Over Christmas we were loaned a Panasonic Smart TV, which you can read my review of here. At the same time we were also provided with a Panasonic HTB20 Sound Bar home cinema system, which we didn’t actually get around to testing until much later, as we already have a very nice surround sound system in our TV set up and didn’t think we needed it. However a couple of weeks ago we got around to taking this sound system out of its box to try it out, and we were rather pleasantly surprised by it.
The Panasonic HTB20 sound bar home cinema system comprises a large subwoofer speaker which also houses all the power and connectors along with two speakers, which are cunningly designed to be used in different ways – they can be wall- mounted, placed on stands or joined together into a single bar designed to sit neatly along the top of your television. The whole system was remarkably easy to set up (I didn’t even need to enlist the geekdaddy’s help!), and I had it all up and running very quickly.
But the main question when looking at a speaker system is how did it sound? Well, I wouldn’t call myself an audio expert, but the system sounded really good to my untrained ear! Certainly on a par with our more expensive surround system (although the HTB20 doesn’t offer full surround, but it does do some rather clever sound processing to make the voices sound like they are coming out from the middle of the screen, giving everything a bit more “depth”), and certainly better than the raw sound that came out of the Panasonic Viera Smart TV. I think this system would be a very effective way to improve the sound output of any modern television.
As far as connectors are concerned, the HTB20 has an HDMI input and and HDMI output. To connect the system to your television all you need to do is run an HDMI cable from the “HDMI output” into your television. If you have additional AV devices (for example a blu-ray player) these can be added to the system using the extra HDMI input connection. There are also two digital audio inputs, one for the television if you have it, and one for an additional device.
The HTB20 also comes with a little remote control (which will also control your television and/or Blu-Ray player if you have compatible Panasonic devices). You’ll be pleased to know it’s a very straightforward remote with a sensible number of buttons (but it is small enough to easily lose behind the back of the sofa!):
The Panasonic HTB20 home theatre sound bar system retails at £164.99 and is available at all major electronics retailers, including Amazon (affiliate link). It provides a really easy way to improve the sound quality from your television. Yet again Panasonic have managed to surprise us with the quality of their home A/V products. You can learn more about all Panasonic’s home A/V products, including the HTB20, on the Panasonic Home Entertainment page.
Disclosure: We were loaned a Panasonic HTB20 Sound Bar home cinema system for review purposes. The Amazon link in this review contains my affiliate ID and if you make a purchase after clicking I will receive a small commission payment.