"I should have listened to the personal reviews (Argghh)"2.0 starson by DirectOh
Pros: Lots Of Inputs, Good Bass, Nice looking Cabinet, Easy hookup and contrary to other reports, it can be very loud.
Cons: No High End Sound, Just lots of Bass and muddled Low Midrange. Forget surround sound. The Menu system is counter intuitive
Summary: I bought this based on CNets review and this is the second time they have been dead wrong and coincidently it's on a Sony product again!So after 3 weeks of playing with this system I have some better news. What I have found is that if you can change the device you are using to PCM audio output you will get much better sound from the speakers, but if your device will only output 5.1 or AC3 sound you will be stuck with the flat sound and no highs.
My Panasonic 46" Plasma's internal speakers have much better sound than these speakers, the sound from the CT100 is muddled and low toned, you won't be hearing glass breaking or any high pitched sounds, just a low rumbling kind of audio. In order to get even half way decent sound I have to keep my TV speakers "ON" so I have some highs and then use the CT100 as basically a Subwoofer only.
Trust me on this one, anyone who says this thing sounds even reasonably good has never owned a real 5.1 speaker system or has never heard a good stereo system.
It's not that I am picking the CT100 apart based on comparisons with $1000+ systems, I am comparing it to straight sound coming out of my Plasma TV and I can also tell you that even in the Bass Category it does not compare to the Sound my old Sony 36" XBR Tube TV had. The XBR's internal subwoofer was on par with the CT100 and the treble was 10x better.
The Menu system on the CT100 is a real mess, but in the end that does not really matter much because you will rarely use it.
Using A Bluray Disk of Transformers I tested the different Audio setting on the CT100, I tried "Concert", "Movie", "Standard" etc. all these settings dont make any difference to the overall sound, it still sounded exactly the same no matter which setting I used.
There is no Bass or treble controls so your pretty much stuch with whatever sound the unit produces.
The Sub woofer is very nicely built, I have cranked it up ver high and it still has not buckled or distorted, so I can overall say that the Sub is very good, the LCD display etc is very nice and informative although most people won't ever be able to see it since there sub will most likely be hidden away. The inputs are numerous and very good, this may be the single most attractive part of the CT100.
If your Tone Deaf to the high end spectrum the CT100 will be great for you, everything above about 4 Khz is attenuated to almost zip. (The human voice goes up t0 about 3 KHz) so you get an idea that even a womens voice starts to sound a bit bassy on the CT100. If your willing to open the Speaker Bar and maybe replace some of the speakers with better quality speakers you may get much better sound, this is the option that I think I am going to go with because quit frankly I cant afford a Yamaha system so if I spend another $50 on the CT100 I may be able to get it to reproduce sound up to 10-12 KHZ which would make it ideal. Your best bet if you have not already bought these speakers is to just look else where! While the Price, the cabinet and everything else looks great, the sound will disappoint.
Updated on Dec 18, 2008
For some really stupid reason the amplifier inside the subwoofer seems to decode 5.1 or Dolby sound and de-emphasize all the high notes while pumping up the Low Bass notes. When you input a PCM signal the signal processor in the Amp seems to be in a custom mode so you can change the sound using the Soundfield options and at least get a jist of treble from the speakers. Overall I would still say that these speakers are never going to be impressive just OK at best.