First off, the sound on this is fine at this price point. The average person -- e.g., my children -- will see a clear improvement over their TV speakers, as the instant I switched over to it, everyone''s reaction was a variation on, "wow... I didn''t realize what we were...
First off, the sound on this is fine at this price point. The average person -- e.g., my children -- will see a clear improvement over their TV speakers, as the instant I switched over to it, everyone''s reaction was a variation on, "wow... I didn''t realize what we were missing.".
I hooked this up to my TV using the HDMI ARC cable as directed. As soon as I turned it on, the TV happily switched over and started using the soundbar. Great. We watched a movie and everyone went to bed.
Three hours later--roughly 1:00 in the morning--the soundbar turned itself and my TV on and cranked the volume to 11. A floor away through a closed door and I almost hit the ceiling I was so startled. I went downstairs and turned it off, then eventually fell back asleep.
Until 4:00 AM, when the soundbar again decided everyone needed to be awake and made its presence known. This time, I unplugged it from the wall and the TV and decided it was getting it a one star review.
I investigated this behavior the next morning, and there is ample evidence that this is a common problem. There is also ample evidence that the manufacturer of the soundbar blames the TV, cable box, universal remotes, etc. claiming that it is "impossible" for the soundbar to send a turn on signal to the TV. I have no tolerance for this sort of spin--the TV has been mounted on the same wall with the same remotes for a year with no problems until the soundbar showed up.
However, having really liked the improvement in sound quality, I decided to give it another chance and tried to hook it up using Bluetooth. This is not actually supported, as I have a Samsung TV and Sony makes it clear (after you buy that if you want to use Bluetooth with someone else''s product, you are on your own. That being said, that is a bit absurd--Bluetooth is a standard. The premise annoys me on principle.
The Bluetooth connection worked fine. I had a small problem figuring out how to pair it, but this was purely a problem on the TV side--the soundbar just needed the push of a button. I was back to a working system, and cautiously left it on overnight and was pleased not to be awakened by a screaming soundbar.
Another annoyance did pop up, however--every time I turn on my TV, I have to reconnect it to the device... it is easy: My TV simply asks, "Connect to HT200?" or something like that, and I click "Yes", but why? Why would I not want to do so? However, this could be a TV problem.
Regardless, after a week, I decided to commit to this soundbar and attempted to mount it on the wall under the TV. This introduced a few problems.
1. It does not come with mounting screws. The instructions tell you to find suitable screws. Seriously? At $200, I should get a couple of screws and drywall anchors.
2. The wall template that is intended to help locate the appropriate places for the screws was not accurate. It left them about 1mm too close together, which is enough to prevent it from fitting. I suspect that this is simply because the template comes folded, and unless you ironed it first, it is not going to be correct. Foolish me for trusting it--should have just measured the distance between the holes myself (which is what I did for attempt #2, and then it fit.
Bottom line--the sound is good, but this product has way too many opportunities for improvement to get more than three stars.