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Sony HT-CT150

*Est. $250
Reviewed
September 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Sony HT-CT150

Pros
  • Good value
  • Sounds good
  • Better surround sound than similar sound bars
  • Effective subwoofer
Cons
  • Limited placement flexibility
  • Subwoofer is wired with proprietary cable

The Sony CT-HT150 sounds good and does a better job producing a simulated surround-sound field than most of its budget competitors, but it isn't as good as some higher-priced sound bars. Its three HDMI ports are a strong feature not even found in the Best Reviewed Yamaha YAS-101 (Est. $250).

Performance

Good sound for the price. While the Sony HT-CT150 can't compete on an equal footing with high-end sound bars such as the Yamaha YSP-4100 (Est. $1,700), it still delivers good sound and a more convincing surround-sound field than anything else in its price class. Sound will still fall short of what you would get with a full surround-sound system or with a more expensive sound bar like the Zvox Z-Base 580 (Est. $500), but it outdistances the vast majority of similarly priced sound bars in terms of quality and sound effects. Part of that is thanks to a discrete subwoofer, which mates well sonically with the sound bar.

Design

The subwoofer is a blessing -- and a curse. As much audio punch as the subwoofer provides, it is also the source of the Sony HT-CT150's two major downsides. For one thing, it's hard wired using a proprietary cable; most sound bars in this price class use a wireless link. Another issue is that the infrared sensor for the remote is located on the subwoofer. Together, those add up to the biggest negative of all -- the subwoofer must be placed within 10 feet of the sound bar yet in sight of your viewing location, and that might not work in all home-theater setups. The sound bar offers more connectivity options than most, however, including the previously mentioned trio of HDMI inputs.

Features

There's HDMI, but that's about it. The addition of three HDMI 1.4a inputs -- complete with 3D pass-through and audio return channel capabilities -- is something you won't find in many sound bars, especially in this price range. Other than that, there are no features to speak of.

Value

An excellent value. You'll be hard pressed to find another sound bar that's this cheap, sounds this good and includes the Sony HT-CT150's connectivity options.

The bottom line

While critics prefer the Yamaha YAS-101 slightly more thanks to its single-bar design and automated calibration, the Sony HT-CT150 delivers a lot of high-quality sound for a very low price, and its discrete subwoofer and HDMI inputs could make it the preferred budget sound bar for some users -- just make sure that you can live with its placement limitations.

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Where To Buy
Sony HT-CT660 46-Inch Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer

 
Buy new: $399.99   11 Used from $260.68

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 

Our Sources

1. CNET

The Sony HT-CT150 earns a Very Good rating from the tough critics at CNET. The biggest ding is the limited placement options forced by its tethered subwoofer and location of the IR sensor. Sound quality is called great, and the three HDMI 1.4a inputs are applauded.

Review: Sony HT-CT150 Review, Matthew Moskovciak and Steve Guttenberg, Aug. 5, 2010

2. Amazon.com

The Sony HT-CT150 has attracted more than 380 owner reviews here. A few users report issues with getting the HDMI ports to play nice with certain equipment -- a common HDMI problem. Others are mostly to completely happy, and the sound bar earns an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5.

Review: Sony HT-CT150 3D Sound Bar System, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2012

3. BestBuy.com

There are fewer reviews here than at Amazon.com, but they give a slightly higher rating of 4.3 stars. A few of the almost 150 users who weigh in are disappointed with sound quality, but nearly 90 percent give the HT-CT150 a thumbs-up and say that they would recommend the sound bar to a friend.

Review: Sony - Bravia 3.1-Ch. Home Theater Soundbar Speaker System with Subwoofer, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of August 2012

4. AVSForum.com

Sony sound bars, including the HT-CT150, are the subject of a fairly long discussion thread here. Questions are asked, opinions are given and impressions of performance are offered along with some general discussion about sound bars.

Review: Sony HT-CT150 and CT350, Contributors to AVSForum.com, As of August 2012

5. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org evaluates several sound bars, including the Sony HT-CT150. Rankings and ratings are provided, but the discussion is incredibly brief.

Review: Home Theater Systems, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

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