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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best one yet.
I have a Sony soundbar (SS-MCT100), a Yamaha soundbar (YAS-71) and, now, this Panasonic. The Panasonic is the best of the three. The sound separation is amazing, dialogue is clear and not muffled by sound effects or music. The volume is also superior to the Sony and the Yamaha (with the Yamaha being superior to the Sony). Hookup, to a Vizio 42-inch edge-lit LED, was...
Published on October 20, 2011 by Richard Smith

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, takes up little room
I give the Panasonic Home Theater Audio System model SC-HTB15 stars. I have it hooked up to a flat screen, blue ray, and game system. When turned on the sound comes through and when off the sound comes through the TV like normal, no buttons to push. I use the optical digital audio in terminal from the TV to the theater system. I then use a HDMI from blue ray and PS3 to...
Published on October 19, 2011 by Jacx


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best one yet., October 20, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
I have a Sony soundbar (SS-MCT100), a Yamaha soundbar (YAS-71) and, now, this Panasonic. The Panasonic is the best of the three. The sound separation is amazing, dialogue is clear and not muffled by sound effects or music. The volume is also superior to the Sony and the Yamaha (with the Yamaha being superior to the Sony). Hookup, to a Vizio 42-inch edge-lit LED, was simplicity itself. As the Vizio does not have an ARC HDMI, I used an optical sound cable (which came in the box, as did an HDMI cable). I am also running a Samsung BluRay DVD and a Roku XD box though it - with the same excellent results. Total set-up time: about eight minutes. (And I'm no wiz at these things.) After programming the Panasonic into the Vizio remote (use code: 31275),I put the Panasonic remote into a drawer. Last but by no means least, the Panasonic is considerably slimmer than either the Sony or the Yamaha which means it doesn't get in the way of the television's remote signal receiver. Plus, the Panasonic soundbar can be split into two and used as separate speakers on either side of your television (or hung on the wall either side of the television). I paid $199.00, on sale, at Costco.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Normalizes the dialog volume, September 23, 2011
By 
Ivy (Brooklyn, NY, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You know how, with some movies, you can't hear the dialog for all the sound effects? This normalizes (or levels) the sound, so you can. It provides a better-than theater quality sound experience, for those of us who like to hear the dialog, experience the rich tones of the score, and not go deaf. Oh, it can get mighty loud if you want too. User's choice. It delivers a grand sound experience at any setting.

The setup is the "impress your kids" kind. It's easy, but it looks hard. You will need a Phillips head screwdriver, an AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable (6.5 Feet/2.0 Meters) - Supports Ethernet, 3D, and Audio Return [Newest Standard] and possibly (unless you have HDMI ARC) an AmazonBasics Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable, 6 Feet. Get them on Amazon. Most places charge a lot more for these. My TV didn't specifically state it was HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) but it worked anyway. I'm connected via an HDMI switcher, no problem. I just have the switch put out to the sound system, then the sound system put out to the TV. Everything is labelled and color coded, and it just couldn't be any easier. The only "gotcha" is make certain you're on the right input setting. Sometimes it wants TV instead of one of the HDMI ports.

It comes with a remote, in case your remote boat isn't already overflowing.

This is pretty much the top of the line. It's beautiful. It delivers awesome sound. It's perfect. I'm using my TV instead of my stereo to listen to music, because the sound quality of these speakers is that good. Oh, and you can turn the TV off and the speakers on, and the sound will still work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie theater for your bedroom, January 19, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
I've bought and returned 3 different sound bars and surround sound systems the past 2 months, ranging from $120-$300. I wanted something to enhance the overall quality of my new 42" Lg in my bedroom. The surround sound systems were disappointing, probably because of my price range, but also because they cluttered up the place. The sound bars didn't enhance anything at all, let alone "project" surround sound quality. This sleek, separable sound system was the answer; I am EXTREMELY satisfied.
You can keep the speakers attached as a sound bar underneath your tv. I prefer them separated, it just feels better. The speakers can get very, very loud. I only use low to mid levels. It's crystal clear, I can hear voices over sound effects, and really don't have to keep changing the volume because the movie got too loud out of no where. The subwoofer is freakin amazing. First of all, its bass levels can be turned up very high. But you don't need to. Even at low levels, you feel like you're in a movie theater. And the best part of all is that you don't need a dvd player to run your system through, you plug your tv into the subwoofer (which connects to the speakers) and that's it. You control the volume through the subwoofer.
So for a bedroom or small/medium sized living room, this is all you need. Unless you want complete surround sound, but to be honest this system is so nice you'll be just as immersed in the experience. 5 out of 5 all the way
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, takes up little room, October 19, 2011
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I give the Panasonic Home Theater Audio System model SC-HTB15 stars. I have it hooked up to a flat screen, blue ray, and game system. When turned on the sound comes through and when off the sound comes through the TV like normal, no buttons to push. I use the optical digital audio in terminal from the TV to the theater system. I then use a HDMI from blue ray and PS3 to system, HDMI out to TV. Hooking it up was very easy. Speakers can be vertical or horizontal, hooked together or separate, on wall or stands or feet, your choice. Subwoofer sits to either side. Remote is basic on/off, TV/HDMI input selector, subwoofer +/-, volume +/- and mute. I must note my Samsung control also works with the theater system, which allows me one control use for less clutter. There are controls on the sub woofer also. It has a nice clear sound and gets louder then I will ever need. There are sounds now heard in video games I never knew were there, like your enemy in the grass, or glass shattering in the distance, it's fantastic. Blue ray movies are better then the theater. I would recommend to anyone wanting a simple, easy to use system for full sound without tweaking. You have multi channel mode, auto mode (direct mode) and 2-channel mode.
Update, thus system no longer satisfies me, might be my ears, might be that I have upgraded other audio systems in my house over the years that have passed between my original review and now 2014. My biggest complaint is the dialog can hardly be heard through anything else going on like sound effects, crashes, explosions. I have tried changing settings but it has lost it's sparkle for me.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive sound quality, sharp design, October 2, 2011
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length:: 5:17 Mins

* Impressive sound quality - crystal clear and plays a range of frequencies which are produced by 3 tiny speakers on each side of the system (the long speaker has 3 mini speakers inside) + 1 subwoofer.

* Reasonable sound volume - while it is not going to blow your roof off - in my apartment I keep it at 50% max and it loud enough for a medium sized living room

* This is ideal for a small to medium sized living room/2nd TV in Rooms

* The speakers can be positioned horizontally or vertically depending on space available near your TV

Cons:

* Not for a big sized living room - you are better of with a 5.1 sound system so that the sound it better distributed
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was hoping it would replace my slapped-together speaker/receiver Setup... no such luck., January 27, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
Just received my order for this product today. To put some context to my review and why I gave it 3 stars, let me preface by saying that I purchased the HTB15 to replace a recently purchased receiver/speaker setup of a Yamaha receiver, 2 x Polk RTi4 bookshelf speakers, and 1 Polk center channel speaker (note that I do not have a subwoofer or rear speakers, this is because I live in an apartment and don't like to disturb my neighbors). The source is a Windows 7 Media Center HTPC (Home theater PC) acting as both my cable box/dvr and my media server (i.e. this is what my Cable TV runs through). At the end is an LG 55LW5600 TV.

While I was happy with the performance of my previously purchased setup, after getting it home, I was thinking I didn't need that much power and features for my needs. I'm basically just looking for improved sound out of my cable channels, and for streaming/downloaded movies. I have no need (nor the room configuration) for a 5.1/7.1 setup. All I want is higher quality audio, clear dialogue, and some decent surround immersion via the L/R channels. Thinking I probably could have saved some money going the sound bar 2.1 route, I researched and researched, and chose the Panasonic SC-HTB15 primarily for it's clear dialogue feature as well as the ability to split the bar into a more traditional L/R setup for better sound imaging.

---Build Quality ***** (5 stars)

Overall build quality is very good for the price. The design is as basic as it gets, no weird accoutrements. Just nice, solid slabs of black.

---Sound:Music **** (4 stars)
This is probably what impressed me the most, but the sound quality for music was surprisingly good. Not sure if it was actually the quality of the speakers, or the fact that the speakers were split apart for a better sound stage, but it was very pleasant to listen to. Tested it with some Andy McKee (an acoustic guitarist), Muse, and then some movie soundtracks (Howard Shore, Lord of the Rings).

---Sound:HDTV **** (4 stars)
HDTV was good as well. Nothing mind blowing from my perspective, but dialog was clear and everything sounded fine.

---Sound:Movies ** (2 stars) (and potentially other sources considered PCM or analog to digital)
This is where my review get's not so good. First off, I will say my movies probably WOULD sound good, if they were simply BluRay's coming from a player. However, I'm using an HTPC with ripped movies (i.e. movies put into digital format on a hard drive). The problem with the HTB15 is that it relies on the source to determine whether or not to put out Dolby Digital. Meaning, you can't force it into Dolby Digital mode if it determines your source is "PCM", and if it determines the incoming source is PCM, then it only outputs 2 channel audio. The big problem with this is, the 3D surround sound, AND the clear dialog feature (the primary reason for my purchase), ONLY works in Dolby mode. This was painfully evident when I fired up my movies, and the dialogue was so muffled on some of the movies, I had to crank up the volume all the way to hear it. As a baseline test, I tediously hooked up my other setup (receiver/speakers/center) back and forth, back and forth, watching the same scenes. The advantage of the receiver is that once you put it into Dolby 5.1, it can at least derive the mid range frequencies that dominate dialogue, and run them through the center channel. Even basic receivers have this ability. Unfortunately, the HTB15 is too "stupid", so to speak, to do this on it's own.

The frustrating thing is that this has the ability to force into it's various sound modes, but it only works one way. Meaning, if the incoming source is Dolby, but you want to go to PCM or 2 Channel, you can. But if the incoming source is 2 channel, you cannot have it "translate" it into Dolby, thus getting the clear dialogue benefit.

there's a very good chance that I could be missing something, but I read the manual back and forth several times (its not that thick), and this is how it works.

---Subwoofer *** (3 stars)

Sub is good and bad. It's good in the sense that it creates a decent amount of resonating bass. It won't make your heart skip a beat, but for cozy setups in medium to small rooms and/or apartments, it's great.

The bad? The crossover frequencies don't seem paired very well to the speakers. Meaning, there are times where I expected to hear bass, but all I heard was the mid and high's from the speakers with no support from the subwoofer. There were some music tracks that started with vocals, then the instruments would come in progressively, but the sub only chimed in once the obvious bass set in, and seem to ignore entirely the bass nuances coming from the rest of the track. Another example, was when I was watching Lord of the Rings:Return of the King. In the big battle scene with the Rohan army, all I heard was the trebley clashing of swords through the L/R speakers, but the subwoofer was completely absent. It took something big, like the crashing of one of the elephants to get some bass out. In my opinion, this system could do a better job of melding the subwoofer and the speakers together for a more seamless sound.

---Distortion (n/a)
Overall, the sound was clear, but the speakers definitely distort if pushed slightly. When I was struggling to hear dialogue in Lord of the Rings, I had to up the volume, and when there were sudden volume changes, the speakers distorted quite a bit.

---Remote Control ** (2 stars)
Okay, I have to say, this remote is not horrible, but at the same time it's not terribly good either. It has buttons to switch inputs, volume up/down,sub volume up/down, mute, and a power button. In order to switch the sound modes and settings (DTS/3D/PCM/turn clear dialog on/off, etc.), you have to use the existing mute and tv input button, by holding them down for XX seconds, then toggling through the selections by keeping an eye on the tiny LED's on the subwoofer. Honestly, would it be that hard to just add the 3-4 extra buttons on the remote? Granted, it wouldn't have been a big deal for me since I have a Logitech Harmony, but being that this is for casual tv/movie watchers, it's safe to assume a lot of people won't have a highly configurable universal to run this system.

I was really, really hoping this would be an acceptable replacement to my current setup so I could return all that stuff and save about 220 bucks.Unfortunately, the lack of being able to manually choose sound modes out of 2 channel PCM is a deal breaker for me. To be fair, I know I'm probably in the minority. If I was running this through a normal BR player instead of an HTPC, and had no digital movies, then I'd probably give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

I'd hate to compare this to my current setup being that it's 220 bucks cheaper, but I can say with confidence that a 150 dollar receiver, coupled with 60 dollar bookshelf speakers and an additional center bookshelf or center channel would produce much cleaner sound, and you have the flexibility and power of an actual receiver. Granted, if aesthetics is important to you, this is all a moot point because it won't be as sleek or sexy (another motivation of mine to get this system), but ultimately, the trade off in overall sound quality and options is worth it to me to not use this sound bar system
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product!, January 19, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
Set up couldn't be easier...right out-of-the-box. Assembly is simple and connections are clearly described. If you have the Panasonic HD TV with ARC and Blu-Ray, no problem. You will need to have 3 HDMI cables: (2) outputs- from your cable box or satellite box and disc player to the subwoofer and one for the output from the subwoofer to the ARC connection on your TV. No ARC? Check out the other reviews. The sound is an amazing improvement from the TV speakers. Watched Avatar on Blu-Ray and the sound and picture just blew me away. If you have a small to medium size room, this system is for you. No hesitation on the 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It!, January 23, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
For those feeling hesitant on this set...it is great system for those not looking to overpower a room, or pair with a tv with ok sound output. You can place in a traditional speaker bar layout, or split the speakers apart. Personally, I think that it not only looks better to leave them apart, but it sounds better as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good soundbar for the price, December 21, 2011
By 
M. Woodruff (Fort Lauderdale, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
I bought this sound bar for a Samsung D8000 LED TV in a large bedroom. I looked at the Samsung sound bars but the reviews were not as positive and I like the options Panasonic provides for placement as independent vertical speakers on stands or as a horizontal bar. I also wanted a wired sub-woofer because of issues I've read about wireless subwoofers cutting out (not Panasonic's, in particular, but I didn't want to worry about this). I actually ended up using my speakers as two separate horizontal speakers rather than a bar, which just works better for my setup and I get a little more separation of the left and right channels. The speakers are also barely noticeable. By the way, everything connects through the subwoofer unit, which contains the amplifier and the controls, including the remote sensor. If you want to hide the subwoofer somewhere that will be blocked and/or inaccessible, this could present a problem, depending on how well you can control the system through your TV. In any event, the subwoofer is fairly attractive and unobtrusive, so I don't mind having it beside the chair. When I first connected the system to my TV using the HDMI ARC connection, the sound was definitely better than the sound from the TV's speakers but it was lacking something. Then I realized I was receiving only two-channel PCM sound because I had not run the HDMI connections for my Blu-Ray player and DirecTV box through the sound bar's subwoofer (they were still connected to the TV). Once I rerouted them, I was able to get multichannel (Dolby) sound and the system's proprietary sound processing, which made a huge difference. It's extremely well-balanced, rich sound for the money, with tons of bass (more than I even need; I have it on the lowest setting.) If I do want to listen to two-channel stereo (for playing Pandora through my TV app), it's easily changed from the subwoofer controls or the remote. I was also happy to discover that my Samsung TV recognized the system as an AV and I can control the volume automatically through my TV remote. The sound bar system also shuts down when I turn off my TV, but for some reason when I turn on my TV/DirecTV I have to power up the sound bar, either through the remote or by pressing the On button on the subwoofer. I also have to select HDMI 1 or HDMI 2 from the subwoofer or remote to change from my DVD player to DirecTV. Not a big deal. I would imagine if you have a Panasonic TV the operation is even more seamless. All in all, this is the system to beat for the money. I have an expensive Bose 5.1 system with an Onkyo receiver in my living room, which is great and allows for more sound customization, but I paid a lot more money for it. When it's time to replace that, I'll probably go with a simpler system like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for the price, April 6, 2012
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This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model) (Electronics)
We have a small entertainment center and had been using an older stereo system to boost up the volume for our flat screen because it's pretty quiet like most TVs that style. We wanted some more bass, but nothing over the top. After hooking this up, the sound is OK. The extra bass is nice, and during louder parts it sounds great, but doesn't do well with dialogue/quieter parts. It's basically just a step up from the stereo system we had going before. It doesn't have an AUX input either, which is kind of annoying.
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Panasonic SC-HTB15 Home Theater System (2011 Model)
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