Sound bars in general look pretty much the same. They all consist of one long rectangular component that may or may not contain the subwoofer and a remote control. The more expensive ones that don’t include a built-in subwoofer often come with a wireless subwoofer. Different brands try to differentiate their models by incorporating some unique features, special integration with the same brand’s TV and/or innovative sound enhancing technologies. But Sony wants to do a little bit more with their sound bar products like the Sony HT-CT660 by applying a unique design.
When you look at the HT-CT660, you might consider this speaker system more of a “sound cylinder” because of the speaker’s hexagonal design approach. It looks very stylish and quite futuristic, which could be the type of thing you are looking for if you want to give your Sony-branded TV and PlayStation 4 a matching companion. The metal exterior of the Sony HT-CT660 feels nice and the shiny and glossy plate on the center featuring the Sony logo and small info display is a nice touch. The top of the speaker features the usual sound bar controls including the input, volume, pairing and power buttons. The unconventional design really makes the HT-CT660 stand out from the typical sound bars but like any bold design, it can be an acquired taste that you’ll either love or hate.
The package comes with 2 sets of stands that open up 2 setup possibilities if you decide not to wall mount the speaker. One pair of side stands enable front-facing installation while the other stands tilt the sound bar upwards. Those not accustomed to mounting the Sony HT-CT660 to the wall may be discouraged to do so as the package does not include screws or even a wall mounting template. It is still possible to mount this speaker to the wall but you must read the manual carefully.
The back of the HT-CT660 shows that this sound bar is more than just about good looks. With 3 HDMI inputs and an HDMI TV out with ARC, you may not need an AV receiver for setting up the other components of your home theater system. Systems like a gaming console and Blu-ray player can join in on the sound-enhancing fun and leave your TV’s HDMI ports vacant. For other components, you can use the optical in and analog in jacks. You will have to supply your own cable for analog but a digital optical cable is already included.
The Sony HT-CT660 package comes with a subwoofer and it doesn’t have that fancy design the sound bar has. But the Sony logo and clean design still adds to the appeal and it only needs to be plugged into the wall socket. You can essentially place the sound bar in one corner of the living room and the subwoofer on the opposite side to get optimal sound coverage because the subwoofer wirelessly links to the sound bar.
Both the sound bar unit and subwoofer should recognize each other as soon as both components are powered on making setup pretty easy. You can also link the components manually if a problem arises by going to the amp menu and selecting the link option. The rest of the process pretty much involves connecting the components to the sound bar.
The HT-CT660 has Bluetooth support allowing any portable media device with Bluetooth functionality to pair with the sound bar like a typical Bluetooth speaker. So you don’t have to worry about the fact that the Sony HT-CT660 lacks a USB port because you can just use your phone or tablet’s memory to store any audio files the device can handle. Your mobile device doesn’t even need music files if it has access to the Internet because you can download a music streaming app like Spotify or Pandora and just play back the live stream to the speaker. Pairing the device or laptop with the HT-CT660 is an easy affair if you have done it before but if the device has NFC built-in, you can have the NFC-enabled device tap the sound bar and the pairing process is completed instantly as the Sony HT-CT660 has an NFC chip of its own.
Behind that fancy design is some powerhouse components with 4 drivers. When all combined, the dual channel sound bar has a total power output of 200 watts and the subwoofer adds 130 watts. What makes the HT-CT660 even more interesting is how the unique hexagonal design contributes to the overall sound experience. Sony designed this sound bar to widen the soundstage for fuller room coverage. It has its own virtual surround sound technology called S-Force PRO Front Surround 3D. It is also one of the few sound bars that have decoding support for dts-HD Master and Dolby TrueHD. This means that sound bar can take full advantage of uncompressed audio yielded out by today’s Blu-ray titles.
With an eye-catching design, Bluetooth support, great connectivity options and powerful hardware specs, the Sony HT-CT660 is more than worthy of the $399 price tag. This sound bar system sounds so good that can essentially “downgrade” your 5.1-channel system to the HT-CT660 and get a pretty good experience while getting rid of a lot of wire clutter, reducing power consumption and saving living room space. Only audiophiles may go for a more powerful sound system or sound bar and it will likely cost more than this particular Sony sound bar.
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