What We Like
What We Don't Like
When you think about a soundbar that costs almost a thousand dollars, chances are you won’t be imagining a 2.1 compact unit without a subwoofer. That is exactly what SC-HTB70 is. Is it worth the money? Absolutely, but we will talk about that a bit later. For now, let’s touch upon the design. It is simple, stylish, subtle yet intriguing. Which one of these describes the SC-HTB70 will depend on whether you’re looking at it closely, or you are simply glancing over the room.
Its compact size makes it almost invisible next to a large TV. That is something many find attractive. The idea was to build something that was small in size but with a huge sound stage. Naturally, that required some corners to be cut, but the end result definitely meets the starting goal. Mounting the SC-HTB70 on a wall is a piece of cake. Being so light, it really doesn’t take much.
What immediately draws the most attention is the power output of such a compact soundbar. Panasonic has crammed 120 Watts, and that is RMS, not peak. We have mentioned that this is a 2.1 system but there is no subwoofer to be seen. Well, at least not on the outside. Panasonic went with a built-in subwoofer unit that actually features two speakers instead of one. That ended up working fairly well. Some of the performance was sacrificed, but the compactness of the entire unit was very much preserved.
In terms of conventional features, you are looking at wireless streaming via Bluetooth and a clean built-in suite for audio control. Its I/O cluster consists of optical and RCA inputs. The question here is, considering how limited the entire soundbar is when you look at the features, what makes it so special? We are just getting to that part.
What Panasonic SCHTB70 has to offer is performance. For a compact, 37“ unit, you are getting a whole lot of audio. The key here is in directional sound. In other words, the bar is capable of adjusting the orientation of the audio output to match the angle or elevation you’ve chosen. This allows you to mount it on the wall flat or front facing towards you. Whatever you do, the bar will always produce audio that is immersive.
Speaking of which, the response across the frequency range is great. Trebles are crisp and clear, mids are very warm, but the bass is a bit limited. That is to be expected considering SCHTB70 comes with a built-in subwoofer. Even so, you will still have enough of bass, it just won’t move crazy amounts of air. For movies and other media, this configuration works pretty well.
Panasonic’s choice to deliver a compact but powerful soundbar has pushed all the right buttons for many people. The only real flaw is the weaker bass, but that is something we can live with. Overall, it’s a great option.