- Great sound quality, easy setup, good looks
- Minimal video inputs, irritating menu system
An attractive package for converting just one or two devices to surround. It looks great and offers wonderful sound, but for combining the control of four or five devices, there are better alternatives.
Price$ 659.00 (AUD)
In the SC-HT15, Panasonic offers a simple receiver and speaker combination that allows you to upgrade your existing input devices (DVD, VCR, CD player and so on) to a surround sound setup, with minimal cost and without the hassle of having to replace anything.
The system comes with a standard 5.1 speaker setup: two front speakers, two rear speakers, a centre speaker and a subwoofer. The two front speakers look very stylish; they're large, contoured and sit on top of metal stands. They also have an option for wall mounting, which is useful in small spaces, but the package does not include all the necessary tools and components for this.
The rear and centre speakers are smaller, but not so small as to inhibit sound quality. All the speakers plug directly into the subwoofer, which then connects to the receiver, rather than each manually plugging into the main unit--which keeps the back clear for swapping and changing devices.
The unit itself is slim, sleek and reasonably stylish. Initially we were amazed at the size, as the SC-HT15 is less than 4cm thick, but upon closer inspection we realised how this was possible, and also discovered one of the big weaknesses of the system. The receiver is exclusively an audio receiver. This means it does not take video input of any kind. A basic setup with this system involves plugging your DVD player's video output into the television, and its audio output into the receiver. Using multiple devices (CD players, VCRs, game consoles and the like) requires elaborate combinations of video and audio inputs. Most other receivers concentrate control over all one's entertainment devices into a single box, so it seems remiss not to include this sort of functionality.
It's a pity, because the sound quality is excellent. We were particularly impressed with the centre speaker, which sounded fantastic. The subwoofer produced a great rumbling with little distortion, and the back speakers had just enough presence to create a proper surround environment without being overbearing. We picked up almost no distortion, regardless of the volume used or the pitch of the sound.
The menu system left something to be desired. Navigation was unnecessarily difficult on the console, and the remote was not self-explanatory. It took a good while poring over the manual before we had much idea of how to manipulate the sound field. That said, there were plenty of options to control the levels of the individual speakers as well as a bass boost function.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 3 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- How to customize the Apple TV (fourth-generation) home screen
- YouTube's Content ID program finally provides for ad revenue during disputes
- Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB
- Hands-on with Surface Hub: Microsoft's huge tablet has some productivity holes
- Indiepix Unlimited wants to be the Netflix of independent film
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCDigital Business Analyst (iOS & Android / Web Projects)NSW
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior Developer (Full stack)SA
- CCLMS Administrator and e- Learning Development Project OfficerSA
- CCICT Contracts and Procurement SpecialistACT
- CCAmazon Web Services (AWS) IT SupportWA
- FTQuality ManagerACT
- CCMicrosoft System Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE/Oracle) 160523/AP/254Asia
- CCIT Assistant (Office Automation/Windows) 160517/ITA/884Asia
- FTSolution Architect - Capacity ManagementVIC
- FTNetwork SpecialistVIC
- CCIT Assistant (Lotus Notes/LAN/Anti-Virus) 160524/ITA/074Asia
- FTAX Lead Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCProgram Communications SpecialistVIC
- CCDigital Project ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Technical LeadACT
- CCContract Computer Operator (UNIX/Windows-based) 1610524/CCO/vmtAsia
- CCJunior / Mid Level Java Developer - Developing Restful Microservice SolutionsVIC
- CCAgile Coach / Agile Training ManagerNSW
- FTWeb & Mobile Solutions DeveloperNSW
- FTLinux Infrastructure EngineerVIC
- FTImplementation / Deployment Specialist- Web Sphere, ESB, IIBNSW
- FTSenior Java Developer / Technical LeadACT
- CCSolution ArchitectACT