Sound bars are the new way to create a surround sound effect without all the extra wires and speakers. The problem with most sound bars is that there are usually two categories: expensive and great or cheap and mediocre. Is there a third one? Could it be possible that Sony has actually created an affordable and decent sound bar? Maybe.
The Sony HT-CT260
The first thing you'll notice is the overall design of this sound bar. The HT-CT260 is octagonal in shape, which definitely sets it apart from the rest. I'm not sure I dig the whole octagonal design, but that's a minor drawback. You'll also notice that this sound bar is slightly taller than other bars on the market. Standing approximately 4-inches tall, the HT-CT260 fits in front of most TVs, but might block the view of some TVs. Make sure to measure.
The HT-CT260 also comes with a wireless subwoofer that can be placed anywhere you to to put it. Thankfully, the subwoofer is classic in design, so you don't have to worry about any odd shapes. The subwoofer does have to be plugged into an outlet, so keep this in mind.
On the back of the sound bar you will find a coaxial, optical, and mini jack. Does it sound like this bar is lacking on the inputs? Sony expects users to connect all devices to a TV prior to connecting the optical output to the sound bar, so that's how you have to set it up.
The thing that really impresses with the HT-CT260 is this sound bar's built-in Bluetooth. Any sound bar that doesn't come with Bluetooth today is probably not the best buy. Bluetooth will let you stream audio from tablets and smartphones effortlessly, and this is something that, trust me, you will want.
No sound bar is worth a dime unless it has decent sound quality. Even though the HT-CT260 is on the lower end of the price scale, it really does have excellent sound. In fact, it blow away most other budget bars in its category. The subwoofer that comes with this bar provides deep bass sound and will work very well in most living room setups.
Drawbacks, Price, and Conclusion
Sony's octagonal design may not work for everyone seeking a sound bar. That's really my only criticism here. The price on this sound bar is reasonable too at just under $300. For less than $300, you will get a sound bar that kicks, a great living room setup, and a way to greatly improve your home theatre sound quality. The HT-CT260 also come with a remote that's packed with buttons you'll use.
You can find the Sony HT-CT260 in most electronics stores right now. Since this sound bar is so popular, you will also find it online through sites like Amazon. You might even be able to find it cheaper through sites like Amazon. It's definitely worth looking around if you are in the market for a sound bar that's under $300.