Occupation: Web/Graphic Designer
Soundbars have quickly become one of the most popular audio solutions for those looking for powerful yet stylish home theatre systems. As I was looking for one myself, I was thrilled when the opportunity to trial the Panasonic HTB550 Home Theatre Audio System came along.
Being a designer, aesthetics, functionality and layout are important factors to me. The system offers flexibility in display, allowing me to position it as a whole soundbar or detach it to form a 2.1 sound system. This is one of my favourite design features of the HTB550. Also, I had the freedom to place the wireless subwoofer anywhere without compromising the décor of my room.
Assembling the HTB550 was a breeze. The wireless subwoofer hardly required any setting up, so all that was left to do was to connect the speakers and digital amplifier. Setting up the digital amplifier was pretty effortless with just the power chord, HDMI ports to the TV & DVD player and 2 speaker wires for connectivity.
Alright, time for the sound test! I connected the system via HDMI cable to my laptop to play some of the songs in my iTunes library. I must say the sound quality was pretty amazing; better than I expected quite frankly. Good music always helps me soothe away the stress of the day, and I was impressed at how brilliant the anti-jitter digital amplifier made my lounge tunes sound. It also paired very well with my LED HDTV and the bass from the subwoofer provided 3-dimensional surround sound enjoyment for movies and even regular TV programs; definitely good enough for small to medium sized spaces.
Now, let’s talk aesthetics. The subwoofer is light and not bulky, unlike some in the market today. The speakers are covered with a translucent wire mesh which exudes a modern, hardy feel. It’s designed in a sleek black piano finish; which is awesome because not only does it project a luxurious and stylish edge, it also totally compliments the theme of my room! The speakers are slim and it comes with 2 small stands for you to place them on a console in case you didn’t want to mount them on the wall; therefore, no drilling was even needed. I thought this was another good and flexible design feature of the HTB550. There is a slide-in connector joining the 2 speakers to form the soundbar and that made assembling very easy; it would have been great if the same slide-in design was implemented to form up the individual speakers stand for the 2.1 system.
To conclude, I think Panasonic has done a great job amalgamating the key requirements of form and function to create the HTB550 Home Theatre Audio System. Not only does it deliver impressive sound quality, it is also such a good-looker and would definitely fit well in small modern homes of today.