Sharp HT-SB400 soundbar
This soundbar boosts Sharp LCD televisions' audio with clear treble and warm mid-range
- Clear and detailed sound quality, compact package, centre channel for dialogue
- Lacks lower bass response, no digital audio input
Sharp's HTSB400 soundbar provides a boost to the in-built speakers of Sharp's LCD televisions, with crisp and clear treble that makes dialogue easy to hear. It's not so great for music or movie effects, but short of buying a full-blown home theatre system, it's your best choice for getting better sound from your TV.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 8 stores)
Sharp's HT-SB400 is a soundbar that is designed to boost the sound quality of the company's latest LCD televisions such as the Sharp LC40LB700X. With eight internal speakers in a 3.1 channel setup — two front channels, a centre channel for dialogue and extra 'subwoofer' speakers to boost mid-range response — it provides crisp and clear audio that is well suited to television and movie dialogue. It is more competent than most television's internal speakers when it comes to music as well, although bass response is lacking. If you don't have the space for a larger home theatre system, this is an easy way to give your television an increase in volume and audio quality.
Like Sharp's 2009 LCD televisions, the HT-SB400 has a glossy black theme. It can be used with any LCD television, but we think it would look best paired with a Sharp LCD. It is slightly wider than a standard 40in LCD or plasma television. The touch-sensitive front panel (just touch it to turn the system on) has a near-mirror sheen to it, but status lights and buttons can still be easily seen. Along with a power input, the rear of the soundbar has two analog audio inputs — a stereo RCA connector and a 3.5mm stereo jack — and an analog RCA pre-out for connecting an external subwoofer. No digital inputs are available, so you can't use the Sharp HT-SB400 soundbar for surround audio from a high-definition television channel (although plain old stereo will still work).
The touch-sensitive buttons on the front of the Sharp HT-SB400 allow you to switch between equaliser settings — News, Sport, Cinema and Standard presets are available — as well as allowing volume adjustment and input switching. All of this can also be accomplished with the credit card–style remote, which also allows control of a Sharp television. Individual bass, treble, centre speaker and subwoofer adjustments (with a weighting of plus or minus 5) are also easy to find on the remote control.
The Sharp HT-SB400 can be used on a bench-top with the supplied spikes or foam cushion pads, and a wall mounting plate is also included. The soundbar is designed to sit below a television to augment its internal speakers.
Sound quality from the Sharp HT-SB400 is good given its small dimensions. Treble is consistently clear and detailed up into higher volume levels, providing a strong emphasis on television shows' dialogue. Mid-range sound is well bolstered by the internal 'subwoofer' speakers, but needed a bass boost to emit pleasant-sounding timbres. Lower bass is present, but subdued — the internal displacement of the speaker simply isn't expansive enough to recreate lower frequency tones faithfully. If you crave floor-shaking power you'll need to connect an external subwoofer — thankfully Sharp has addressed one of our criticisms of the Sharp HT-SB200 by including a subwoofer pre-out port.
For the audio quality boost over a television's standard speakers, the Sharp HT-SB400 isn't excessively expensive. It's significantly cheaper and smaller than a full home theatre system, so if you're short on space and money then it's a valid option.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 3 TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch
- 4 LG G3 review
- 5 Nokia Lumia 930 review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT
- InfiniDB going out of business, but its database will live on as open source
- FCC questions how to enforce net neutrality rules
- SAP CEO Bill McDermott on why Concur is worth $8.3 billion
- Alibaba shares open at a high $92.70
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.