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Customer Review

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as, if not better than Bose, but 1/4 the price!!!, March 14, 2012
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This review is from: Sony HTCT550W 3D Sound Bar Home Theater System with Wireless Subwoofer (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I listened to several sound bars and true surround systems and read numerous reviews before deciding on this Sony system. It is the best bang for the buck without a doubt. It is not a true surround system, so if you really want true surround you'd better go with a 5.1 or 7.1 system. As far as sound bar goes, I would put up this Sony system against anything out there right now. I listened to the high end sound bars such as Bower Wilkins, Bose SR1 (both costs around $1,500 to $2,500) in the Magnolia section at Best Buy and at the Bose store to make sure they were set up properly. I also listened to some mid end sound bars from Harmon Kardon and Polk (around $600) and some low end systems from Samsung, LG, Vizio, etc...

Didn't think the BW and Bose systems sounded any better than Harmon Kardon or Polk, and even if you're a critical audiophile, well the BW and Bose were definitely not $1,500 or $2,500 better. Didn't have a chance to listen to the Sony system before buying it. Just read reviews, compared specs, and took the plunge. Was not too impressed at first just using default settings out of the box, so I re-read some of the reviews on Amazon and read the manual thoroughly, and adjusted the controls (especially output) accordingly. What a difference!!! Now the sound is awesome!!! Like I said, I'd put it up against the BW and Bose systems in a blindfold test. For a small or average room, this Sony is the best bang for the buck out there at $400 MSRP (I purchased mine from Amazon for much less. It was on sale at the time). It will fill your room. The highs are clear and the bass is solid.

Very clever mounting system too. No fancy bracket needed for the sound bar. All you need is 2 standard screws or nails on the wall. That's it.

For those people who gave it a negative review, my guess is, they probably used the default settings or didn't adjust the controls properly. I agree with some of the reviewers here. Sony should change the default settings and make it sound awesome right out of the box. If you set it up correctly (fairly easy to do), you'll be impressed with this system. Once again, read the manual and/or check some reviews on this site or others for suggested settings.

Didn't give it 5 stars because it only has 3 HDMI inputs (wish it had 4) and does not have a center channel (but that's only a very minor issue because even without a center channel, the movie dialogue still sounds very good because you do have the ability to control the dialogue volume too). The Bose system is worse when it comes to movie dialogue.

I've owned this system for over 4 months now and am very happy with it. It's the best value out there. You will not be disappointed!!!

Update 3/21/12:
I forgot to mention (some other reviewers have already mentioned this) you also need to adjust the output of your media sources to get the best sound. After adjusting my Sony system, the sound got a little better, but still not to my satisfaction until I re-read a review on this site and noticed the reviewer mentioned adjusting the output of his source. So, I went to the Menu settings of my LG Blue Ray player and changed its output accordingly to match the Sony system, and voila. Now, the sound coming out of a Blue Ray source is simply out of this world on this Sony system. Hope this helps.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 17, 2012 3:13:14 PM PDT
LDB says:
alanSj: I agree with you 100% "the reviewer mentioned adjusting the output of his source. So, I went to the Menu settings of my LG Blue Ray player and changed its output accordingly to match the Sony system, and voila." I often wonder if some of the negative reviews on this product are due to some not understanding that they also have to #1 use an HDMI cable and #2 adjust/configure the other components they have connected to the HT-CT550W. All these suggestions are documented in the 550W manual ( but like me--who reads the darn manual !) :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 7:16:06 PM PDT
alanSJ says:
I think most of the negative reviews are due to operator's error. I've had this system for over 5 months now and it still rocks!!!
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