Sharp’s new soundbar probably isn't something you’d want powering the sound in your main viewing area, but as a cheap audio solution for smaller spaces and areas where sound is less of a priority, the SB500 may just do the trick.
It’s a 3.1 channel system, which means there’s no surround, but there are dedicated speakers for left, right, and center channels. There’s also a subwoofer inside, and while it’s certainly not going to replace a real speaker setup, it’ll definitely one up your TV speakers.
The 32-watt soundbar does offer a surround sound simulation with the Dolby Virtual Surround option. If you’re not into the Dolby option, there’s also SRS TruSurround HD which adds virtual speakers while providing deep bass and clear highs.
Sean McBride points out that the SB500 is an upgrade over the already established SB200 and SB300. "The new 3.1-channel sound bar not only offers fuller, more robust sound than previous models,” he says, “but also carries a sleek new design with Touch Panel Technology for extreme ease of use.”
The HT-SB500 will be available later this month for an MSRP of $349.