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194 of 195 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for those on a budget or in an apartment...
I bought this unit to pair with my Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV, and am generally pleased. I live in an apartment, so a unit with a booming external subwoofer or a complete home theater setup would not be very neighborly of me. The sound is a great improvement over the TV's stock speakers--there is more than enough bass for me, especially when playing...
Published on August 18, 2010 by atomx

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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre replacement for terrible sound
When I purchased my Panasonic VIERA HDTV I wasn't expecting great sound. I would have settled for mediocre sound. Instead, I got terrible sound. I had replaced an older Magnavox HDTV, which had come with a sound bar. For the Magnavox, the sound bar was for those who did not have full fledged audio systems. That TV had hookups for RCA audio output, optical output, and even...
Published on September 26, 2011 by Wayne


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194 of 195 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for those on a budget or in an apartment..., August 18, 2010
By 
atomx (Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I bought this unit to pair with my Panasonic TC-P42S2 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV, and am generally pleased. I live in an apartment, so a unit with a booming external subwoofer or a complete home theater setup would not be very neighborly of me. The sound is a great improvement over the TV's stock speakers--there is more than enough bass for me, especially when playing films like The Dark Knight on Blu-Ray--the sound was surprisingly good. The sound from the TV's stock speakers seemed to go down and a bit behind the TV; the sound bar sends sound forward (which allows me to lower the volume). The sound is not surround. I also found that playing with the settings helps a lot. For example, the Dolby virtual effect sounds great when watching Blu-Ray movies, but sometimes doesn't sound so good when watching sports--depending on the quality of the audio feed, announcers may sound a little tinny. You will therefore want to keep the sound bar remote handy, in order to make adjustments as needed.

As my TV has an ARC connection (the sound bar is connected to the TV via a single HDMI cable), I am able to adjust sound volume from my TV, DirecTV, and Panny Blu-Ray remotes--the sound bar also turns on and off when I activate or shut off the TV. So integration is pretty seamless, once you get all the settings correctly entered. Speaking of settings, the directions for changing the TV's settings are awful--they are general to all TVs and not specific for Panasonic products, so you will have to mess around with the menu settings by trial and error in both Audio and Viera Link to synch everything up. In spite of this, set up is actually pretty easy.

If you plan on placing the sound bar in front of your TV on a level surface, I recommend that you place the TV on a 2" or 3" platform, as the height of the sound bar blocks the TV's infrared sensor. I made a simple platform with a channel for the sound bar's cords, so it looks uncluttered.

Also, there are no separate bass and treble controls at all--one can only adjust the internal subwoofer. I have my subwoofer set one or two notches below maximum for films like The Dark Knight (which has extremely high audio quality and a ton of bass), and maximum for the sports I watch, which have lower quality sound.

Finally, it is worth noting that the sound bar matches Panasonic TV's aesthetic form, so they look really good together.

EDIT: The curves and glossy plastic match, but the accent styling does not match--the TV has a bluish line below the Panasonic label, and the sound bar has a silver line below the label. In this respect, they look a bit different. Perhaps other Panny TVs have the silver accent.

This sound bar is not a home theater system--it's not even close. However, if you are on a budget, do not need or want surround effects blasted at high volumes, or live in an apartment where you have to minimize sound levels, this is a great way to improve upon your TV's stock speakers.
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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One cable setup, works flawlessly, November 24, 2010
By 
Anthony Chiappette "chippe01" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I bought this to compensate for the less-than-stellar sounding speakers on my new Panasonic TC-P42GT25 42-Inch 1080p Full HD 3D/2D THX Certified Plasma Television, Black. The Panasonic Viera link technology really works well with the right components.

In addition to the power cable, I've only connected one HDMI cable via the TV's ARC HDMI port, and the unit's ARC HDMI port. That's it. Whatever sound came from the TV is now routed through the soundbar. My cable box, Blu-Ray player, and Wii system all play through the soundbar, with just the one HDMI connection.

Setup took all of 3 minutes, and the sound runs rings around the internal TV speakers. It's nowhere near a full HT surround setup, but at least now I do get to hear the low frequencies and can boost the volume without distortion. It provides a much more pleasant sound environment which is perfect for my somewhat smallish bedroom.

The TV remote can be used to control this soundbar, and my Panasonic Blu Ray player. No need to worry about turning the unit off, because turning the TV off will also turn off the soundbar. In fact, with the Viera link technology, if I want to watch a blu-ray or DVD disc, all I need to do is turn on the blu-ray player. When the disc is read, it will turn on the TV, switch to the proper input for the blu-ray player, and power up the soundbar. Turning off the TV will shut down both the soundbar and blu-ray player. It doesn't get more convenient than this. You can control the volume of the soundbar with the TV remote, which shows an on screen setting.

This unit is perfect for what I wanted it for - improved sound over the TV audio without being overpowering. A definate must-have if you own or are thinking of buying a newer ARC compatible Panasonic TV, and don't need wall shaking sound.

The only minor flaws are that the audio settings don't show on-screen (only volume), and you can only adjust the BASS setting. It would be perfect if there were a MID and TREBLE adjustment as well. You'll still need the soundbar remote to adjust the BASS response, and the three audio modes (Clear Voice, Sound Enhancement and Virtual Dolby).

One last thought - the soundbar cannot be placed in front of the TV (at least MY TV) because it will block the remote sensor and 3D glasses signal. Why weren't these put on TOP of the TV?

All in all, I think I've made the right choice.

UPDATED 11/29/2010: Let me clarify, by "1 cable setup" I mean to say it only takes 1 HDMI cable from the ARC port on the TV to the ARC port on the sound bar.
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Average sound, excellent integration with Panasonic TV, July 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I was happy with my new Plasma TV (Panasonic VIERA TC-P46G25 46-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV) but found the sound from the built-in speakers was not as good as I wanted. I didn't want to have to use the "big" home theater receiver just to watch TV, just something simple. I tried the VIZIO VSB200 Universal HD Sound Bar but it was not compatible with the TV.

This Panasonic sound bar has ok sound. Much better than the built-in, but it's no substitute for a full-powered home theater system. The best feature of this soundbar is it's ability to use the Panasonic Viera Link and HDMI/ARC features. When you use an HDMI cable to connect the two, the soundbar works perfectly with the TV...no need for another remote to control power or volume, and the TV shows the volume setting and changes on screen.

Recommended for newer Panasonic TV owners who are looking for a simple solution to improve built-in sound, just make sure you use HDMI to connect the two.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre replacement for terrible sound, September 26, 2011
By 
Wayne (Silicon Valley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
When I purchased my Panasonic VIERA HDTV I wasn't expecting great sound. I would have settled for mediocre sound. Instead, I got terrible sound. I had replaced an older Magnavox HDTV, which had come with a sound bar. For the Magnavox, the sound bar was for those who did not have full fledged audio systems. That TV had hookups for RCA audio output, optical output, and even speaker output. That allowed me to add external speakers to replace the so-so ones in the included sound bar.

Panasonic wasn't so nice. My TV came with an optical output, and built in speakers. The built in speakers were so bad, that it was hard to make out voices, let alone have anything that approached decent sound quality. In all fairness, people who buy HDTVs should not expect great sound for something in the price range of the TV, but considering that they had wires going to the internal speakers, they could have had external terminals for the same wires. People who buy smaller TVs, such as for bedrooms, are less likely to buy full fledged sound systems as add ons.

Panasonic's solution was for me to buy this sound bar. It replaced the terrible sound of the built in speakers with mediocre sound. There's nothing really bad about the sound of this sound bar, but I can't say that it's really much of a step up from what comes built into better TVs. This is the type of sound that I'd normally be replacing with something better, rather than stepping up to. But the way my TV is designed, there's no intermediate option short of this sound bar. You either get a full fledged sound system with an optical input, get this sound bar, or live with the built in speakers.

This sound bar purportedly comes with a sub-woofer. By definition, sub-woofers deal with frequencies below 100Hz. Good quality standard speakers can reproduce sounds in those frequencies, but they will typically be attenuated and lack any feel. With this sound bar, the opposite is true--you don't get anything akin to a sub-woofer, but the speaker makes sounds in those frequency range discernible. Test tones at 80Hz are audible, but sound far quieter than those at 100Hz (above the sub-woofer frequency range.) Tones going down to 20Hz are audible, but certainly nothing that will reproduce the sounds on a Blu-ray disc with any degree of realism.

The sound bar is easy enough to hook up. It uses part of the HDMI cable to pass sound, so it can share an input with a Blu-ray disc player. If you are using a Panasonic TV or BD player that are anything like mine, you already need the latest standard HDMI cable to handle the 3d picture, so it's nice not needing to tie up an extra input on the TV.

The sound bar has a series of contradicting "features." You get a "sound effect" setting that gives a "dynamic sound with a natural expansion." Realistically, you can't expect it to live up to the hype. If surround sound could be reproduced in this manner, nobody would make any money selling surround sound systems. While this option is far from a replacement for a true surround system, it's about as good as you should expect from this sort of sound bar.

Another feature is called "clear mode dialog." It's supposed to make the dialog stand out from background noise and sound as if it's coming from the center of the TV. This feature works relatively well, at least compared to the built in speakers. While it is not true high fidelity, you should have no trouble making out dialog far better with this feature. Another way of describing a feature that moves the sound to the center would have been to refer to it as an "OFF" button for the sound effect. It's a bit beyond doing that literally, but Panasonic has still managed to give a name to features ranging from this one to "a surround sound effect similar to" Dolby Digital or DTS.

In reality, you can't expect anything similar to Dolby or DTS, anything with the dynamics of a good sound system, or anything that sounds like a system with a sub-woofer, but if you want something that's a step up from what comes with Panasonic TVs similar to mine, this will give you good sound by the standard of what comes included with televisions these days.

UPDATE: One major annoyance that I have found over time is the 30 minute timeout. The unit goes on automatically when I turn on my TV and off automatically when I turn it off (or when the TV goes into standby.) I do not need the sound bar deciding on its own to go into standby at other times. When that happens, it causes the TV screen to go black, and then the TV is in standby EVEN IF IT WAS ACTIVELY BEING USED. Televisions have multiple inputs, and one of my inputs is from a computer. If I go more than half an hour without running anything on my computer that makes a sound, I do NOT want my TV to turn off. But that's what happens. I end up having to switch my TV off and back on, which turns the sound bar on anyway, so there is no power savings. There's simply an interruption, a possible shuffling or resizing of what's on my screen, and no advantage whatsoever.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing Set up with non-Panasonic TV, July 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I am adding to this review--and boy do I feel dumb now! I maintain that the instructions for this product are bad--

The ONLY cable I needed to use was the digital optical cable, from my TV to the sound bar. My blu ray player and cable box are connected to my TV via HDMI. All sound now plays via the sound bar AND my TV (although I can mute that if I want).

Had the instructions been simple, it would have taken less than 5 minutes to set this up! There are two HDMI ports and a digital optical port on the bar; the instructions make you believe you need to connect a "sound in" and "sound out" but don't really give details.

They need to change them to read "connect a digital optical cable to the bar; connect the other end to your TV. Connect your other devices to your TV via HDMI. Now you're finished!"

I guess if you own a Panasonic TV, setting this up is easy. And if you have a TV and one component, and don't use a cable box, it's probably easy as well. But, if like me, you have a Samsung TV, a Blu Ray, a cable box, and want to add this, the instructions are woefully inadequate, and I found no support on the Panasonic web site.

Now that it's working, the sound is pretty darn good! Much better than the TV's rear--facing speakers. It also looks good. I put it on top of the cable box and blu ray player, on the shelf of my stand. Doesn't obstruct the TV that way.

I also found the code to use my cable box's remote to turn the bar on and off with the TV. You can also control the volume, but unfortunately I can't figure out how to mute both the TV and the bar without using the mute button twice (once for TV and once for "Aux"). That's a bit of an issue when the phone rings.

All in all, I'm glad I got it, but it was much more difficult than it should have been to get it working.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT AFTER SIX MONTHS

I am finding that this isn't really cutting it for me. Unless I have it annoyingly loud, the dialog is a problem. The different modes don't seem very different. I've just purchased another brand and am awaiting delivery...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, I like it, December 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I recently upgraded my TV setup to a Panasonic HDTV & Blu-Ray player. I noticed the sound on the TV was of very low quality compared to my old CRT TV. It just sounded kind of "empty" so I decided to get the sound bar to fill out the sound better. It took a bit of dinking to get it set up right, and I don't think the instructions were as clear as they needed to be. Basically had to run the HDMI cable from the DVD player to the sound bar, then from the sound bar to the TV, then run a toslink cable from the TV to the soundbar. However, once I figured that out, the Vera-Link software took over and it works great. Thanks to the Vera-Link, I don't need to use the individual remote for the sound bar, the remote for the Panasonic TV works just fine. Once you turn on the TV, it takes a few seconds for the sound bar to kick in, and because the "TV Volume" and the "Sound bar volume" are 2 different things, you can end up with the TV turning on really loud or really quiet(until the sound bar kicks in). I have to say that the sound quality is very good, for movies. It's OK for TV, better then the built in TV speakers, but not as good for TV as the old CRT TV was (but it sounds better with movies then the old CRT TV did).
I've found on some of the TV channels that broadcast very quietly, such as ABC Family (in my area), sometimes you have to jack up the sound real high to hear things ok, which brings up ambient "static" noise, but the CRT TV had that issue too.
All in all, I'm happy with it, especially with it being one of the lower price sound bars on the market.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ARC incompatible, March 19, 2011
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I bought this unit to compliment my Panasonic S2 television in hopes of syncing the units via the Viera Link function. I was having trouble syncing them and since I am moderately proficient with electronics I called Panasonic support. I told them that the units were not syncing correctly and maybe I was doing something wrong. The customer support person was friendly enough and informed me that "We have been getitng a lot of calls regarding this issue and i can say that 30-40% of the units are not syncing properly. You can use a digital optical cord though." No thanks. I bought it to sync. In summary, there is a 30-40% chance that this unit will not sync properly with your Panasonic television. Too bad...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Sound Intergration With Only One Remote, October 18, 2011
By 
James (WILLOW STREET, PA, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
I own a Panasonic Viera 37" LCD HDTV TC-L37X1 and recently purchased a Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player DMP-BDT210. The TV sound was adequate; however, I wanted to enhance the sound quality, keep the setup fairly simple, use one remote for everything, and not cost an arm and a leg to do it. The Panasonic SC-HTB10-120W 2.1 Channel Slim Sound Bar System fit the bill. I have cable service with a HD DVR and my TV is ARC and is Viera Link sync'd with my Blu-Ray.

Getting everything sync'd took a few tries. The only way I could get everything to work right was: (1) connect Blu-ray to Sound Bar HDMI AV In. 2)using HDMI cable, connect the HDMI AV OUT (ARC) on the sound bar to the HDMI AV IN (ARC) on the TV. The DVR is HDMI connected to the TV. 3) Lastly, I had to connect a Toslink optical digital audio cable from the TV to the Toslink connection on the sound bar; otherwise I lost TV sound when I turned on the sound bar. Without the Toslink connection, I only had sound when the Blu-ray Player was playing.

With the above connection setup, the Sound Bar works as advertised: everyting works together. Only need one remote. The Sound Bar will automatically turn on or turn off when the TV is turned on or off. When I load a Video, the Blu-ray starts up and changes my TV to the appropriate Video Input. The Panasonic Blu-ray Remote does the TV as well. When I am not using the Blu-ray, my cable service DVR Remote adjusts the sound bar volume (again one remote operation). Yes, if I want to adjust the subwoofer I have to use the small sound bar remote - for me that is rare, I'm not that fussy.

I got my money's worth and I am happy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful product, January 20, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
In the past two months I have purchased two of these Panasonic sound bars; the first (used - like new, from a CA co. through Amazon) for our bedroom set (32" Samsung), the second (new from Amazon) for our living room set (32" Sanyo), and they both work equally as well. For the money the sound is an incredible improvement over small tv speakers. I did a lot of research before I bought the first one, and should have bought two before the price went up. Although certainly no substitute for my home theatre system, they are fabulous for smaller rooms. I have no hesitation recommending this product to anyone using it for similar situations. Easy to set up - single digital optical for TV sound only, two HDMI cables needed for a DVD/Blu-ray player (1 in, 1 out). I purchased the inexpensive cables from Amazon for all my connnections and everything works like a charm.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sound bar for the price, November 27, 2010
By 
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB10 120W 2.1-Channel Slim Sound Bar System with 3D Pass Through (Black) (2010 Model) (Electronics)
We have a Sony 32" LCD HDTV that we go a year ago. Speakers are understandably minimal. This is for a bedroom TV, so we do not need a full theater system. Found this unit on sale for $119, and for the price it seemed much more rebust than other lower priced units. Hook up to the Sony required both the HDMI and the optical cable, so they could be linked togetehr with just the TV remote. Once I did that, it works great. Sound is not full theater, but it is it is really better than I was expecting. For a simple inexpensive system, well worth the price.
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