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Showing 1-10 of 938 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,031 reviews
on September 10, 2013
I bought this model mainly because I wanted HDMI-CEC (a.k.a. Bravia Sync, SIMPLINK, Anynet+, etc.), and it works great. CEC turns the sound bar on and off with the TV, and it also lets you use the TV remote to control the volume. You get slightly better sound quality by feeding the source directly into the sound system with HDMI and then out to the TV instead of from the TV into the sound system. Many TVs downgrade the audio signal to stereo over digital coaxial audio out and optical audio out if the TV input is HDMI (has something to do with HDCP).

This sound bar supports ARC (Audio Return Channel). ARC lets you plug your TV cable, Roku stick (if you have MHL), Chromecast, or USB drive into your TV, and the sound can travel "backwards" through the HDMI cable to the sound bar. It also works with Smart TVs. For ARC, the audio input function on the sound bar is "TV", but it usually automatically switches, so you do not have to manually change the input.

Since the Sony spec sheet is unclear, here are all the ports for this sound bar:

Inputs:
1x HDMI
1x Optical
1x Stereo Mini (This is used to connect a media player like an iPod without Bluetooth using a 3.5 mm male to male cable. It is not an output, so connecting headphones will not work.)

Outputs:
1x HDMI

This model is mid-range so while the speakers definitely sound better than the built-in TV speakers, they can sound a little thin at times (I'm used to nice Polk bookshelf speakers). To put it another way, the treble can sound a little muddled at times due to the lack of tweeters. The subwoofer makes a huge difference though. 2x the price would get you only a slight improvement in sound quality. 5x the price would get you a big increase in sound quality. Then there's a lot of in-between quality as well. My point is that if you want to pay more, there are better options, but at this price, this sound bar is solid. I wouldn't consider buying a sound bar under $150 because the increase in performance over TV speakers would not be enough to justify it (to me anyway).

Everything is basically plug and play. The subwoofer is already paired. My iPhone and iPad paired perfectly, and I was playing music in no time. An interesting tip is that you can switch the audio input to Bluetooth, and the image will still stay on the TV screen because of HDMI video passthrough (e.g. You can play a PS4 game while listening to music from your iPhone over Bluetooth. The PS4 audio will be muted).

The only thing I can really knock on this model is that it only has 1 HDMI input, so this means I will have to use an HDMI switcher to hook up multiple devices. If you have a little more cash, you may want to get the HT-CT660 for the extra HDMI inputs. Using some apps like HBOGo, the 260's audio is quieter than I would like it to be at max setting, but for the majority of apps like Netflix, the sound is louder and just fine. Since the sound level is different between apps, I have determined it is mostly the apps' fault for outputting a lower gain. I have the speaker bar in a smaller room (less than 3 m x 3 m), so the lower volume doesn't matter too much. The 660 model is a bit louder than the 260 and has clearer treble and voice because of the added tweeters. 40 sound volume on the 660 sounds like 50 (max) on the 260; however, the 660 becomes distorted much past 44. The 260 can strain at higher volumes as well. The 660 is not as "plug and play" as the 260 because you have to really tweak the settings for it to sound good, and you have to change them (mainly voice and sub level) depending on whether you're listening to music or a movie. The 660 can sound better, but you have to work for it more than the 260. The 260 sounds great if you just turn up the treble and bass a couple notches. Depending on the room, sub position, and personal preferences sub level will vary (default is 2).

I think Sony could have left a little more space in the back for the HDMI cables. It's a little difficult to get both of them in at that angle. That's a minor annoyance though.

The remote is nothing amazing. It actually has more buttons than it needs. I would rather it be slightly more simplified by getting rid of the numbers and color buttons. It does have bluetooth controls at the bottom, so you can control your bluetooth device. I'm not sure how useful the bluetooth buttons are because you have to have the phone or bluetooth device in the same room anyway or else it skips, so I guess the benefit is not having to wake up the device's screen. The downside of the bluetooth buttons is that I can't use it to control my Blu-Ray player. I wish the remote had backlights. I may have to get a Logitech universal remote eventually. I like the ease of changing the equalizer presets. I mostly use Game, Music, and Movie. The Amp Menu settings are simple enough to change when you get to know the layout.

Bottom line -- This sound bar is the best under $300!

Note: I had an issue with the subwoofer dropping out randomly. It was being caused by WiFi interference (2.4 GHz). I turned off my G network (mixed) for N only (5 GHz), and the sub is working as it should now. You shouldn't have any problems with Wireless-N (802.11n) networks on the 5 GHz band. If you have close neighbors (or other networks in range), be aware of what they use. Fortunately, mine use Wireless-N.

UPDATE: And now it is way under $300! I would have to say the 660 model is now technically the best sound bar under $300 because it adds tweeters and is a little louder, but it does require a bit more configuration and tweaking than the 260 to sound right.
1111 comments| 204 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 24, 2013
I recently purchased Bose Cinemate GSII for my living room but I returned it for Sony HT CT 260H
I used to own Onkyo HTIB system for my Hometheater, however, I realized how messy the cables are for 5.1 channels.
So, this time I went for 2.1 channels.
There were 4 options that I considered

1. Bose Cinemate GSII (MSRP 599.99)
2. Onkyo Envision (MSRP 499.99)
3. Pioneer Soundbar Andrew Jones Edition (MSRP 399.99)
4. Sony HT CT 260 (MSRP under 299.99)

Firstly, I purchased Bose Cinemate GS II at 640 dollars (including Tax)
I had it for 6 days however, I couldn't see any points that justify its high price range.
I agree bass is amazing! However, I couldn't hear any sound of piano, strings, high notes from Gemstone speakers
Low sounds were astonishing but.. THATS IT!
So I returned it after 6 days.

Then I tested Onkyo Envision. However, its just another Bose Cinemate GSII with lower price tag.
This one doesnt justify its price tag either.

The third one that I tested was Pioneer soundbar Andrew Jones Edition which was displayed at BestBuy.
I have to admit that the sound quality of soundbar itself is better than Sony HT CT 260.
Pioneer has more acoustic feeling and drums from its wood materials.
However, there were two problems with this model.
One is its well-known bluetooth problem and the other is Pioneers poor customer service. (+ high price range)
So I skipped it.

Finally I got Sony HT CT 260.
In a word, HAPPY!
I know if you go for either soundbar or 2.1 channel system, you are giving up surround sound and value/price benefits.
However, this model is quite inexpensive ($240) and sound is just good enough for a soundbar.
In terms of quality, its not the best speaker you can get.

However, in terms of value, this is probably the best sound system that you can utilize for your budget and space.

Bass is punch but still the sound has not been sacrificed at all.
I know you can get way better sound systems such as Energy Take 5.1 / Onkyo HT-S3500 at similar price range but I want the simplest setup for my sound system.
And they don't come with bluetooth connection which this one has.

Anyways, if you are tight on budget and don't want to be a GeekSquad of your home, go get this ONE.
Otherwise, go get Pioneer SoundBar Andrew Jones Edition or go for 5.1 surround sounds.

Sound Quality (Personal)
Bose Cinemate GS II (except bass) = Onkyo Envision = Pioneer AJ > Sony 260
Value
Sony > Pioneer > Onkyo >>> Bose
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on December 30, 2013
I have had this sound bar for few weeks now, and I am thinking 3.5 stars is about right.
1. Like the sound - Loud enough for a mid-size living room, especially while playing Music or Movies. Sometimes, the dialogues can be difficult to hear but overall - this serves the purpose. I like the quality of sound. I have to say that the Bose SoundDock sounds slightly better to my untrained ears, but that is clearly for a different purpose and probably not the right comparison
2. The sound bar is easy to install, and has very few wires. I almost missed the thin optical cable, but it's there
3. You don't need to buy an HDMI cable to make this work. I don't know if the sound is better with an HDMI cable, but I do not want an extra HDMI cable
4. Works with Samsung LED Smart TV. I was wrongly concerned it might not be compatible
5. Blue tooth is a fail only because it has a VERY short range. I bought a 10 dollar Bright BT receiver for the Bose SoundDock that has a much better range. May be I got a lame product, who knows.
6. Have to handle an extra remote, which is a nuisance but not the product's fault. The remote could have done with fewer buttons

Like I said, it serves the purpose. I would recommend if your prime purpose is augmenting TV sound. Reevaluate your options if you are buying this for Blue Tooth functionality.

Research:
I did lot of research before buying this sound bar - Reading product reviews and comparisons as well as user reviews on Amazon and other sites. My extensive research suggests that this is the best value for money Sound Bar out there. If you are like me who does lot of reading before buying anything (why not?), hope this saves you some time. Although if you are like me, you will research anyways :)
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VINE VOICEon October 29, 2016
I bought this about three years ago (January 2014) and somehow neglected to review it sooner. Just as well - as today, after all this time, it has functioned perfectly. We use it with a 42" Samsung HDTV and the difference in sound is as profound as was the difference in picture quality when we switched from old tube TV to HDTV!

All features work as advertised - including the Bluetooth capacity that allows me to play music on my iPhoine through the speakers - with the ample and resonant base provided by the base-speaker (wireless) unit that connects wirelessly to the main soundbar (which is mounted above the TV on the wall) and plays along with it when it is in BLuetooth mode.

Back then, it was a bargain and I see now that it has been replaced by a newer model. I hope that means that the newer model is as good as this one has been. If there is a doubt, a refurb (by Sony, of course) of this one would be a nice addition to any TV-watching person or family.
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on December 20, 2013
Great sound-bar for the money. Fills the room and has good bass. Set up can be a little tricky. It is plug and play, but to get it to the sound the way you like it you have to play with sound settings a lot. Bluetooth feature is great and convenient. Music sounds good on this sound bar. Under the settings you have to turn OFF the EFFECTS setting to get the best sound out of the system. All in all, a great, feature rich sound bar for the money.
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on May 1, 2015
The Sony HTCT260H Sound Bar is my 3rd Sony soundbar. I have always been very happy with them, but this blows my others away. Very, very happy with the sound. I was initially disappointed at the number of HDMI ports, but I discovered the ARC features and love being able to control the soundbar with my TV remote...I just plug everything into the TV instead of the soundbar (on my last Sony SB, the HDMI ports were in the Sub, instead of the SB itself).
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on January 5, 2015
I've been wanting & searching for a sound bar, for my 42" Plasma Panasonic Viera HDTV for a while now, but there are so many, and all of them have some great reviews, and all have some really bad reviews. With all the different reviews it's very hard to know which ones to believe.

Just the other day I was at a friends house, and he had a Sony 40" sound bar, with a sub, and I was super impressed with the sound quality, and how rich it sounded, so right then I knew I wanted a Sony Sound Bar (2.1).

I know this model "HTCT260H" is an older model, but it has everything I wanted and needed.
I can tell you....WOW this thing sounds great, it's really hard to believe the quality of the sound that comes out of this sound bar & sub, plus the wireless sub is a really nice touch, much cleaner looking!

It was incredibly easy to sink up my Android smart phone, Motorola Moto G (2nd generation), with the sound bar, and the music sounded excellent, not Home Theater quality, but close! I have a SanDisk 32Gb SDHC in my Moto G, and at least 6Gbs of music on it, all in WAV Lossless format, and I could easily control the play, pause, select, and volume, with my phone, all round the room, so in my case the blue tooth connection was very strong and stable.
It looks very sharp in front of my plasma, and I couldn't be happier with how big and rich the sound is.
No buyers remorse at all.
I'm 100% happy with my purchase, and the sound is just amazing!
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on January 30, 2014
We got this to replace our TV speakers and the 5.1 system we never hooked back up after the last move. We needed speakers that could be played at a lower volume and boost the voice audio. We didn't buy this to just make more noise, we just wanted to be able to hear the dialog at a reasonable volume. So the good parts are simple setup, wireless sub sounds nice when being used constantly, at med-high volume great room filling sound. The bad, we've had issues with connectivity, mostly interference with wifi and bluetooth in the house. Relocating the wifi router helped significantly. The other issue is that when you are watching say a movie quietly (kids asleep) the subwoofer will turn on and off sporadically. It takes a minimum amount of bass to activate it so if the movie gets quiet, the sub will shutoff until the movie gets noisy again. This is distracting. It flops between rich deep sound and barely audible mid and treble from the bar only.
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on March 24, 2014
I chose this sound bar because of features, brand, and design but there is a huge, glaring issue that affects a primary use-case; the Bluetooth connection is more than just unstable and wonky, it will drive you nuts.

I use my iOS devices to connect to the speaker over Bluetooth, but the connection is very fickle to say the least. I also have a bluetooth Bose system in another part of my house and the difference in quality of the bluetooth connection is cringe-worthy-level embarrassing for Sony. The Bose speaker allows me to walk across my home, upstairs, diagonally across the home to the subject Sony soundbar without any degradation of the bluetooth signal or music from the wireless Bose system. The Sony soundbar on the other hand.......I put my phone in my pocket and turned away from the speaker and the bluetooth connection breaks up and so does the music playback. I was not even two feet away from the Sony speaker. It is indescribable how bad the connection is.

Although I can't speak about it as it has not effected me because I have not used the soundbar through a wired connection, I noticed, as I was searching for a solution to my bluetooth issue, that there are significant number of people that have reported similar drops and cuts in sound using wired connections. The wireless connectivity seems to also affect the connection of the subwoofer to the speaker, because that will also cut out at times.

According to the horrible Sony support site the solution is to move the speaker away from microwaves. There ya have it........ the kind of support you really need. Don't
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on June 23, 2015
Sound bar disappointing actually returned it BUT loved the sub woofer. Sound bar was bulky and sound was not as crisp as expected and sometimes muffled. I did all the YouTube tricks to solve problem before returning. I ended up with the Lg model LAS551h and agonized over the exchange because I loved the Sony sub woofer. I literally set up the LG and being bummed about their subwoofer compared to the Sony I went and drove my self to BEST BUY and had the salesperson switch between all their modeled sound bars with my back away from items. Kept coming back to the LG one even over more expensive Harmon Karmon and Bose items. In fact LG bar was so above the others I decided to live w the subwoofer not being as great as the Sony. Decided to play around w location in room and settings on the remote and I am 100% excited I went that way. Always loved Sony products, still use their Sound Wave Radio/cd but skip the sound bar...I bought it off reviews but found doing the BEST BUY thing in person a big plus. Drove friends crazy over this one as they were happy with their Vizio bars. Definitely worth the time to shop in person and not by reviews as everyone has different taste. 3 stars in personal choice and strictly because I loved their subwoofer. All are easy set up and definitely go the optical cord option which most bars come with although I spent $16 at Walmart for a different one. FYI my bar is set up w a Vizio 60".
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