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The Panasonic SC-HTB520 soundbar deserves attention due to the competition in today’s market for similar devices. The panel has HDMI ports and Wi-Fi on board.
Panasonic SC-HTB520 review
The appearance of the Panasonic SC-HTB520 soundbar is a thin and sleek panel. Maximum sound power 240 W. This is slightly less than in the LG SL9YG , but the performance remains high. The subwoofer measures 180 x 408 x 306 mm. The LF broadcaster installed in it is located downward. This size is relatively small for an active woofer.
Small size combined with black color adds style. The black finish blends in well with the basic structure of the soundbar. The wireless connection between the soundbar and the subwoofer is automatically configured. So, you need to wait after turning on the soundbar before complaining about the subwoofer not working.
Sound scheme 2.1-channel. The panel houses a pair of full-range speakers. Additionally, there is a wireless (Wi-Fi) subwoofer. The soundbar supports Dolby Digital and DTS. The interface part is complemented by HDMI 1.4 connectors and an optical audio input on the back of the panel.
The option of wireless subwoofer pairing is scarce in some budget models. Therefore, the HTB520 has an advantage in this regard. By the way, the manufacturer has another Panasonic SC-HTB510 soundbar with Bluetooth. In this version, it is possible through the built-in Chromecast (compatible with Google Assistent) to broadcast music directly to the acoustics.
The use and connection options for the Panasonic SC-HTB520 are varied. For example, you can connect with an optical audio cable and turn off the TV speakers. You can connect via HDMI cable to the port with ARC . In this case, the soundbar will automatically turn on when you turn on the TV. This seems to be a trifle, but it’s nice to have at least minimal comfort.
The SC-HTB510 wireless interface specification allows for direct over-the-air connection of mobile devices for content playback. Additionally, through Google Home, various adjustments of the speaker system are configured.
Using the soundbar is even easier than connecting the interfaces. When the acoustics are connected via HDMI cable, many questions disappear. You only need a single TV remote control to control the volume and turn on the device. Mobile devices are connected from a smartphone (not for the 520 version).
There should not be any difficulties, especially since the instruction manual takes only 4 pages. For some users, the lack of any minimum display to indicate the modes of operation of the soundbar is a small drawback. The soundbar has LED indicators. However, it is difficult to clearly see from a distance which mode or which interface is currently selected.
Especially in this case, it is problematic to see the volume level of the soundbar. On the other hand, the laconic functionality can be a plus. You can get used to the disadvantages listed above. But the lack of visual indication makes it difficult to understand which input interface the HDMI soundbar or optics are currently using.
We have to resort to the native remote control and switch the available interfaces one by one. This is most likely the main flaw in the HTB510 soundbar. Indeed, different sources may require different soundbar settings. For example, Netflix and PlayStation sound levels may differ.
On the plus side, the Panasonic SC-HTB520 has excellent sound. This soundbar, with a price tag of less than RUR 20,000, can serve as the standard soundbar at this price point. Even with the voice acting of game consoles, Panasonic HTB520 is able to surprise game lovers.
The SC-HTB520’s sound is “wider” than most similar systems in this price range. Most of the content being played sounds clear. In the presence of high and low tones, a wide stereo base. The model is well suited for comfortable listening to movies or music. In most tracks, the subwoofer handles the low end.
Dialogues are reproduced adequately, with emotions and dynamics. Although sometimes users will notice an unbalanced woofer sound. For the subwoofer, step power control is available (4 positions). Of the advantages, you can also designate the “mobility” of the sub – it is wireless and can be moved to the desired place.
The majority of users note the design of the soundbar and the presence of HDMI with ARC with a sound scheme of 2.1 as advantages. Free movement “in space” of the subwoofer allows you to hide it from view. The subwoofer setting should be experimentally selected for the “richness” of the sound of the entire system. This is a good option for small spaces.
Among the missing qualities, it was noted: the absence of Bluetooth and the inability to directly connect a smartphone via this interface to listen to music. There are cases when the wireless subwoofer is connected to the base for a long time. On some TV models, there may be a long turning on of the soundbar sound when switching TV channels, but this is a problem with the TV software. There is an opinion that the price of acoustics with a sound scheme of 2.1 is too high.
Other soundbars can be found for this price, but the Panasonic HTB520 picks up the top in performance and ease of use. In addition, not all soundbars with this price tag come with high-quality subwoofers.
And this is one of the main advantages. Overall, the soundbar sounds good, and the only downside might be subwoofer imbalance. Besides, do not forget about the absence of a small screen for displaying information.