Panasonic has revealed a trio of soundbars, two of which support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for a more immersive listening experience. The flagship HTB900 is ‘Tuned by Technics’.
Panasonic embraces object-based audio
At its annual launch event in Frankfurt, Panasonic has announced the SC-HTB900, SC-HTB700 and SC-HTB510 soundbars as its “most cinematic and musically refined home theatre audio systems ever”.
The HTB900 and HTB700 support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, two competing object-based audio formats that can deliver a more immersive soundstage. With object-based technology, sounds are encoded as individual objects, rather than mixed for pre-defined channels, and can be placed in a three-dimensional space around the viewer. To enjoy the benefits you need content in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
HTB900 and HTB700 both have upward-firing speakers in addition to front-firing speakers and a wireless subwoofer. Panasonic explained that HTB900 has 505W of power shared among six mid-range speakers and two tweeters, and that it has been tuned by experts from its own Hi-Fi brand, Technics.
- “Virtuosos from Technics tuned the HTB900 to ensure that the sound is not only the most refined possible but that the model’s audio output perfectly complements the visuals so that the listener feels a genuine sense of acoustic realism. The HTB900 proudly wears its ‘Tuned by Technics’ badge,” the company said.
Panasonic emphasized that it has put a lot of effort into making HTB900 and HTB700 sound as good as possible. This includes “redesigned enclosures and cones while the low frequency range has been extended in the main unit” and “honeycomb rib structure” to eliminate reflections in the cabinet.
Both soundbars can be either wall-mounted or be configured for a tabletop. They both have 2x HDMI inputs and connect to TVs via HDMI ARC. The more capable HDMI eARC standard does not appear to be supported. The soundbars support 4K and HDR pass-through.
Panasonic is one of several brands to launch TVs and soundbars with Dolby Atmos. Competitor such as LG, Samsung and Sony are likewise selling either soundbars or TVs – or both – that are compatible with Dolby Atmos. Like Sony, Panasonic is adding DTS:X to the mix to ensure wider compatibility.
The third new soundbar is the HTB510. It is a 2.1-channel soundbar with 240W output and a wireless subwoofer. Like the HTB900 flagship, it supports Chromecast and is compatible with Google Assistant via an external device (such as Google Home).
Availability and pricing details were not announced.
SC-HTB900 - specifications
Sound Features - 505W output power (RMS 10% THD) - 3.1ch Amp - 6.5cm Mid-range speaker x 6 / Tweeters (Hi-Res) x 2 - 16cm External Wireless Subwoofer - Dolby Atmos - DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X - Tuned by Technics - Berlin Philharmonic Hall Mode* (*Enabled by software update)
Connectivity - Chromecast built-in - Works with Google Assistant - Wi-Fi - Panasonic Music Control App* - Bluetooth
Other Features - HDMI Input x 2 - HDMI Output x 1 (ARC) - Optical Digital Input - 4K Pass Through