It may not come with a separate subwoofer, but this curvy soundbar impresses
Soundbars are currently home cinema’s hero products and the HTL5120 is a fine example of the genre. The design is more luxurious than the price tag suggests, with silky black cloth, brushed silver panels and curvy gloss-black ports at both ends. It can be installed on the wall or tabletop, with an orientation sensor switching the sound to suit its position.
Connections are generous, with two HDMI v1.4 inputs and an ARC-ready output, plus optical, coaxial, analogue stereo and 3.5mm inputs. There’s no USB port, but built-in Bluetooth provides easy music streaming from phones and laptops. On-board decoding covers Dolby Digital and DTS but not HD audio.
In action the HTL5120 sounds great. With 120W in the tank it floods the room with rich, muscular sound, lending weight and authority to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's DTS track. The breathtaking prologue is handled with a silky, smooth quality; high frequencies shimmer and sparkle as Smaug wreaks havoc in Erebor – the chink of gold and the rustle of trees sit crisply above the dragon’s tight thumping footsteps and the cries of terrified dwarves. Even without an outboard sub, the Philips' tightly-integrated bass lends depth and doesn't muddy the sound. Crank up the volume and the sound doesn’t distort either – explosions and crashes are aggressive but always well controlled.
A Virtual Surround Sound mode adds a little extra width to scenes like the rain-strewn Stone Giants battle, but surround sound it is not – stick with regular stereo to enjoy this great-value 'bar.
Price: £250 Approx
Love Home Cinema? Sign up to our emails for the latest news and special offers!
250th Issue: We look back at the best AV gear and movies of the last 20 years
Kings of 4K: Cutting-edge flatscreens from LG, Samsung and Sony go head-to-head in our high-end TV grouptest
Dream theatres: Take a tour of the UK's finest home cinemas and movie dens
Win! Win! Win! An Acoustic Energy 5.1 speaker array worth £1,200!
Plus: All of the latest home cinema tech,
Blu-ray/DVD reviews, and a whole lot more!
Want to see your home cinema system featured in the pages of HCC? Click here for more info.
Home Cinema Choice is proud to be a member of EISA.
Visit www.eisa.eu for more info.