04.03.2012 08:53
02.03.2012 09:58

Sharp HT SL-70

This is my personal review of this audio system. Even this audio system has interesting features, if you do not want to read all my opinions then believe me, SL70 is not worth the money (Sharp makes them also as HT-SL50 and HT-SL75, I do not think there is anything different on them except the size). If you wanna know why, then continue reading.

First of all, I am pioneer of blind paths. As that I've got the Sharp HT SL-70 with the aim to use it a different way it was meant to be used. I'm not using it to connect to TV, but to Dune HD media player. The main reason is, the Sharp has auto power on and off function on presence of audio signal. This is a great feature, besides the off happens 20minutes after last audio signal received. As the system is ultra simple (which is also one "pros" of the system), you can not set this delay in any way. The reason why this bothers is...

The Sound

A big "own" noise. I have very old audio amplifiers from AURA (god bless them) and there is NO noise at all when there is no audio signal. AURA has bunch of inputs, special input for gramophone and - NO noise. When HT SL70 is without input signal then you still hear a bruuums from sub woofer and white noise from sound bar. Of course, the noise is slightly dependent on the input source, but this is incredible for that price. It is probably caused by two things:

1. There is no volume control on the SL70 and the amplifier is still amplifying at maximum (this is my understanding, how it works)

2. Using AUDIO in is sub optimal, but I do not have other possibility (read further)

Regarding the sound itself, it resembles me the crappy sound of modern flat TVs. While the sub woofer is of solid size with enought power and soft sound, even twelve small 2cm sound bar speakers in a plastic case can not compensate for the lack of volume of a real loud speaker. This system has clearly two extremes - very small speakers in the bar and big woofer, but there is a clear "sound" vacuum in between them and the sound is like from a mobile phone without the sub woofer. Forget this to be used to  listen to classic music, that is not full of bass.

Also make sure, you connect correctly right and left channels, because this make thinks really worse. Letting the system play for a few hours to inrun is a good idea too as every new speaker needs some time exercise its ranges.

The Mechanics

The sub woofer has very thin walls (10mm max). The rule of thumb for audio system is to have as hard box as possible This is not the case for the SL70. You may expect the woofer box to resonate. The sub woofer as per manual, can only be used in standing position. This is not good. Not all of us have space to put the sub woofer on the the table. While manual requires you to turn off the power for system every time you want to change the audio connection, there is no switch on the sub woofer case. You have to go and every time take it out of wall socket.

The sound bar itself is well done. Connecting it into one bar or stands is good and firm. It has a wall mounting bracket that conforms to VESA 75mm. While it is not the most useful thing, as you can hardly find any 75mm only vesa, especially with only two screws, there is at least something you can do with it.

The complain I have is to the size of the connectors for the cables, and supplied cables. The rule number two for a good audio is that if you want to deliver the power of audio to the speakers, you have to use a thick Cu audio cables, but supplied ones are, well not worth to mention, and you'll have hard times to put a thicker cables into the connectors.

The Connections

It is obvious, the system is meant for Sharp TV. It has a special HDMI ARC (audio return channel). I am not sure what it is, but in my opinion, this means you may connect the external device like a player to the TV and then from the TV it supplies sound also from the peripheral device into attached sound system. This you can not use if you want to connect any kind of the media player.

The Dune has HDMI, though my idea was to connect the HDMI from the media player directly to the SL70 HDMI IN and then with the HDMI OUT connection let the picture go into TV. I was wondering, why SL70 manual states, you have to connect the audio back from TV to the SL70 via audio jack. The reason? SL70 won't play sound from the HDMI IN. It even does not wake up on that sound or picture present on the HDMI IN. This means that it wakes up only when you return the audio into AUDIO IN input. If your player or TV does not generate any sound at the start up, the SL70 will not wake up and let the HDMI video thru. This is terrible engineering Sharp! The interesting things may come with the HDMI CEC, but there is very little about it in the manual, CEC from various suppliers is not fully compatible etc. Dune should know CEC, but I did not found it there, so who knows. It most certainly can only serve as a CEC slave, not the master. Only TV are probably masters. Still the problem with HDMI IN may remain.


Bought a system, that is simple, but still I can not use all of its functions - only a fall back method of analogue AUDIO IN. The system has a large number of mechanical configurations, but you will use only one, the half of the price and components you will leave in the box.

Idea of very small bar
Audio power on/off (while there are some quircks at power on)
Sound bar has VESA 75mm mount (not specified in the manual)

Noise, the sound of a plastic speakers from the bar
No audio from HDMI IN without CEC on HDMI OUT
No mechanical power switch on sub woofer
Short power cable
Thin sub woofer walls
Sub can only be used standing
Switches off if too low sound volume is supplied

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