Sharp may not be the leading technology brand that the majority of consumers stick to but the Japanese company is far from given up its bid in invading the living room. Sharp still makes a number of consumer LED TVs using some of the company’s own technologies. The company offers a number of larger TVs as well exceeding 60 inches and going as high as 90 inches. If you are going to buy an LED TV that is less than 60 inches, you should have no trouble in finding a matching sound bar. Most companies don’t really produce matching sound bars for 60-inch displays since people that can afford a large 60-inch display should be able to afford a decent sound system. But if you prefer to save money and provide proper sound reinforcement to your large TV in a minimalistic way, Sharp has a unique solution taking the form of the Sharp HT-SB60.
The HT-SB60 measures 54.5 inches wide making this particular sound bar significantly larger than most sound bars being sold right now. Taking the $250 to $500 price range into consideration, the Sharp HT-SB60 may even be the only affordable sound bar that is so wide. The large size is more than just about blending with the massive display; it actually has an effect on audio quality as well. It is important for external speakers to produce a wide enough stereo sound field that matches the way the display produces the imagery. Things would sound a bit imbalanced if you have a massive display and a small sound bar that cannot project so much sound. Even if the HT-SB60 isn’t the best sounding sound bar for the money, the wide profile can keep right up with 60-inch and larger displays.
The Sharp HT-SB60 is nicely designed and it matches the look of Sharp AQUOS displays sporting a glossy black finish for the upper portion of the sound bar and a brushed black plastic for the lower portion. The small info display on the center of the sound bar in the glossy area can show the active source. This display is flanked by various buttons including the volume controls, sound mode, power, source and pairing buttons. It also looks thin measuring just 2.8-inches high and has about the same thickness as the height.
The back of the HT-SB60 gives you access to a couple of HDMI inputs and a single HDMI output. Other available ports include an optical audio input and 3.5mm audio input.
A separate subwoofer is included in the package as well and it is taller and thinner than the usual generic subwoofers that commonly come with sound bars. A pair of subwoofer stand pieces are included so you can properly stand the tall subwoofer upright and keep it balanced. The subwoofer can wirelessly pair with the main speaker and it shouldn’t require any setup since the two components were already paired in the factory.
Like other competing sound bars, you can also mount the Sharp HT-SB60 to the wall. A pattern paper is included so you can properly position the sound bar on the wall and the 2 wall mount angle parts help keep the sound bar mounted in place. However, the wall mount plugs are not supplied.
The HT-SB60 doesn’t have any fancy features so you are pretty much stuck with the basics such as the ability to change the sound mode. There are 7 different settings available including the usual Cinema, Music, Game and Sport sound modes. A couple of unique ones are thrown in too such as the News, Night and Bypass sound modes. The Bypass mode can be used if you prefer flat sound effects. This mode also allows you to adjust the bass and treble levels. The subwoofer level can be adjusted as well. If the sound bar is connected to the TV through HDMI cable, you can easily choose between the sound bar speaker and built-in TV speaker by simply holding the Mute button on the remote.
The Sharp HT-SB60 performs quite well for a 2.1-channel sound bar that doesn’t focus on features. The subwoofer may look small but the entire unit is able to produce excellent bass and very good mid-range. The treble sounds a bit overly bright but it shouldn’t affect the overall sound quality especially if you are into music. Bass-heavy tracks sound great while acoustic tracks sound very clear. It is even better if you prefer watching movies since the wide sound field really helps you become part of the large screen experience.
The main problem of the HT-SB60 is the $500 price tag. Fortunately, there are some online retailers that sell the sound bar at prices under $300 making this sound bar more of a recommendation if you really need the full sound field. There are some better options though if you are looking for a sound bar to match your 40-inch display. It would have also been good if the Sharp HT-SB60 featured built-in Bluetooth.
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