Pros 1). Sounds surprisingly good, clear and crisp
2). Many audio connection options
3). Lightweight, thin and short
4). Remote works just fine
5). Multiple EQ settings
6). Very easy to set up
Cons 1) Remote can only control SONY products
2) No on screen display
3) No mounting kit
Summary I went from a 7.1 channel 1000W Onkyo system with a 10" Sub, to this Sony HT-CT150. So, I lowered my expectations as it is not fair to compare a $550 1000W 7 speaker and a hefty receiver system with this unit meant for small spaces. So, I found it good enough. I had bought the Onkyo a few years back when I rented a house, and it was awesome, but in my apartment, I didn't have the space for more than 3 speakers and the sub. 4 of the surrounds were shelved for the last 4 years.
The bar is lightweight, thin and short, making for an inconspicuous array of speakers which you can either mount on a wall above your TV or place it on the stand below the TV. I have it set below the TV. This causes 1 minor problem - the TV's IR port is blocked by the sound bar and I now have to raise my hand for the TV remote to work. The sub is sleek as well, and has a little display on the front, which is good enough to access the minimally available settings. The sub has Power Volume Up Volume Down buttons. The remote works just fine too.
My Onkyo had so many settings and options that I was constantly tweaking it and wasting time. :) With this, not much choice, which actually lets me watch movies and TV in peace. Pro or Con? For those who like to tweak their system endlessly, this is not good. For those who like plug-and-play with only some available tweaks, this is fine. You get to set the level of the bar from -6 to +6 and the sub too from -6 to +6. I have the bar set to +5 and the sub to +6. I have the system volume set to 21.
I connected my TV to the sub using an Optical cable. I have a PS3, which is connected to the TV via HDMI. My TV has wifi and I watch NetFlix, Vudu and Hulu directly from the TV, and also listen to Pandora from the TV which is connected to my wireless router. You can also run HDMI to the sub (say, to connect your PS3) and then connect the sub to the TV using HDMI apparently. But, this will not work for me as my TV does all the streaming. Either way, you get some decent options. 1 cable (included) runs from the sub to the bar, 1 optical cable from the TV to the sub and the sub is powered by its own cable. A very simple setup that only takes 5 minutes to finish.
It sounds surprisingly good for such a small footprint. The soundbar produces crisp, clean sound (I played cable TV and Netflix), and dialog is very clear. The sub .. I am a bit disappointed with, because even though I try not to, I still compare it to the Onkyo sub. This sub is smaller and produces tighter bass, but I found it boomy and not room-filling like the big Onkyo. Again, this sub is about 2/3 the size of the Onkyo, so I shouldn't be comparing them. For my apartment, it fills the living room with crisp, tight bass, but I miss hearing that awesome rumbling effect from the bigger sub. Music sounded fairly decent, but again, this will not satisfy you if you're a big music buff. I listen to Pandora once in a while and do most of my music listening in my car instead. So, if you're a music buff, look elsewhere.
Who is this good for?
If you live in a small house/apartment and want to cut clutter, and wouldn't mind giving up the awesomeness of surround sound, then this is an excellent option. The main advantage of using this system is .. saving space and cutting clutter. If that's more important to you, then this system will not disappoint you.
*P.S. if you're will buy the Sony HT-CT150, I suggest you have to check for low price before you decide at: Getlowprices.info/sony-ht-ct150/
Hope my review is helpful.
Pros + Installed under ten minutes
+ Sound Quality Good
+ Works well at any level of volume
+ Good looking
+ Quality that is more affordable which is not usual for Sony
Cons - Sub is not wireless and has to remain 6' from the bar
- No onscreen settings
- Poorly written Manual
Summary As a college student wanting to enjoy surround sound for movies and games, good stereo sound for music, and great sound for my laptop, there aren't many sound systems out there that fit the bill, let alone fit it affordabley and spacewise (living in a dorm room). This sound system is one of those rare gems that I came across, and I couldn't be happier. The bar itself is very lightweight and can be placed in great places under or over top of a T.V., depending on your mounting options. Its actual sound is amazing, it handles mid-range sounds (talking, music, etc.) extremely well, while the high ranges are crisp and clear (clicks, sound effects, etc.). How it handles a simulated surround sound is amazing as well. As long as you are sitting within 8 feet of the bar (max viewing distance in a dorm mind you) sound extends to your immediate left and right, something I would never expect to be possible from a bar with all the sound emmanating from the same location (I used the movie Salt to test it, there are multiple instances where virtual surround is noticable). On the same note, I'm glad Sony handled the acoustics of the surround well, it doesn't sound cheap or tinny like other surround simulators you may have heard Vizio advertise (like their TruSurround).Edit Link
As for the subwoofer, it more than packs a punch, depending on the size of your room, it WILL shake the floor, which actually makes watching action content more enjoyable. Testing the range with a subwoofer test on youtube, it goes down to about 50 or so hertz, below that you can't hear anything. This is to be expected from a 250 dollar sound system, it can't be perfect after all. However, this range is irrelevant for almost all practical applications of this product, you simply won't need to go much lower for anything.
The other important feature this sound system has going for it is its bevy of input options. Something like 3 HDMI (which support Audio Return and 3D!), 2 optical inputs (ideal for 5.1 surround), 2 RCA inputs (great for a stereo sound hookup), a coaxial input, and even the DMPORT input (can hook up an iPod dock for great sound). Unless you are an audiomaniac, you will never run out of connectivity options that this soundbar system offers.
As for addressing a few gripes others have, if you purchase this system, it will not do well in a large home theater room, it is meant for small living rooms/bedrooms/or in my case a dorm room. Another thing, this is not a "true" surround system, some people are dumb, and compare it to an actual 5.1 speaker setup, it is currently impossible for any soundbar to replicate sound coming from behind you, so people really shouldn't be complaining! As for others complaining that the IR reciever is on the subwoofer, yes that COULD be an inconvenience, but if you use this system in the rooms that it is meant for (small, with little obstructions) then you should always be in view of the sub.
As for my own personal gripes, I wish there were an option to turn the different speakers in the soundbar up or down, as I notice in games a lot that the surround sounds sometimes overpower the center channel, where all the important sound effects need to be heard. Also, there should be a speaker test function that allows the user to check the status of all the speakers and the subwoofer to make sure everything is working okay, because lets be honest, if you use this system to play music on (which I will do a lot) you will forget to mute/turn off the system before plugging an iPod in, or hooking it up to a computer. The loud popping noise associated with it can damage ANY speaker, regardless of brand or quality, and I would like to be able to easily run that kind of diagnostic whenever that happens.
On a final note, this is the best system that you can currently own for the money, when you take into consideration the amount of sound it can put out for its size, and for the amount of inputs it can manage on its own. You will not be disappointed!
*** P.S. If you will buy this Sony HT-CT150 I suggest you have compare price before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/*************?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%****%2Foffer-listing%2FB003C1AO2I%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ref_%3Ddp_olp_new_map%26condition%3Dnew%23&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
Updated on Oct 19, 2011
I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: http://ht-ct150.hit.to
Pros Great all around sound. Very small bar for easy placement under a TV. Deep bass (especially with music). 3 HDMI ports.
Cons Large subwoofer that must be set up near the TV
Summary This is a GREAT product for getting great sound without the hassle of running a full surround sound system or if the room isn't large enough for a full system. I love the sound it produces. I have this set up in my living room and it works so well, my wife and I are considering getting another one for our bedroom. I would highly recommend this product.
Pros Three HDMI inputs and a host of other inputs. Subwoofer hits decently hard for its size, and doesn't overpower the soundbar. The soundbar itself sounds good for its size (32" across). A plethora of options to tweak everything!
Cons None. It's a $300 out-of-the-box home theater, so don't expect it to sound like a $1000, 7.1 HTIB system, because it just won't happen.
Summary I'm not an audiophile, but I did my research before getting this soundbar, and I was pleased after having bought it as it meets my needs and expectations. Those that complain about this product didn't research it enough before investing in it and, therefore, had unreal expectations, which in turn led to disappointment and disillusionment with the product. Some of the key facts to know about this soundbar are 1) the sensor is on the subwoofer, 2) the subwoofer has all of the jacks on it, and the soundbar has none (except for audio hook-ups to the SW), 3) the SW has 3 HDMI inputs (and the Samsung soundbars have none!) , 4) the audio menu isn't intuitive to the point where you can sit down and figure all of it out, however, there are many options that can be tweaked. It took me maybe 30 minutes at most of reading through the manual before I'd finished tweaking the various options (ie - the bass, treble, center channel level, SW level, etc.) as I wanted them. If you don't like to read a manual then you'll likely have little trouble setting it up, because it works great right out of the box, but you'll probably miss out on a multitude of options that could enhance your listening experience. Overall, I am supremely content with the sound, as it is a vast improvement over the cruddy speakers on my 42" LCD.
Pros Great sound, discrete profile, makes movies and sports events sound completely new.
Cons Something of a trial to set up, not at all intuitive (to me) - fortunately, Sony tech support was right there and fixed the problem quickly.
Summary As stated, I really like the sound and the low profile of the sound bar. Probably not as good as a decent surround system, but for the money, seems like a great value.