Your Garage Best Books of the Month Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Adele Fire TV Stick Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer roadies roadies roadies  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Segway miniPro STEM
Customer Review

67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audiophile review, June 15, 2012
This review is from: Panasonic SC-HTB550 2.1-Channel 240-Watt Multi-Positional Full HD 3D Audio System with Wireless Music Streaming via Bluetooth (Electronics)
I've been an audiophile for 20 years and my current tube-based system retails for over $25,000 (Harbeth speakers + Prism Orpheus DAC + Manley 100W monoblocks and a Roksan Radius 5.2 turntable). I know what live performances sound like and excellent analog and uncompressed digital (on well-recorded material, friends who visit can't keep their eyes shut as it feels as though the performers are inside the room; spooky...I know, but true).

Q. So how does $25,000 audiophile system compare with the $300 Panasonic HTB550?

A. One of the best bargains in home theater !!!

The HTB550 system delivers excellent digital-to-analog conversion, low distortion amplification and crystal-clear dialog. All of this with minimal cabling and obtrusiveness (wife acceptance factor).

I'm not saying that the system can beat high-end products or 5.1 setups, but it punches WAY above its price segment and offers a truly engaging movies & sports listening experience. I really get immersed while watching and I'm able to turn up the volume for hours without listening fatigue (characteristic of good conversion and amplification).

Integrating with my VIERA TV and Logitech universal remote was a breeze. The WDTV Live and Satellite feed DTS and Dolby Digital via HDMI (note ARC doesn't work in DTS and DD; only PCM). With VIERA link the HTB550 switches on/off automatically with the TV (convenient).

So comparing this to my recording studio-grade system, the HTB550 gets the highest praise. I can't believe Panasonic pulled out such a smartly-designed, GOOD sounding product at a reasonable price. A solid 5 stars from an audiophile.

ADDENDUM 28 June 2012:
================
The volume bar (visual cue) works via Viera Link (Panasonic TVs only). This provides identical volume levels to regular Panasonic TV level. It is smartly labelled as HOME THEATER VOLUME rather than TV VOLUME. I can tell my children to keep Wii volume below 20 and they'd comply ;-)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 4 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 1, 2012 9:01:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 4, 2012 10:47:19 AM PDT
M. Torkelson says:
"note arc doesn't work in dts and dd; only pcm"

what???? so i called panasonic support to confirm this statement and the rep. basically said that's not true. uuuummmm????

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 12:11:31 PM PDT
EliYah says:
A little confused (and uninformed): does this work with other brands, or is it just that you can't see the volume control bars unless it's a Panasonic TV?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2012 8:58:30 PM PDT
Ragamuffin says:
It works with any TV, but you can only see the volume bar if you're connecting it to a Panasonic TV with Viera link.

Posted on Jul 15, 2012 9:02:00 PM PDT
Ragamuffin says:
How did you get the sound bar to work with your Logitech Harmony remote? The input selector will work and you can change subwoofer and dialog volume levels?
I am frustrated with the input selector. I have my Cable Box and Blu-Ray player both connected via HDMI to the sound bar box, and connected that to my Panny TV's HDMI (ARC) connector. However, the sound bar box says "Blu-ray" when that device is selected, but when "TV" is selected, I get picture but no sound. I have to choose "Aux 1" for picture and sound from the Cable Box. I'm okay with it, but it drives my mother in law nuts who can never remember the setting and I'm always getting calls.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 3:24:53 PM PDT
I tried really hard for a week or so to make DTS and DD pass-thru my Viera and failed (all I got was PCM). Everything worked like a charm when I connected directly to HTB550.

This could be a limitation on my particular X-series Viera (2010 model). Not enough information in the manuals or online.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 3:26:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2012 3:29:44 PM PDT
Volume bar only appears with Panasonic TVs that have VieraLink (also mutes internal-TV speaker). No need for multiple remote controls.

HTB550 will work with other TVs, but with less integration.

If you have a Sony TV, then you're better off getting a Sony Bar for full integration (single remote, visual cue, TV-speaker mute, etc...).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 3:26:55 PM PDT
Ditto

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2012 3:33:05 PM PDT
Input selector = I just programmed it into button #5 by using the Logitech website's learning function. 5-minute job; simple.

Subwoofer & dialog = I didn't bother 'learning' those.

I agree that input selector can be a bit frustrating. You can always change configuration and connect devices directly to TV (simpler) and use ARC for audio. My children also get frustrated with input selector.

Posted on Aug 30, 2012 8:40:35 PM PDT
MustangMan says:
Great review , but I was hoping to double it for listening to Internet Radio via Pandora, Rdio and Slacker.
Coming from an audiophile to someone who definitely understands his highs , mids and lows, how is the sound for music? I don't expect miracles from a home theater but a good to decent sound system for Internet Radio to play at a small apartment.

And lastly ,how does connecting an iphone, or ipad sound via the Bluetooth?

Thanks in advance.

Others who use it for "music" please feel free to comment.

Rock on.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 2:11:47 PM PST
I just wanted to add that the ARC on my TC-L47E50 can't pass DD and DTS as others have mentioned - only PCM. I have no problems with multichannel sound when connecting directly to the unit.
‹ Previous 1 2 3 Next ›