- to have that makes it feel solidly built. There's really nothing else to the sound bar which is really quite thin and there's a proprietary speaker cable on the back that needs to connect to the head -- Included subwoofer has an interesting look with the gap in the middle to keep looking from just a big black box. The -- is wireless but surprisingly the wireless functionality isn't exactly built in. Sony includes two wireless cards and need to install one in the sub and one in the head unit it's easy enough to install the wireless cards but it's a little -- and it's not built. The remote is actually pretty cluttered for -- sound bar there are tons of buttons for all kinds of functions that have nothing to do with the sound bar itself. Which can make a pretty intimidating if you're not a -- The idea is that you can use the remote to control other devices in your home theater but you're better off buying a Logitech Harmony universal remote if you want to do that. On the Sony is a premium price sound bar so we are expecting premium sound quality and we didn't quite get that system. The main problem was at the blend between the subwoofer and the sound bar wasn't quite smooth so we can always -- -- gap between the two components. Movies -- didn't quite have the impact we were looking for -- music wasn't much better. It's not a bad sounding system overall but the cheaper higher SP -- forty -- sounded better with pretty much everything we threw at it. So altogether Sony HT CT 550 W. Doesn't quite live up to its premium price -- although it's worth considering if -- sound bar with a lot of content. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Sony HT CT 550 W.