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4.1 out of 5 stars77
4.1 out of 5 stars
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The clue is in the title "pretty good" - visually, this soundbar is a good accompaniment for many Panasonic 42" TVs because it is the right width and its silver finish is consistent in appearance with current models. This is certainly the case with the Panasonic Viera TX-L42ET60B or TX-L42ET61B (exclusive to John Lewis) and it fits under the screen perfectly as well as being spot-on width wise. You can install this soundbar either in the flat position or vertically. In the flat position no additional fittings are really required but safety cords and wall brackets are supplied if you want them. A sensor in the soundbar optimises the sound output for whichever position you choose.

This is an entry level soundbar which claims a 90W output and includes a woofer with two smaller wide range speakers - the SC-HTB65EB-S doesn't claim to, and won't shake your walls, but what it will do is replace the rather thin sound of an average LED TV's internal sound system. Additionally, this soundbar has a dialogue feature which makes speech considerably clearer, this will be welcomed by people whose hearing may not be what it used to be. There are also a range of sound modes built in ranging from "Standard" through "Stadium" "Cinema" and "News" "etc. Given its profile of just over 2" high when deployed in the flat mode the SC-HTB65EB is slim, however, the sound is good representing a vast improvement on that from the TV and, in my opinion, the more you listen to this soundbar the more you appreciate its clarity and overall quality. It also sports Auto Gain Control to level out the difference in volume that is now common between programmes/films and adverts - this feature works well. I note some other reviewers have referred to lip-synching issues - I have have seen no evidence of that when using this soundbar.

However, where the SC-HTB65EB-S lets itself down a bit is that the soundbar does not have Viera-Link or HDMI connectivity - it only has a single optical audio connection and audio plugs. A consequence of this approach is that control of the soundbar is completely independent of the TV remote and you get no "on screen display" when you change the volume or effect etc. However, virtually every function has an LED indicator on the soundbar which flashes away to indicate any change in setting. Also, if you install the soundbar in the flat position once you sit down you may not easily see the LED indicators but this depends on height and isn't a showstopper. A bonus is that although smallish overall, the remote is simple with largish buttons (it uses a button cell for power rather than an AA or AAA cell).

This soundbar is also available in black as the SC-HTB65EB-BK and, remember, both versions only come with a mains lead - the optical and/or phono leads referred to are not supplied.

On balance, I think the SC-HTB65EB-S is a good buy for the user who simply wants to significantly improve the quality of sound from their flatscreen LED TV rather than enter the true home cinema arena. If you are in the former niche and you accept the lack of on-screen information from this soundbar it will probably suit you well because it offers clear, quality sound plus minimal physical or visual intrusion - there's no siting of sub-woofers etc to worry about. In fact, I think the soundbar's sleek looks actually enhance the appearance of the TV, plus, it obscures any wires that may be visible between the stand and TV.

In summary, a pretty good product from Panasonic that will satisfy the needs of its intended niche, although, integration of controls with the TV could have been a bit better. Recommended.
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on 24 July 2013
Bought this to go with my silver Panasonic TS-L42E6 TV, and I must say they look great together. Well, they should as I had assumed they were made to work together surely. Think again, as this particular sound bar has no Viera link or possibility to connect via an HDMI link to it's matching counterpart. You can only connect via digital optical lead or the usual audio red and white dual cables for a hi fi system (both not supplied by the way!). Of course it sounds far better than the actual tv, but unless you are prepared to forever search for the tiny supplied remote every time you need to watch tv, then this is not the sound bar for you. It's a shame as the two pieces of equipment look beautiful together, but I have enough problems with finding the full size remote, what with my 3 year old nipper forever hiding it from me, so I thought I'd let you lovely folk know about this set back. As ever with Amazon, they have made it's return very simple for me, so no complaints there. For an extra £30 the Panasonic SC-HTB20EB-K 240w Soundbar has a separate subwoofer, hdmi connectivity and Viera link capability, but seems to be only available in black. However there's the SC-HTB170EBS for sale, in silver with bluetooth and the Viera link for about 25 quid more, but sadly not via Amazon. The choice is yours, but at least you can avoid the pitfall I fell into after reading this review. Hope it helps...
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on 2 October 2013
I bought this Soundbar to accompany a Panasonic TX-L32E6B 32 inch TV.

It should be noted that the Soundbar is just over 37 inches in length.
It's height is such that it does not intrude into the Panasonic TV's screen when the TV is mounted on it's pedestal stand.

Connection between the TV, and the Soundbar, is by a Digital Audio Cable which is not supplied.

At one end of the Soundbar are push buttons controlling On/Off, Volume, and Input Selection.
Along the top of the Soundbar are various indicated options each with it's own LED confirmation.

The Soundbar's remote control is initially required to set up one's choice of Sound, and to adjust Dialogue, and Subwoofer output, but subsequently will only be required to operate the Soundbar if one wishes to make an alteration.

As for sound quality?
It should be borne in mind that the soundbar is small in length,contains small speaker units in both size, and number, in a simple array, and therefore it is unrealistic to expect a wide stereo spread let alone a fully immersive surround sound experience.
What one does get is an immersive, surprisingly rich, sound with more than a hint of bass response from the inbuilt subwoofer.

I have not experienced any lip sync problems with either TV broadcasts, or equipment connected to the TV's AV inputs.
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on 17 November 2013
Replaced my panasonic TV with the newer slim model and new that the sound wouldn't be as good so I purchased a basic soundbar.The soundbar is black and sits flat in front of the TV,it doesn't look out of place as it matches the TV and the TV remote works ok.There is no digital optical cable supplied so I purchased a cable and connected the soundbar and with the TV volume off
there is much more depth to the sound and you can have it at a lower volume than normal to hear it clearly.Some people had complained about sync problems with soundbars but there are no problems with this one.If you want to upgrade the sound on your TV for very little cost I would recommend this one.
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on 24 January 2014
good bit of kit for the price.its pretty long but does the job and improves the viewing experiance.if you want total surround then pay more and buy a surround system.for me it does fine
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on 28 February 2014
As a retired electronic engineer that has built many Hi Fi sound systems I was a bit skeptical about buying this item, but I knew that the rubbish speakers inside my TV were too small and facing the wrong way (backwards). I bought it because my wife often couldn't hear what actors were saying in many shows (like Waterloo Rd.). It was nothing to do with their accents, but purely muffled sound. The sound bar is tricky to get used to as it breaks the sound between high and low frequencies down into sections which they call modes like 'News'-'Film'- 'Music' etc., but I suppose it's one way of doing it. The handbook could be made much easier to understand as it's very 'bare' with its explanation is some areas. An optical cable is required to connect up the sound input, which the handbook just says "plug into the TV". In my case it didn't work so I rang Panasonic. The operator was the usual foreign accent that I had difficulty in understanding, but she knew her stuff. "If you have Virgin cable it needs to be plugged into the set top box and not the TV".. I did this and all was well. It's a bit wide at 27", but it sits on the cabinet and looks O.K. Overall it's a good buy that just takes some getting used to. The sound is best for my wife on the 'Standard' setting. My TV is a 32"..
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on 4 September 2013
I have had this soundbar for a few weeks and it's been brilliant to watch films and sports on my TV.
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on 21 October 2013
Delivered directly from Amazon in a couple of days and very well packed.
Excellent piece of kit. Fits perfectly in front of the Panasonic TV and you do not even notice after-a-while.
I specifically purchased the Soundbar because I was having difficulty with hearing the dialogue when watching films (a common problem with modern TV's because the speakers are on the rear). Also, it is brilliant for listening to music through a media player I have linked to the TV.The sound quality is also good when playing from SD cards & memory sticks through the TV. Please note: you will need an optical cable.
However, if you are a music connoisseur you may want to consider buying a Soundbar with a seperate sub-woofer? The downside is it does not link into the Viera and you cannot see the Spoundbar settings when sitting down. Not a major problem because you usually set them before sitting down to watch a film or listen to music!
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on 23 February 2014
I am truly amazed at the difference that this piece of kit has made to the viewing pleasure that this inexpensive but well made soundbar has made to our viewing. I am slightly hard of hearing and wear a pair of hearing aids. The clarity of this Panasonic soundbar with its various voice and music etc; settings is truly amazing for the PRICE. Yes! you can pick faults such as the display indicators are hard to see from ones chair and of course there is no on screen display but come on - you can't expect to buy a Ford and expect all the fittings of a Roller. If you want lots of fancy gizmo's you must expect to pay for them. This is a fantastic item for the price and to top that Amazon accepted my order on a Thursday evening and the soundbar was in my living room before Saturday lunch time,- so top marks all round. Well done Amazon. JP. Norwich...
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on 27 December 2013
Bought this to go with my 42 inch Panasonic TV and am delighted with it. After reading the previous reviews I was a little concerned that the bass would not cut it with this cheaper does. There are 4 bass levels to choose from, and if on maximum your one of those that are still not satisfied then I feel really sorry for your neighbours. The other negatives mentioned are not being able to link to your tv remote box and no visual indication on tv when adjusting sound level. Ok first one is not an issue for me just use the soundbar remote and secondly use your bloody ears when adjusting sound level. I attached using a digital optical cable (not supplied) and bang, what an improvement over standard speakers. Music is also awesome now and will now use the blueray player attached to play my cd's and Music on usb. Get it you will not be disappointed.
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