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Last year my much loved CRT TV gave up the ghost and we invested in a Sony HD flat screen TV.
Great TV in a lot of ways but one major flaw was the sound in my opinion was atrocious and sounded really tinny.
I complained to Sony and got nowhere , So I read around various reviews and came to the conclusion that I could either return the TV or buy some speakers.
I opted for the speaker option and having browsed around came across the Sharp sound bar.
I am not an expert on sound systems but my one criteria was that I did not want several speakers and have to deal with trailing wires so this sound bar fit the bill.
This is described as slim and compact. I agree with the slim but it isn't compact as it is very wide
It measures (W x H x D) mm: 800x96x70.
I have this on a black TV stand underneath the TV but it can be wall mounted and is suitable for 32" to 40' LED TV's. It is quite unobtrusive as it is black and blends into the stand,
It has a remote control which you can use to reconnect the sound, change the volume and change the sound and speaker settings.
I don't use this remote very often as once you switch the TV on the sound bar powers up automatically and a blue light displays with the option you have chosen. Plus you can change the volume using your TV remote. A minor irritation is I can't get the volume to work on the Sky control, but I am sure if I do some research there will be a code somewhere that will make that work.
I was a bit worried that this would not work with my TV and having read reviews I vaguely remembered some of the reviews mentioning that they had had to purchase leads. I was a bit puzzled but soon realised that I could not get the sound bar to work using the leads they supplied which I believe are phono leads and had to buy a lead that connects via the headphone socket. These are quite cheap and I think they are called male to male leads, so buy some just in case.
I am not sure why the leads do not work, but as I managed to get the bar to work via the headphone socket I am not too concerned.
The next thing you do is to connect to the back of the speaker then select which audio line connection.
All that is required now is a bit of a play around with the different sound options until you find a sound you like.
There are several different sound modes you can select :
-NEWS TruSurround HD on for news
-CINEMA/GAME TruSurround HD on for cinema/gamesound effect
-SPORT TruSurround HD on for sport broadcasting
-STANDARD TruSurround HD on for standard soundeffect
As well as setting the general sound level you can also set the basss and treble levels , plus adjust the subwoofers and centre speaker to get the sound you want either using the controls on the sound bar or the remote control.
I found this really easy to set up and adjust the sound settings to my personal taste.
The instructions are very user friendly clear and concise a combination of pictures and written explanations.
There are instsructions and a template for wall mounting, plus comprehensive instructions on how to attach the feet.
I haven't touched the sound settings since I first set it up, other than adjust the volume, so of me the sound selection was a one time only operation.
They recommend you place this as close to the TV as possible. I have mine on a shiny glass black TV stand and it is really stable and does not slide around when dusting.
I am not precious and don't have exacting standards for sound quality nor am I an expert so I can't give a really technical opinon on this sound bar.
What I can say is this has transformed the sound that comes out of the Tv from tinny and awful, to something that is easy on the ear. I like a bassy sound but like to hear treble as well and I was able to adjust to my liking without too much effort.
We once had a cinema surround system and I thought it was too much in our small living room, so for me the surround sound effect on this bar fits the room size perfectly.
I don't think we use this to its full potential, I don't do loud TV, but my husband watches films and programmes like Spartacus and turns it up loud and you really get the full effect of the surround system as do our neighbours!
One issue we had was that I set the sound level on the speaker quite low . You can control the sound level on the Tv using your normal TV control and initially the sound kept cutting out which was really annoying. I dug out the instructions and quickly realised that I was turning the volume down lower than the sound bar, so something to be aware of.
These are the technical specifications which mean absolutely nothing to me but I am including for completeness:
-2.1 Channel system with 2 front and 4 Neodym subwoofer speakers
-32 W RMS total power
-Subwoofer Pre-Output terminal (RCA)
-SRS WOW HD dynamic sound performance function
-HDSS (High Definition Sound Standard)
Would I recommend ?
Yes this is a good looking sound bar that is easy to set up and create sound to your own personal preference. For me this does not blow me away, it actually sounds very similar to the sound from the CRT we replaced. That might put you off but although it was an old TV it was very high quality that was years ahead of its time and everyone always commented on the picture and sound quality. So it was quite a hard act to follow, something I didn't realize until we replaced it with the latest Sony HD model.
I think this sound bar represents value for money as this comes in currently at £84.99 - I paid £99.99 last year from Amazon. I didn't want to spend a lot on a sound system as we had just purchased a new TV.
Sadly I think this is an essential piece of kit as the manufacturers of TV's do not appear to be prioritizing sound quality on LED TV's.
So if you are not happy with the sound on your new LED TV , get a Sharp sound bar, you won't regret it.
51 people have reviewed this on Amazon and the average is 4 stars which I agree with