17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
It's very impressive, but no substitute for home cinema,
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This review is from: Philips HTL5120/12 Wireless Soundbar Speaker with 120W Integrated Subwoofer/Orientation Sensor (Electronics)
Firstly, I'm not naive enough to expect this to perform like a true home cinema, but I did read at least 3 reviews that were unanimous in their praise for this particular soundbar. The mrs wanted less clutter in the lounge, so the 5 year old, but superb 5.1 DTS-HD system was sold to the highest bidder, and this was ordered on a lightning deal for £189, the saving sold it to me really. I crossed my fingers hoping I'd done the right thing. My findings...
1. First impressions? The box was re-sealed, I guess so the UK 3 pin plug could be put in - fair enough!
2. The bar is big. It's wife, and it's chunky, and reviews suggest it's elegantly styled, but I disagree, it looks kind of ugly to me. Check, then re-check dimensions before ordering!!!
3. Connectivity is superb, HDMI, optical, B/T, aux and phono. ARC support too so HDMI works well with most modern TV's that support ARC.
4. The surround is terrible. It's simply pointless, it doesn't add any surround effect at all. It does boost the sound stage a bit though, worth experimenting, but DO NOT expect any virtual surround experience!
5. Cheap looking controller, just BASS/TREBLE adjustments with no sound modes. Fairly difficult to get a perfect sound setup.
6. It's not room filling loud, it is loud enough though, but again, do not expect miracles, it will not shake the room like a true setup.
7. Films over HDMI sound really good, though the lack of dedicated centre, as with any 2.1 I guess, limits the clarity of vocals.
8. Bass is more than adequate, suprisingly deep and tight. It does rattle a bit though, as it's sat on the TV stand and the plastics of the other devices on the stand can't help but rattle in sympathy. Probably better mounted on a wall with the TV and no pictures near to it.
I guess I'd recommend this to anyone considering a cheap soundbar solution. It's way better than the various soundbars I played with in Currys before purchase, but it's simply a let down if you're coming from a full 5.1 home cinema. It lacks to real depth and punch of dedicated speakers, but you'd expect this I guess.
If the size is perfect for you, and you want no clutter, you will be more than happy with this. The B/T option for playing music is a plus point, and it sounds good, but again, next to a proper home stereo, it's not the last word in clarity. My wife thinks it's brilliant though, so I guess that's all that matters ;-)