Sony HT-SF150 Review: Still better than your TV’s built-in speakers
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A good soundbar has two important features. This is not only good sound but also ease of use. Since not everyone is convinced of the soundbar idea, manufacturers should try both ways. So what about the Sony HT-SF150? The TV sound is often insufficient for the content being displayed.
Whatever you say, there is always room for improvement. This is why there are various receivers, speakers, and soundbars. The question is always how much you can spend on such an “extra” product, and how realistic its price is. Can you hear really good sound from a budget model? In this review of Sony HT-SF150, we will take a closer look at the functionality of this panel and try to answer this question.
Sony HT-SF150 review
Design and installation
The Sony HT-SF150 is a fairly wide soundbar. It’s not just better for sound. It’s also better for larger TVs. Of course, if your TV is wider than ninety centimeters, then you should think about a different soundbar. The cabinet contains two speakers, which are rated at 120 watts.
The USB port can play music directly, but not in any format. The soundbar offers support for WAV, MP3 and WMA. In addition, there is support for Dolby Digital, and you can also count on Bluetooth version 4.2.
Thus, the sound is reproduced in different ways, but not over Wi-Fi or the Internet. And besides, there is no additional HDMI connection, just one standard port (with CEC and ARC support). There is a single LED on the front of the soundbar.
This indicator lights up when you are using the remote control and when the Sony HT-SF150 Soundbar is activated. There are several buttons at the top for the most basic operations of the device. Super convenient when you are in front of the soundbar and without a remote control. You adjust the sound, turn the soundbar on and off, and change sources. You can also activate Bluetooth mode immediately.
Installing the Sony HT-SF150 soundbar is very easy. The package contains an optical cable that allows you to connect the soundbar to your TV. But perhaps a modern TV does not have an appropriate outlet for this. This is why it is recommended to use an HDMI cable.
Either way: plug the cable into both devices, tell the TV that there is now a soundbar and you can start listening immediately. You can also connect Bluetooth devices: now this is a well-known process.
Since the SF150 soundbar supports hdmi-cec, it can be controlled with the TV remote control. For example, adjust the volume or turn on / off Sony HT-SF150. The panel comes with its own remote control, which Sony distributes with several soundbars.
As a consequence, the remote has buttons for functions that this soundbar does not have. A bit tricky at first, but you will quickly get used to which buttons can and cannot be used. You will not be able to completely abandon the remote control, because it is needed to change audio modes. And the TV remote does not have these buttons. The remote control itself is comfortable in the hand, all buttons are easily accessible.
On the field, the Sony HT-SF150 audio panel looks very convincing, which is not a surprise at the low price. But first of all, you need to understand one thing: the sound produced by the soundbar is actually clearer and more powerful than the standard TV sound, but in many cases it is also sharper.
Especially when you activate the cinematic sound mode. In a scene where, for example, the broken glass of a window falls to the floor after something is thrown at it, the sound is harsh and unpleasant, almost cacophonic. Especially if the music is playing. Simply put, producing precision sound seems too ambitious for the HT-SF150.
To counteract this a little, you can activate the normal mode, but then there is an option to skip some dynamic scene – the sound effect will be ignored. Conversation clarity seems good at first, but it ends up in the trash when music plays in the background in the background. It is unexpectedly well heard, and its volume interferes with dialogues.
The musical plan is also a little disappointing. Although the sound is decent and warm, the lack of good bass sound is distinctly audible. Low tones are practically absent or sound boring, which makes a large number of songs less dynamic. In this sense, the Sony HT-S350 soundbar with a wireless subwoofer is much more interesting .
However, if you don’t bother and just watch TV programs, the Sony 150 soundbar will work well. Dialogue is easy to understand and sounds don’t turn into mince. The soundbar is clearly intended for TV shows.
However, sound can fill a room and does not sound localized. When you watch movies or TV shows, or even listen to music, you don’t feel like the sound is coming from a compact box in front of the TV.
Other soundbars in this segment are often inferior (and mostly inferior). Therefore, their sound seems to be directional. Sony HT-SF150 suffers from this to a much lesser extent. While it may be a little disappointing to play certain audio content, the audio has spatial richness.
As mentioned above, the rear panel houses an optical input, an HDMI connector (with CEC and ARC support) and a USB port. Among the wireless connections are Bluetooth version 4.2.
The Sony HT-SF150 is an inexpensive soundbar that is generally easy to use. The “plug and play” principle is implemented here 100%. The remote is also convenient. However, at this price, you don’t have to expect much from the sound. However, it’s still better than your TV’s built-in speakers.
It is important in which room this soundbar will be used. The Sony HT-SF150 soundbar has wide directional speakers and may sound slightly better in a small room. And yet the device does not bring you closer to the cinema, no matter how much you wish it.