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663 of 686 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - Truly Amazing Sound
I used to sell surround sound systems at Sears back in the day, and I have always owned surround sound systems at home. I can honestly say that this has one of the best sounds I could ever imagine for the low price of around $100. I have this hooked up via optical cable to my Apple TV that I just bought. (I got rid of cable and will save $100/month & $1200/year by...
Published on June 12, 2012 by Angela

versus
242 of 288 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality sound, but output too low!!
I bought this unit at Walmart for $98 before tax, which was cheaper than what I found on Amazon. The plus side to this unit is the easy installation and quality sound. I was impressed with the simulated surround sound (that you could turn on or off with the click of a button) and bass from the subwoofer for such a small and cheap unit. The negative to this unit is the...
Published on May 9, 2012 by Rick O


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663 of 686 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - Truly Amazing Sound, June 12, 2012
By 
Angela (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
I used to sell surround sound systems at Sears back in the day, and I have always owned surround sound systems at home. I can honestly say that this has one of the best sounds I could ever imagine for the low price of around $100. I have this hooked up via optical cable to my Apple TV that I just bought. (I got rid of cable and will save $100/month & $1200/year by watching TV and movies through my $8/month Netflix account - but that's a whole different review on a different product. Although I have never been happier with that decision since I don't watch enough TV to pay the high cable fees anyway.)

So having this hooked to my Apple TV, I have watched both movies and TV with this system and it feels like I am sitting right in the middle of a theater. The sound is clean and crisp, and the bass is amazing. There is someone else in a review here that said it does not get loud enough, although I have a completely different opinion about that. This gets very loud and it's in a fairly large family room.

AUDIO INPUTS:

I am going to specify the audio inputs here in this review since it was not evident in the specs or description and I know some of you may be looking for an HDMI input. Unfortunately, this does not have an HDMI input, although it does have the following:

- 1 Digital Optical
- 1 Coaxial
- 1 Aux Audio

So you can hook up to 3 units to this system. The remote it comes with has a button for Optical, Aux and Coaxial so if you have 3 different units hooked up that use this sound, you just push the button on the remote to change the source.

I can say that this is the best $100 I have spent on any sound system. It can turn any room into an instant theater with minimal wires and cables. This was also a huge plus for me. I got sick of wiring all those speakers and having a clunky receiver. I am working toward a more minimal, higher quality media life, and so far it's working out great.

Hope this helps! Especially those of you who spend hours of research before buying something (as I do!) Ha. :)
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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 100% Worth It !!, December 26, 2012
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
I actually bought this unit from Walmart pre-Christmas 2012 as a gift to myself for $88. So, I got an incredible deal. But I'm going to have to say: this unit is worth it. Pleasantly surprised. It's not perfect. But I didn't expect perfect from the cost. But regardless of that, highly recommended! Here's why:

1. 2-Channel and Simulated Surround: The sound, when not even using the simulated surround affect, sounds great. I prefer it to the simulated surround. I mean, it does it's best. Surround is hard to replicate. But it does a fab job trying. They are getting better at it, but it's not quite there yet. You have to try to find the sweet spot where it sounds it's best. I have yet to find that here. But I'm also not really concerned with having this feature either. So not much trying happened. If you aren't uber picky and like experimenting between the simulated surround and 2-Ch audio + sub you may enjoy flipping back and fourth per the desired medium to get optimal enjoyment.

2. The sound is filling. I'm going to do my best to describe this. There's a difference between a set of speakers and sub that wimps it's way through sound. It does not accurately respond. It's not "filling". Sonically, those type of units do not accurately depict the correct frequency response. But not here. This unit is not a wimp. It has very good sound reproduction. Yet, keep in mind that it sounds better at higher decibels (loudness). If you're just chilling watching a movie on the low, it's not going to be 'amazing'.

Sound
* Sound Enhancement: DoubleBass, FullSound, Night Mode, Treble and Bass Control
* Sound System: Dolby Digital
* Speaker output power: 15 W x 2
* Subwoofer output power: 30 W
* Total Power RMS @ 30% THD: 60 W
* Loudspeaker types: Integrated with main unit
* Speaker Drivers per side: 1 x 5" woofer, 1 x 1.5"
Mylar tweeter

3. The base can kick. It's clean. The sub, like the 2-ch, likes higher decibels. (I promise i'm not deaf). I attribute it to the digital sound of optical as well. Digital volume 'steps down' in volume. Imagine it like stairs. Where as analogue volume was a smooth transition. So with every step down you're losing that frequency response here.

Loudspeakers
* Speaker Impedance: 4 ohm
* Subwoofer type: Passive
* Subwoofer driver: 1 x 6.5" woofer
* Subwoofer freq range: 20 - 150 Hz
* Subwoofer impedance: 8 ohm

4. I love that this unit has a headphone aux (3.5mm) input. You can't really go wrong with adding a nice aux input. If they put bluetooth on this thing, I'd buy it twice. (wink, nod)

5. Inputs: I couldn't find anything on inputs anywhere here on Amazon. I found them in the product leaflet from Philips:

Connectivity
* Front / Side connections: Music iLINK (3.5mm headphone)
* Rear Connections: AUX IN 1, Digital coaxial in, Digital optical in, Subwoofer out

Anything bad? Yes. The remote. It's so small (about 3"x1.5") and there are no buttons on the main unit. If you lose that thing. Poof. Good luck with that one. Get it attached to a good universal remote, and quick before the dog (or lady/man) hides it (somehow puts it into the freezer). ;-) - 1 Star for the remote, no button action.
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203 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value, April 15, 2012
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
Bought this today at a local competitor however due to only one other review I wanted to add my own for anyone considering a small soundbar. Hooked it up to a 32" LG 1080p LED/LCD tv. We live in a small apartment with about 6-8 feet between our sofa and the tv/entertainment system so we didn't need too much sound production to fill out the space. The soundbar and accompanying subwoofer really fill the area with rich sound. I understand the quality and level of product this is however for anyone wanting to fill a small room with good sound and base you can't really go wrong with this unit.
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232 of 250 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!! Really???, May 4, 2012
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
Perhaps you're like me? I didn't want to spend a fortune and I wanted something that made my flat screen sound much, much better. I looked all over the place at all kinds of sound bars that cost up to over $500. I rolled into a large retail chain and saw this there for $98. Well, the obvious reaction is..."I wouldn't expect much from this." I read reviews on my phone right in the store and everyone gave it 5 stars. Really? "Oh well... I guess I'll give it a shot; at this price, I can always bring it back" I thought.

SO... I grab an optical cable (you can also use the standard RCA type, red and white cables), head home, hook it up in 2 minutes and... um... WOW!!! Really??? Big, full, clear, remarkable sound! Nice deep lows (adjustable), great midrange and wonderful highs (adjustable)... all with PLENTY of volume. It has surround sound (simulated) which you can also turn off. Very helpful for things such as music videos etc.

In summary, this thing isn't going anywhere except right where it is... in front of my 42" LG. EXCELLENT product for the money. Don't blow a bunch of money senselessly on some of the "big" names in audio until you've given this a shot. Happy listening! :)
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242 of 288 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality sound, but output too low!!, May 9, 2012
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
I bought this unit at Walmart for $98 before tax, which was cheaper than what I found on Amazon. The plus side to this unit is the easy installation and quality sound. I was impressed with the simulated surround sound (that you could turn on or off with the click of a button) and bass from the subwoofer for such a small and cheap unit. The negative to this unit is the output. The volume does not get up high enough. I bought this unit so my wife could hear the television in our bedroom while she used the treadmill. You can barely hear the tv noise over the treadmill. If you are looking to enhance the volume of your flat screen and you need it for a small room, i would recommend this unit. It WILL enhance your television volume experience if you are just looking for a little extra than factory. If you are looking for a unit for a living room, or other room for great sound, you will need to spend another $100 on something else.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow Big sound from small box. Digital Optical Cable ready!, June 14, 2012
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
I rarely do reviews. I was looking for surround sound for my 46" Insignia LED TV. I live in an apartment and I dont need sound thatll shake the foundation. I picked this soundbar with subwoofer from target for $99.99 Yes! $117.00 after tax. I plugged the sound bar to my Playstation 3. I used a Digital Optical Audio Toslink Cable. WOW! The sound shook the floor, the soundbar itself did that weird surround sound feel. The quality was great and then some. I could not recommend this enough. I will post photos to see you can see the setup I have. Remember I live in an apartment with pretty high ceilings about 8 ft, and Im 5-6 feet away from my television.
Well hope this review helps. let me know if I missed anything.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solved a few (very specific) problems, July 9, 2013
By 
JB "Jared" (Weston, FL, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
When we purchased a 39" Vizio screen for our bedroom, we knew that the sound would be compromised; you simply can't put great speakers in a screen that thin. Even so the sound was mostly acceptable - we don't watch all that much TV, and I'm a casual gamer at best - but for one issue: in scenes with music or ambient sound (a bar setting, etc.) high in the mix, the dialog was almost impossible to understand. It was driving us crazy, and we finally decided to buy a soundbar to help resolve the issue. We had little physical space to work with - if you look at the photo I uploaded, on that small stand there's the TV, soundbar, and (behind them) a PS3, DirecTV genie satellite unit (one of the tiny boxes), and an AppleTV. Whatever we bought would have to:

1. Fix the muffled dialog issue;
2. Be small enough to fit in to our setup;
3. Allow enough space for the IR signals to reach our other devices. (The PS3 is RF and doesn't require line-of-sight.)

After much research, on a whim I was wandering the electronics section of a national retail chain and saw the Philips. As it was a good size, price (same as on Amazon), and the (quickly investigated) Amazon reviews were mostly positive, I made the purchase. Pros and cons:

PROS

1. The sound is EVER SO MUCH BETTER than what the TV was giving us. That's really all we needed. Rich enough, clear dialog, no compatibility issues.
2. All 3 of the above criteria were met.
3. Easy setup. We used an optical cable directly from the TV.
4. The proper DirecTV remote code to use is, I believe, 32311. This will give you control over volume, but not power.
5. The subwoofer is surprisingly effective. A bit mushy maybe, but hey - $99.

CONS

1. You are very reliant on the included remote, unless you have a universal remote. Even with the DirecTV remote controlling volume, you still need to control power, input, EQ, etc.
2. LED lights are on the top. Somewhat useless. Not a big deal in the end.
3. No physical buttons on the unit; power would have been nice.
4. As others have noted, it's not a great speaker for music. As I don't need that function, I don't personally care. But if you do...

OVERALL

This unit is a great combination of quality, price, and size. Features... not really, but for $99, you can only expect so much.
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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Upgrade to Your TV Speakers, March 5, 2013
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
I've been a DJ and have done live sound for 15 years including installing large systems, so I'd consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about all things audio. Considering the $100 price tag, this is a great product. The highs are crisp, the mids are present, and the "Double'Bass" is better than I expected. Having 4 inputs is a major plus. One thing to note, the MP3 (headphone jack like) input is off to the side, not immediately next to the other 3. It took me a minutes to figure that out. I also reviewed a bluetooth receiver for $30 which, suprise, allows for you to use this via bluetooth. Many might want to consider pairing to 2. There are plenty of things to like about this system. That being said, you're not going to mistake this for a reputable 5.1 surround system or an impressive music system (not enough bass and mid range), because it's not what this product was meant to be. It is a considerable upgrade to the internal speakers on your TV. Keep that in mind and you'll be very happy with this prodcut. I'd like to address some of the negative comments I've read about the system. 1) No visual display of volume: Do you complain that you can't hear the brightness on your TV when you adjust that? No, because you don't hear it, you see it. You're connecting audio out to the sound bars input, what on earth makes you think that is going to somehow send a video signal back to your TV? If you can't tell, that complaint irritates me. Just listen when you adjust the volume, treble (soundbar), and bass (subwoofer). 2) The lables on the remote are hard to read. Yeah, they are. But there's only like 10 buttons, you'll get to know them very, very quickly. 3) Indicator lights are on the top of the sound bar. Agreed, but it's not like you can see what the lables say anyway. Most people are only going to have one input being used, so I don't really see this being a big problem. 4) Auto-adjust volume. Haven't run into this with well over 50 hours of use yet via multiple inputs including DVR, cable and a laptop. This is plenty loud enough by the way. 5) Here's the one I agree with: Supposedly it's hard to program a universal remote to this system. There are no controls on the sound bar, so if you lose the remote you'll probably have to buy a phillips universal remote. No remote = no sound. I do think they could have splurged on at least a power, volume, on/off, and input select 6) The surround function is basically echo. It's not a true surround sound, but again that's not what you're buying. All that being said I am very pleased with this purchase. The CONs of the item are a result of cost cutting. There's a reason other sound bars are 3,4, and $500. The sound quality is more than acceptable and that's what you should be concerned with if this is your budget. The fact that it has a subwoofer makes all the difference in the world. The size of a driver does effect it's ability to produce lower frequency tones. The dirver on this system is about 4-5". It's not going to compare to a 10" sub that comes with bigger, more expecsive systems, but a soundbar without a sub is going to be even more lacking. If you're watching anything with explosions, gun fire, etc you'll miss it. The subwoofer is not wireless, but has probably a 10' cable. It is very small and should fit anywhere. If anything I covered turns you off to this product you're in the wrong price range. Save up another $100-$200 and get something with more features. Otherwise, go ahead and buy this one. You'll be pleased with the sound.
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84 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Value For Price, April 21, 2012
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
We recently bought a 42 inch VIZIO LCD TV with Internet Apps and hooked up a Toshiba Blue Ray DVD Player. The TV's picture is beautiful, but we were disappointed with the VIZIO TV's surround sound quality, especially while watching Avatar in blue-ray. My daughter surprised me with this Phillips CS2123 Soundbar last night. She was hesitant to buy it because there were few reviews (product was manufactured in Feb. 2012). We hooked up the SoundBar and Subwoofer to our TV using an optical cable. What an improvement! I'm listening to Suite Radio on Pandora now and the separation and quality of sound is amazing for this compact (28 inch) SoundBar and Subwoofer (6.5 x 9.45 x 11.6 inches). Amazing value for the price! Our living room, by the way, is 22 x 12 and opens up into another 17 x 12 room. Beautiful sound throughout!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good sound, poor design., January 4, 2013
By 
Purpeana (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black) (Electronics)
For the size and money, the sound is very good. The simulated surround works well, especially with the optical output (Dolby Digital) from my Vizio TV. The dialog from TV is exceptionally great. Unfortunately, some very basic design elements were left out which makes me wonder if this product was even consumer tested before it was released.

1) Has separate, poorly designed remote and the soundbar cannot be programmed with a majority of remotes. I know some people had success, but I did not, and I've worked in tech for 12 years. I contacted Philips and they recommended buying an advanced universal remote that can scan for the code. Those remotes cost more than the sound bar.

2) Top mounted lights. That's great if you're standing OVER the sound bar. Otherwise, the lights are useless. You have no idea which input you're on, if the bass/treble is maxed, or even if the soundbar is responding to the remote. It would also be nice to know the level of the vol.

3) The subwoofer's speaker is exposed. Handle the sub carefully or you'll puncture the cone. I mean, they couldn't put a grill over this? I have 2 other subs and they are fully enclosed.

4) Auto-shut off. Most of the time this is a great feature. But with the soundbar, the auto-shut off also resets all your sound settings. This wasn't a deal breaker as much as the above design flaws.

For the first few days I was loving the sound. But after using it for awhile, I got so irritated with trying to find the remote to just turn up/down the volume that I will have to return this. Luckily I bought it locally and not from Amazon, but I thought I should put in my two cents.
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Philips CSS2123B/F7 Soundbar with Subwoofer (Black)
$129.99 $112.95
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