Most people care more about audio quality more than design unless their room space is very limited. There are certainly some very attractive speaker designs that match elegant TVs well and sound pretty decent but their prices may not convince many buyers. Sharp is one of the companies that offer products like the Sharp HT-SL72 that walk the fine line between price and performance. The lack of features may make this 2.1-channel sound bar system far too pricey for $399 but it does have a few tricks that could make this system a good package for some households.
Thinness is definitely the main focus of the Sharp HT-SL72 and its other HT-SL siblings. It has the bragging rights for being one of the thinnest speakers available measuring just an inch thick. The overall sound bar unit is also very wide measuring close to 55 inches although the thinness puts the weight below just 3 pounds. To make the thin sound bar stand out a bit more, the package includes a pair of feet which raise the sound bar a little bit.
What makes the Sharp HT-SL72 a lot more interesting is the 2 vertical base stands that are also supplied in the package. You can separate the left and right channels of the sound bar to form 2 individual speakers. Place each speaker vertically on the stand and you pretty much have a traditional 2-speaker setup. Because these speakers are so slim, they are still ideal for tight spaces and corners.
Of course, these stands won’t be needed if you plan on mounting the sound bar to the wall. The HT-SL72 package comes complete with wall mounting brackets and a template so the speaker is pretty much all set for mounting.
These 3 setup options yield plenty of possibilities and you won’t have to worry about using the front panel controls because the Sharp HT-SL72 TX box is separate from the actual sound bar component. The back of the TX box is disappointingly simplistic though with just 4 speaker terminals for the speakers and an audio in for the TV. The Sharp HT-SL75 is superior in that respect as it at least has an HDMI pass-through output.
A subwoofer is included with the HT-SL72 as well and the TX box doesn’t provide a port for the subwoofer. This is because the subwoofer connects to the TX box wirelessly so the Sharp HT-SL72 does have an advantage for being extremely easy to set up. The subwoofer stands upright just like the TX box so those 2 components can look good placed next to each other.
The HT-SL72 doesn’t tout any fancy technologies or other features aside from the unique design and setup possibilities. While this may sound like bad news for these types of products, there is still a significant amount of people that don’t really care about extra features and other marketing jargon. It appears Sharp is confident that their products like the Sharp HT-SL72 are in a league of their own and that could very well be the case when you really look at the sound bar. The sound bar is not just thin but it is very wide making this a suitable companion for any 50-inch TV or bigger. There are some great sound bars that are in the $200 to $400 price range but their short width limits you to what TVs you can pair them with. Pairing a 30-inch sound bar with a 60-inch TV is indeed possible but you may not get the best experience due to the limited range and inability to separate the speakers. The desired viewing area is normally a bit further for larger TVs and the HT-SL72 can handle that extra distance. On top of that, you can use your own TV remote to adjust the sound bar’s volume.
The Sharp HT-SL72 isn’t just a wide and thin sound bar; it is also fairly powerful with a total of 100 watts for the left and right channels combined as well as another 100 watts for the subwoofer. The external subwoofer helps the HT-SL72 speaker system handle bass tracks a lot better than other sound bars with built-in subwoofers. The sound won’t exactly blow you away compared to those other sound bars that manage to cram in proprietary technologies but they provide a lot more punch than the built-in speakers of very large screen TVs.
But even with the multiple setup possibilities and wide support for large screen TVs, Sharp’s suggested price of $399 is still pretty steep. Fortunately, there are plenty of stores that sell the speaker for well under $250 making the deal far more reasonable. The sound bar looks great and it is nice that you can separate them with very little effort. The lack of wireless connectivity can be a dealbreaker for some though. Other than that, the Sharp HT-SL72 is worth considering if you want to bring a better sound experience to a large TV without adding clutter.
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