Looking to fill your room with some delightful 2.1-channel sound? Then today’s Sony HT-CT290 review will probably interest you.
There are plenty of 2.1-channel soundbars out there, and it isn’t that easy to make a decision. Well, we think that Sony HT-CT290 is one of those soundbars that deserve attention at the very least.
But is it going to be the right soundbar for you? Let’s find out.
Solid 2.1-channel sound
The HT-CT290 2.1-channel sound system indeed delivers for the price. One of the things that contribute to this is its powerful soundbar. Out of the 300W total output of this system, 200 comes from the soundbar, with right and left channels each having 100W output.
Now, this obviously isn’t a home-theater-grade output, but such an amount definitely makes this sound system good for not so big rooms.
In terms of frequency response, the soundbar is rather decent. Ranging from 200 to 20,000 Hz, the frequency range in the soundbar is well capable of covering subtle sound details in music, movies, and even games.
But, as you could notice, the bass frequencies aren’t that well-represented in the HT-CT290 system. To be fair, there are 2.1-channel systems out there that have a 40-20,000 Hz frequency range for the same price. So if you do love good bass in your sound, then there are better options for you out there.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the bass in this sound system is nonexistent. We’ve just meant that it is relatively weak, and if you don’t like when there is too much bass in the sound, Sony HT-CT290 is probably going to satisfy you.
3 sound presets
For a slight variation in the sound, the Sony HT-CT290 has 3 sound presets in it – ClearAudio+, Movie, and Music. These presets have subtle differences between each other that make them sound better for the uses they are intended for.
There also are the Voice and Night functions in this sound system. The former, obviously, delivers clearer voices, while the Night mode delivers quieter yet still clear sound.
The subwoofer is there in the HT-CT290 sound system in order to bring some liveliness to its sound. It does an overall good job thanks to its 100W power output at 100 Hz. But if the frequency response of the soundbar was deeper in the low end, the bass would definitely be better in this sound system.
A remarkable feature of the subwoofer is that it is designed to be laid on its side, which is why Sony calls it a slot-in subwoofer. Thanks to this feature, you may place the subwoofer on a shelf under the TV (as if slot it in) or elsewhere instead of having it somewhere in the corner, occupying precious room.
You may be thinking that nothing prevents you from putting the subwoofer of another system on its side, but the thing is that Sony specifically designed this subwoofer to work on the side. With other subwoofers, you’d probably get sound distortions.
Good range of wired and wireless input options
When it comes to connectivity options, the Sony HT-CT290 sound system isn’t exceptional, but it does provide you with the necessary input options for audio device connection. HT-CT290 has an optical input, one USB-A input, as well as Bluetooth capability. As long as your devices have any of these options, you are good to go with HT-CT290.
The HT-CT290 system also has an HDMI ARC output port, which would provide with two-direction communication between the TV and the sound system. So you could use it for connecting the soundbar with the TV as well.
A thing to keep in mind is that this sound system does not have a regular HDMI input, so you will not be able to connect it to a non-ARC HDMI port of a TV or monitor. You would need to use the optical input of the speaker system if your TV or monitor doesn’t have an ARC HDMI port.
In addition, you won’t be able to plug a game console or Blu-ray player to this sound system since you’d need an HDMI input for that.
Pros & cons
• Delivers solid sound with good mid and high frequencies.
• The subwoofer may be placed either upright or on the side.
• Supports HDMI ARC.
• Optical cable included.
• Underwhelming bass intensity.
• If your TV or monitor doesn’t have HDMI ARC, you’ll have no choice but to connect the system via an optical cable.
• Can’t be connected to a game console or other audio outputs to fully use the ARC functionality.
What cables are included with this sound system?
Sony only includes an optical cable with the HT-CT290 system. You’ll need to buy an HDMI cable separately if you need it.
Can you attach rear speakers to this sound system?
No, this soundbar doesn’t have Sony’s Wireless Surround feature to allow that. And it also has no output audio ports.
Will this thing work with an older flat TV?
As long as the TV has an HDMI ARC or an optical out port, it is probably going to work with this soundbar.
Does Sony include a remote with this soundbar?
Yes, this sound system does come with a remote.
Is there a way to control this system via a mobile device?
Sony doesn’t indicate such a feature, so they probably don’t have an app for this system. You may be able to control the system with a third-party app though.
The Sony HT-CT290 soundbar has its downsides. But which sound system doesn’t have them? Even the best soundbar out there is going to have something wrong with it.
Some soundbars out there – usually, the pricier ones – have features like Ethernet or even Wi-Fi connectivity. Some allow you to plug in a couple of rear speakers and turn your 2.1-channel system into a surround one.
But if you don’t need those features, why pay more money for them? The Sony HT-CT290 soundbar thus has its own category of buyers that will be fully satisfied with it in spite of its drawbacks.