One of a trio of soundbars in Sharp’s latest lineup, the £120 HT-SL50 purports to be the world’s slimmest, at just an astonishing 26mm high. I don’t have a tape measure to hand and access to every other ‘bar on the planet, so I’ll have to take its word for it.

Meant to partner flatscreen televisions between 32in and 40in, it comes supplied with a vertical-standing subwoofer that is itself pretty slinky. The question is: can a package so small and so affordable do a decent job in the home cinema arena? Actually, it can.

Pros

Installation is as quick as it gets. Just hook up your TV to the subwoofer’s ARC-capable HDMI jack and you’re in business.

Sound quality is a marked improvement over the speakers lurking in flatscreen TVs. You get a clear, crisp stereo performance underpinned by some real low-end heft and punch, courtesy of the 6.2in, 100W woofer. Dialogue is the star turn, with a warmth that I wouldn’t have expected from a product with limited cabinet volume and just a pair of 22mm drivers.

The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it design will appeal to style-conscious consumers. The soundbar is only 50mm deep, meaning it can be wall-mounted under your TV without fuss.

It’s a seriously cheap way of lending a helping hand to your TV.

Cons

Cranking up the volume causes the Sharp to panic a little, with high-frequency effects in particular becoming harsh.

The subwoofer and the soundbar perform as two separate entities, rather than in tandem. As such, there’s a gap in the soundfield and the subwoofer’s presence is easy to spot.

You don’t get a remote control with the HT-SL50, so will have to rely on the evils of CEC to use your TV’s own handset.


Sharp HT-SL50
Price: £120 Approx

Overall: 4/5