The Sony HT-CT260 is a simple and straightforward 2.1 sound bar with clean and minimalist lines. The horizontal “bar” component has a hexagonal cross-section and is covered in charcoal grey cloth. It is roughly 4 inches in height which makes it suitable to be placed in front your TV, without blocking the screen’s IR receiver port. But if you think that the signals from your remote will be impeded by the sound bar, do not worry as the unit has a remote signal pass-through feature. A simple display unit can also be found at the front of the horizontal sound bar.
The sub-woofer is a black plastic box with a vented down-firing driver at the bottom. While old-school 2.1 sound bars require the subwoofer and the horizontal speakers to be connected with wires, the HT-CT260’s sub-woofer hooks up with the horizontal speakers wirelessly. Pairing up the two units can be accomplished by slotting in the provided wireless module into the sub-woofer and using the Sync button. Do note that the while the wireless nature of the sub-woofer gives you freedom to place it around your room, it still needs to be plugged in to a power source.
In terms of connectivity, the ports can be found at the back of the horizontal speakers. The HT-CT260 does not come with any HDMI ports. Sony is banking on the fact that users will plug all other external devices directly to their TV and the Sound Bar will only be used to handle audio duties. This makes sense, as most modern HDTVs typically feature multiple HDMI ports. Optical, analog RCA and coaxial audio ports are provided so that you can link the home theater system to your screen. Additionally the HT-CT260 is also Bluetoothenabled; this allows you to pair smart devices, such as smartphone or tablet, with the sound bar.
The HT-CT260 is specified to have a total power output of 300W, which is enough to easily fill a middle-sized room with sound. With regards to music, the performance of this sound bar was decent without being completely impressive. Warm mids make Adele’s Melt My Heart To Stone come to life. But trebles sound muddled and the attack for high notes is not always properly represented. We also find the transient response to have issues, as a number of alternate percussion instruments on Hotel California do not sound true to their timbre.
Strong bass and the aforementioned warm tone however help the HT-CT260 handle movie scores better than just music. Special effects have great impact, with the rumble and explosion of the opening sequences of Swordfish impressing us with its oomph. It is a pity that a constricted soundstage prevents this Sony sound bar from really excelling.
“STRONG BASS AND THE AFOREMENTIONED
WARM TONE HOWEVER HELP THE HT-CT260 HANDLE MOVIE SCORES BETTER THAN JUST
A hexagonal crosssection gives this sound bar a unique look. Port selection on the HT-CT260 is limited, with HDMI connectors being notable omissions.