When watching movies audio can be more important than what we see on the screen or television. The significance of sound is most easily appreciated in horror movies. Without the menacing music or unexpected whisper many horror films would not be nearly as scary. Good sound is essential to a complete movie watching experience. With that in mind I picked up the Sony HT-CT260H Soundbar and Wireless Subwoofer.
The Sony HT-CT260H Includes:
- Sound Bar Speaker
- Wireless Subwoofer
- Remote Control
- Optical Cable
Sony HT-CT260H Design
This year Sony began deviating from the typical rectangular design approach. It began with adding triangular shapes to its Blu-ray players. Continuing the trend of incorporating nonconventional shapes into their products, Sony is using a hexagonal profile for the HT-CT260H. The speaker grill cloth runs the length of the sound bar. On each end Sony has added a metal plate, a design choice that adds to the perceived quality of the product. In comparisons with other sound bars the HT-CT260H immediately stands out.
The controls on the HT-CT260H feature chrome buttons with a clear display. It took a few attempts to familiarize myself with the interface, but then it was easy to navigate. My couch is about 12 feet away and the display was easy to read. If you misplace the remote the controls can adjust all settings.
This sound bar also includes a IR repeater. This feature allows the signal from your television’s remote to reach the television, because most television IR receivers will be blocked by the sound bar.
Sony HT-CT26H Wireless Subwoofer
The wireless subwoofer that is included in this set is convenient and loud. Convenience is the number one reason for choosing a sound bar system. And the number of wires involved in the installation process is the determinant of convenience. One less wire to run and connect is a welcomed feature.
The wireless connection worked immediately without a need for configuration. The subwoofer can be placed anywhere in the room. This is a great feature that compliments the convenience of a sound bar. Once I started playing a movie, in this case Man of Steel, the first thing I noticed was the increased atmospheric sound. The wireless subwoofer does a good job of making you feel the movie.
Sony HT-CT260H Sound Quality
For all that can be said regarding the convenience of sound bars, that convenience comes with compromises. For its size the HT-CT260H puts out enough sound. It does not compare to my Klipsch speakers and subwoofer. I know that it is not a fair comparison, but it provides a reference to which you can compare.
The sound is superior to anything that you will get from your television. It does a good job at bringing typically subtle audio elements to noticeable levels, but can leave dialogue lacking distinction. While watching Man of Steel I found myself wishing that the dialogue was clearer and separated from the music and sound effects.
Sony HT-CT260H Wired Connections
With this model Sony has added two HDMI ports, one in and the other out. This allows for Audio Return Channel (ARC). ARC allows you to pass the video signal through the sound bar via HDMI.
The HT-CT260 has an optical audio connection and an analog in jack. This allows for new and old connections. The analog jack is a nice touch if you happen to have a music player that lacks Bluetooth.
Sony HT-CT260H Bluetooth
The Sony HT-CT260H includes Bluetooth 3.0 that allows other Bluetooth devices to transmit sound through the sound bar and subwoofer. This feature is great for connecting tablets, smart phones and other devices. Pairing my iPad Mini to it was easy. This feature is nice to have, because there are some times when you want to hear music or a podcast from your phone or tablet beyond what the built-in speaker can provide.
Sony HT-CT26H Remote RM-ANP109
Sony does not get any points for their remotes, but the RM-ANP109 allows you to make all necessary adjustments to the sound bar and subwoofer. The design is nearly identical to the remote included with Sony’s Blu-ray players. Unlike the Blu-ray player remote that feels like too many functions were crammed into its small shell, the design of the RM-ANP109 compliments the number of functions it needs to accomplish.
Sony HT-CT260H Value
The Sony HT-CT260H brings functionality, quality and convenience in a simple format. This is a good audio system for someone looking to affordably improve their television’s sound without the hassle of running and hiding wires all over the place. The HT-CT260H has 300 watts of power providing plenty of sound. For a little less than $300 you can significantly improve you home theatre audio.
Sony HT-CT260H Wrap Up
The Sony HT-CT260H is a beautifully designed sound bar with a good set of features. Your experience with audio and music in your home will noticeably improve for a modest price. Oddly, of all of the features, I found that I appreciated the convenience of Bluetooth the most.