Cinematic sound in your living room
Panasonic has revealed what it calls its “most cinematic and musically refined soundbars ever”, the SC-HTB900, SC-HTB700, and SC-HTB510, at its annual launch event in Frankfurt, Germany.
The HTB900 and HTB700 soundbars both support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which both use object-based audio to position different sounds in a 3D space – in other words, the inclusion of up-firing tweeters in both soundbars means they should deliver highly immersive, cinematic audio in the comfort of your own home.
Both the HTB900 and HTB700 use a wireless subwoofer for thumping, impactful bass, as well as powerful speaker drivers, which Panasonic says “deliver a dynamic yet acoustically refined soundstage from even the most sonically demanding of movie soundtracks.”
The beefiest of the two, the HTB900 has 505W of power, with six mid-range speakers and a “Hi-Res Audio compatible tweeter” at each end of the casing.
Meanwhile, the HTB700 has three mid-range speakers which can achieve an output of 376W of audio power, but doesn’t support Hi-Res Audio. Both soundbars support 4K and HDR passthrough.
The HTB-900 also has Google Chromecast built in, which means you can stream music directly from your mobile device.
A press release from Panasonic explains that the data is “streamed directly to the soundbar from the router”, which means you shouldn’t experience any “degradation in audio quality” that you could experience when streaming via a Bluetooth connection.
As well as support for Chromecast, the HTB-900 can be controlled using Google Assistant – as long as you have another Google voice-activated speaker like the Google Home Hub to pick up your commands, that is.
The company also launched the HTB-510, which, like the flagship HTB-900, comes with Chromecast built-in and comes with support for Google Assistamt. With a 2:1 channel setup, the HTB-510 is the smallest of three soundbars in terms of output, with 240W of audio power.
Panasonic hasn’t yet released any further information on pricing and availability, so we’ll have to wait to find out whether the new soundbars will represent good value for money.