TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Synonymous with home audio and home theater excellence, Sony is notable for offering sleek and feature-rich components. The Sony HT-CT150 sound bar is no exception. In addition to offering a class-leading 340 watts of power, this sound bar comes loaded with a litany of features and connectivity options, numerous audio processing formats and excellent customer service and support. The combination of superior performance coupled with the HT-CT150's cavalcade of modern features places it clearly in a class all of its own. With that in mind, the Sony HT-CT150 earns our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.

Features
Compare
8.4/10
Sony HT-CT150
LG NB3520A
Panasonic SC-HTB350
Boston Acoustics TVEee 25
Vizio VSB210WS
Polk SurroundBar 3000
Yamaha YAS-101
Sharp HT-SL70
ZVOX 420
Energy Power Bar
8.4
8.8
8.8
8.1
9.4
8.1
9
5
6.3
4.6

Sony has long been considered an industry leader, implementing consumer-friendly and versatile features into its line of audio and home theater equipment. Consisting of 3.1 channels, the Sony HT-CT150 may be mounted on your wall, or you can place the sound bar on your tabletop or home entertainment center – a great option should you want to avoid pounding nails into your walls.

Sony packs three speakers into the CT150's speaker cabinet. The HT-CT150 sound bar is capable of producing relatively convincing surround sound. Of course, you won't confuse the surround sound effect with that of an actual 5.1-channel speaker set up, but when we compare it with some of the best units in our lineup Sony's sound bar does offer a deeper soundstage, which means you'll perceive much more sound depth and location with this unit than with its competitors.

Unlike many of its competitors, the HT-CT150 subwoofer isn't wireless, limiting exactly where you can place the unit. Supplied with an AC power cable, the subwoofer actually serves as the system's nerve center, containing all of the sound bars inputs and amplifier. The included remote control is capable of controlling not only your sound bar, but your television and Blu-ray player as well. Sony employs a color coding system, which simplifies finding and using the remote's many functions.

The Sony HT-CT150 is one of only two sound bars featured in our review that come equipped with an equalizer, giving you the ability to tweak the unit's bass and treble. Sony also provides a number of EQ presets, which automatically adjust bass and treble depending on the genre of television or movie you are watching.

Money - and environment-conscious consumers will appreciate the fact that the HT-CT150 is Energy Star qualified. Energy Star qualified products use less energy, which in turn saves you money and helps protect the environment.

Performance
Compare
9.6/10
Sony HT-CT150
LG NB3520A
Panasonic SC-HTB350
Boston Acoustics TVEee 25
Vizio VSB210WS
Polk SurroundBar 3000
Yamaha YAS-101
Sharp HT-SL70
ZVOX 420
Energy Power Bar
9.6
8.8
8.5
9.1
9.3
8.8
5
8.1
3.1
6.3

Functioning at 340 total watts, the Sony HT-CT150 sound bar produces a very clean and loud sound. Dialogue is crisp and clear, while the subwoofer offers deep and substantial bass for loud explosions or pounding music.

The sound bar includes a digital signal processor (DSP) and a broad frequency response, both of which contribute to this unit's excellent performance. The DSP processes data in real time, so it's able to create the illusion of rear and side surround sound. Sound bars equipped with a DSP do a better job of creating convincing simulated surround sound.

The sound bar's frequency response ranges from 40Hz  to 20kHz and enables the sound bar to produce deep bass and high treble frequencies. This broad frequency range results in a more life-like movie-viewing experience.

Connectivity
Compare
9.4/10
Sony HT-CT150
LG NB3520A
Panasonic SC-HTB350
Boston Acoustics TVEee 25
Vizio VSB210WS
Polk SurroundBar 3000
Yamaha YAS-101
Sharp HT-SL70
ZVOX 420
Energy Power Bar
9.4
8.8
4.4
4.4
3.1
4.4
3.8
5
7.5
2.5

A hallmark of a versatile sound bar is the number of connections it offers. The Sony HT-CT150 offers a torrent of connections, including two RCA inputs, two optical inputs, one coaxial input and three HDMI inputs. Few sound bars offer any HDMI ports, let alone three. An HDMI connection ensures you are getting the best audio quality possible.

Audio Processing
Compare
10/10
Sony HT-CT150
LG NB3520A
Panasonic SC-HTB350
Boston Acoustics TVEee 25
Vizio VSB210WS
Polk SurroundBar 3000
Yamaha YAS-101
Sharp HT-SL70
ZVOX 420
Energy Power Bar
10
7.5
7.5
7.5
2.5
2.5
7.5
2.5
2.5
2.5

The Sony HT-CT150 supports numerous sound formats including Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital and DTS. Dolby Digital and DTS both deliver high quality multi-channel audio that anyone but the most demanding audiophile will appreciate.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Sony HT-CT150
LG NB3520A
Panasonic SC-HTB350
Boston Acoustics TVEee 25
Vizio VSB210WS
Polk SurroundBar 3000
Yamaha YAS-101
Sharp HT-SL70
ZVOX 420
Energy Power Bar
10
10
10
8.8
10
8.8
8.8
7.5
8.8
8.8

Sony delivers exhaustive and well-rounded help and support. Finding product support for the HT-CT150 is easy thanks to clearly labeled menus and sub menus. Along with telephone and email support, a team of friendly and knowledgeable customer representatives are happy to answer your questions via live chat. We also like Sony's implementation of videos and tutorials, which aids in helping you learn about the product. The Sony HT-CT150 comes with a one-year warranty.

Sony HT-CT150 Summary:
9.2/10

Combining powerful output, a broad sound stage and a wide variety of connectivity options, the Sony HT-CT150 sound bar brings superior home theater sound to your living room. Three HMDI ports ensure phenomenal sound quality, while the HT-CT150's subwoofer provides plenty of heart pounding bass. Should you encounter any questions or concerns, Sony's thorough help and support will be happy to assist you. For exceptional performance at an affordable price, you simply can't beat the Sony HT-CT150.

 
 
 

Sony HT-CT150

Pros
Exceptional power output and HDMI connectivity result in superior sound quality.

Cons
The wired subwoofer limits how far you can place it from the sound bar.

The Verdict
: 9.18/10

With unrivaled power output, numerous connections and first-class customer support, the Sony HT-CT150 is the best entry-level sound bar on the market.