Panasonic SC-HTB490 Review: Good for Smaller Spaces


The Panasonic SC-HTB490 is an inexpensive soundbar and subwoofer combo, with ARC, optical and Bluetooth connections. It sits at the smaller aspect, making it a good possibility in the event you reside in a flat, or if you need one thing that won’t take over your TV setup.

It would possibly not ship the similar kind of efficiency that you’ll be able to in finding on costlier soundbars, and it is missing on some connection choices like Chromecast – nevertheless it does have a couple of perks for the fee.  

Design & Build

The design of the Panasonic SC-HTB490 is underwhelming. It seems elementary, and a handy guide a rough look on the Panasonic web site displays that it’s not distinguishable from different merchandise from the logo. A mode icon for your lounge, that is on no account. 

Both the soundbar and subwoofer are available in a matte black end. The soundbar includes a fabric-covered entrance, with LED lighting to signify the amount and settings, a typical set-up on many soundbars. The ft at the soundbar really feel slightly affordable and are not vastly robust.

Panasonic soundbar

Whilst the total aesthetic is not anything else to shout about, the scale is good and compact and can are compatible in with moderately smaller TVs. The soundbar measures 800 x 56 x 101mm and weighs 1.9kg. The subwoofer is not reasonably as dainty, measuring 171 x 382 x 363mm and weighing roughly 5.7kg.

The small dimensions imply the soundbar is definitely mountable, and the entire vital screws and wall fittings you wish to have are incorporated within the field.

On the highest of the SC-HTB490, there are guide controls for the facility, quantity, and enter/Bluetooth pairing. Ports-wise, you get an HDMI-ARC slot, an HDMI CEC port, a USB port for exterior gadgets and an optical enter (helpful for any person with an older TV).

With the soundbar, you get an accompanying faraway keep an eye on. On this, you’ll be able to regulate the facility, alternate the presets, flip the amount and bass up and down and turn the enter instrument. There also are media buttons (play, pause, ahead and rewind) however, moderately frustratingly, I may just no longer use those with streaming services and products or YouTube.

Like the soundbar, it’s not the prettiest faraway I’ve observed, with a small and flimsy construct – nevertheless it will get the task achieved.

Panasonic soundbar

Connectivity & Setup

Setting up the Panasonic SC-HTB490 is reasonably simple. You can attach it both by the use of HDMI ARC, optical or Bluetooth. I opted for the HDMI ARC possibility – even though annoyingly HDMI cables don’t seem to be supplied within the field for this, so I used a spare one I had mendacity round the home. Once the whole lot is plugged in, merely flip it on and also you will have to be able to head.

The soundbar comprises an additional HDMI port and a USB port, so you could have the technique to run a couple of exterior gadgets via it. The energy cable additionally attaches from the again. The extension lead for the plug isn’t the longest, so stay this in thoughts if cable control is vital to you.

The soundbar is fast and conscious of movements, and I didn’t have any problems with connectivity, even if switching between consoles and streaming sticks.

Panasonic connectivity

You can attach the TV and different gadgets to the soundbar by the use of Bluetooth. However, there is not any aptX fortify, so you’re going to realize a drop in high quality in the event you play anything else by the use of this system in comparison to a bodily connection.

One of the most important let-downs of the Panasonic SC-HTB490 is the loss of fortify for house ecosystems equivalent to Google Home, Amazon or Apple Home, particularly while you believe that a large number of less expensive possible choices be offering this.

Sound Quality

The Panasonic SC-HTB490 includes a 2.1 setup, with two full-range, front-firing audio system. The soundbar on my own produces 160W output. The wi-fi subwoofer fits this quantity, making for a complete output of 320W.

This soundbar is a brilliant all-rounder. I used it for motion TV displays equivalent to Hawkeye, video games like Pokémon Legends: Arceus and quite a lot of Twitch streams and YouTube movies, and it supplies cast sound for they all, with transparent audio and a large number of main points shining via.

Panasonic soundbar

I principally use the song and information presets at the Panasonic SC-HTB490. The bass on those modes is cast by the use of the subwoofer, which is paired with a really perfect mixture of mids and highs – with song, sound results and discussion balanced really well with out sounding too sharp or muddled.

Sadly, the opposite presets have been nowhere close to as spectacular. Both the cinema and sports activities modes follow digital audio processing, which makes the sound tinny and blown out. The most effective enhanced part I discovered used to be crowd noise in content material like soccer fits. Meanwhile, the usual mode does no longer give you the identical wealthy combine because the song preset, with the bass non-existent.

The combo is able to a noisy output, particularly for this creator who lives in a flat and likes to regulate the audio relying on how overdue I’m gazing one thing – no wish to annoy the neighbours, in spite of everything. The identical is going for the subwoofer, which I by no means had to whack the entire approach as much as get excellent bass.

You won’t get the similar kind of 3-D, immersive audio that you’ll be able to in finding on costlier soundbars, so don’t expect any cinema-level taste sound right here.

Panasonic soundbar

Price & Availability

The Panasonic SC-HTB490 retails for £349, placing it within the inexpensive to mid-range bracket of what you can pay for this sort of product. You can recently purchase it from Panasonic, Currys and Hughes. The soundbar isn’t to be had in the USA on the time of writing.

Despite the RRP of £349, many retail outlets are promoting it for round £100 lower than that on the time of writing, and the soundbar went for underneath £200 when it first went on sale – so you should definitely store round for the finest worth.

There are some difficult competition that you’ll be able to get for a identical worth to the RRP, and even less expensive, together with the Denon DHT-S416 and the Samsung S60T, that have higher connectivity choices and extra top rate designs.

If you need to peer extra choices, you’ll be able to take a look at our chart of the finest soundbars, together with the ones that include a subwoofer.

Panasonic soundbar

Verdict

The Panasonic SC-HTB490 isn’t the best-looking soundbar available on the market, however its smaller measurement, first rate quantity, outstanding bass ranges and easy setup makes it a really perfect entry-level fashion – particularly for those that reside in smaller houses and should not have an enormous TV unit. The inclusion of a subwoofer at a soundbar of this worth may be a large plus.

That mentioned, the loss of good connectivity is also a letdown if you want to use Chromecast or AirPlay to play song. In addition, just a handful of the presets are price the use of, leaving those that like to customize the sound dissatisfied. 

Specs

Panasonic SC-HTB490: Specs

  • Soundbar dimensions: 800x56x101mm
  • Soundbar weight: 1.9kg
  • Subwoofer dimensions: 171x382x363mm
  • Subwoofer weight: 5.7kg
  • Wall-mount: Yes
  • 320W speaker and subwoofer output
  • Multi-colour LED lighting
  • Bluetooth
  • 2.1 channel gadget
  • HDMI ARC
  • HDMI CED
  • Optical enter
  • USB
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