Sony HT-CT381 2 – Great depth and range of sounds previously undetectable and now

Bargain hunt has never sounded so good. I bought this for the main sony 32inch tv with the aim to improve sound quality which it certainly does. It comes in a funny looking l shape box that looks as if it could double as an uncomfortable chair. Setting the thing up is fairly straight forwards but managed to plug the hdmi arc cable from the tv into the wrong connector and nothing happened. It comes with an optical cable which is useful as if arc doesn’t work then its possible to use that instead. Compared to a proper home cinema setup with all the speakers i wouldn’t exactly say that this unit ‘fills the room’ but it is a very noticeable improvement over the tv speakers which sound lacking if you switch back to them. The subwoofer is a box that rumbles and isn’t a small barking dog. . As always with these things, it requires a bit of fiddling to get it to sound right. The sub isn’t supposed to be a speaker in its own right – its only there to add a bit of bass – if you’re constantly aware of it rumbling then its too loud, especially if its just with normal tv programmes that dont have much bass anyway. The sound the system makes is very dependent on the source of the sound – non hd freeview is just 2 channel sound, whereas hd freeview is 5.

But don’t be deceive that it’s have. But don’t be deceive that it’s have 300 w. All the companies are trying to feed us with this kind of lies. The real mesure of speaker power is rms. And this soundbar with subwoofer have more less 100 w rms. But it is stiil a great soundbar.

Better than expected, with sound revitalised through the arc, it now superseeds my surround system. Here are the specifications for the Sony HT-CT381 2:

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  • 2.1 channel 300 W speaker system along with wireless subwoofer provides detailed audio
  • Easy Bluetooth connectivity with NFC one-touch
  • Experience virtual 3D cinematic sound with S-force Pro front surround technology
  • S-Master digital amplifier for pure sound quality and clear audio plus provides sounding music in one step
  • 4K pass-through allows data to pass through to your TV without compromising the image quality

Very easy to set up using hdmi cable,bought separately. I have found it hard to understand what people are saying on the tv,they seem to mumble more these days. This sound bar has made it a lot easier to understand what’s being said,so much clearer than the tv speakers.

Superb deep and thundering subwoofer. After one month extensive research i decided to shortlist my choice to buy sound bar instead of hi-fi/music system, multimedia speaker or 5. 1, i am perfectionist, picky and pay lot attention to specification, design look and review before buying any product, the reason not to buy other 5. 1 as it’s has complicated wiring and too many pieces of speakers still no wireless woofer, enought ports or remote, hifi is outdated and look old style as it comes with dvd which i never used or intend to use, only the sony soundbar ticks all my requirements like bluetooth audio stream, physical remote and app, 4 hdmi port(for all my gadget), optical out, 3. 5mm in (for my small dab radio to boost sound throught soundbar), a wireless sub woofer, stylish look. Come to main point, the soundboard part itself is only slitely better (20%) than my lg tv’s internal speaker, because this soundboard has some voice customization option to improve table and vocal, but unfortunately it’s not dramatically improve sound compared to tv because basically it has same two piece of speaker located at far end of both long side in entire soundboard, so that means basically 75% space in this soundboard is occupied by soundbar’s internals and it’s circuit and rest 25% is for speaker, as result sometime i did not even realize when sound bar it off and sound coming from tv, but main thing in this soundbars is a performance of subwoofer which is unexpectedly producing loud, tight and clear bass which can be heard even with lowest woofer volume setting i. 2 or 3 which is my main interest, separate sub woofer skund can go up to 12 and overall volume can be adjusted up to 50 but unfortunately there is no option to turn down soundbar’s volume at minimul and woofer’s at maximum, still out of total 50(soundbar)even if i set it to only 25 and woofer set to 8 out of max 12 still it can product heavy, enjoyable and satisfying deep boom bass which is too good, furthermore i think it’s the only subwoofer in this price range which have 300w rms, 4 hdmi port, one 3. 5mm port, blue tooth, wireless sub woofer, nfc, optical cable in-box and stylish look all together, i choose white/silver as i have lg 43 in. Tv in same color and it exactly match with it,.

Reviews from purchasers :

  • For £200 I’d expect better sound quality
  • SONY, Boy this is good!
  • Easy install/setup.

The quality is really great. Settign it up is also very easy with. I have been suing the soundbar speaker for music, streaming radio as well as watching tv and films; the quality is really great. Settign it up is also very easy with user friendly instructions. I am very pleased of my choice and purchase. I will definitely recommend it.

Having already thrown out a cheap one for sounding no better than the tv. I’ve listened to dozens of soundbars, having already thrown out a cheap one for sounding no better than the tv. At last i have found one that gives me everything i want. The sound can be adjusted in so many ways that it would be impossible not to be able to set it up exactly to your preference. Worth every penny and highly recommended.

Connecting to the ipad is easy. Brought this to go with my 42 sony bravia kdl43w75 led hd, got it in the sale. It integrates well with the tv control. However the bar its self does block the ir signal to the tv in the end i moved the sound bar under the tv cabinet, which offers more protection from the kids. Connecting to the ipad is easy. Sound is good, much better than a standlone tv.

Really impressed with this soundbar. Purchased as upgraded to a 4k tv (also sony) and had a philips htl3120 with my old sony tv. What i like most is the simple set up and the no hassle sync up. It took longer to get it out of the box than to actually set it up. Wireless subwoofer also syncs and all work as one unit. It’s even smart enough to switch off when you turn the tv off.

Hdmi pass through works fairly well. Took a little bit of fiddling with input methods and settings but very pleased with the results now. Far better than the sound from the tv speakers. The hdmi pass through works well (i’ve got ps4, xbone & win u connected), but doesn’t autoswitch depending on the input source. Not a deal breaker, just means that i have to turn the soundbar on, change the input and then turn the soundbar off again when switching between inputs, if i don’t want the soundbar audio (hope that makes sense).

Love this, wow what a great soundreally resonates, and can go very loud (if you have no neighbours ;)easy to set up, easy to change sound output to appropriate setting.

Great sound but quite slow powering up.

Great sound but quite slow powering up.

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1 Comment

  1. If you’ve bought it already, do not despair if you have no hdmi arc or optical sockets on your tv – read the review. . Okay, so, i have a 9yr old sony bravia kd40w2000 – so, not knowing anything about hdmi arc or optical cables, i just thought the soundbar would automatically work using a normal hdmi – how wrong i was. I worked out that if i plugged in the hdmi cable from my sky box into the hdmi 3 port of the soundbar and not into the tv and then plugged in the hdmi cable from the back of the tv into the hdmi arc port on the soundbar, then on the input menu, i chose hmdi 3 – et voila. The subwoofer speaker was then easy to pair. Take out the hdmi cable that is plugged into your tv from sky and plug into hdmi 3 of the soundbar2. Make sure you have a hdmi cable in the back of the tv in the hdmi in ports3. Plug the other end of the tv hdmi cable into the hdmi arc port on the soundbar4. Click on input and choose hdmi 3 and the picture and sound should come through the soundbar from your sky systemplease note: i have not tried this with any other external units, such as firestick or playstation, dvd player, etc, only with using skyi have to admit, the quality is a little crackly due to possibly lesser type cable connections. However, i’m due for a new tv. So i will update once i have a sony 4k and see if the quality improves with the hdmi arc both ways, etc. You can also use an amplifier and it works with an external tuner in the same way. If i test any other units, i will also update my review.
  2. This review is from : Sony HT-CT381 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with 4K Compatibility (300 W, S-Master, Clear Audio Plus, S-Force Pro, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Bluetooth and NFC) – Silver

    If you’ve bought it already, do not despair if you have no hdmi arc or optical sockets on your tv – read the review. . Okay, so, i have a 9yr old sony bravia kd40w2000 – so, not knowing anything about hdmi arc or optical cables, i just thought the soundbar would automatically work using a normal hdmi – how wrong i was. I worked out that if i plugged in the hdmi cable from my sky box into the hdmi 3 port of the soundbar and not into the tv and then plugged in the hdmi cable from the back of the tv into the hdmi arc port on the soundbar, then on the input menu, i chose hmdi 3 – et voila. The subwoofer speaker was then easy to pair. Take out the hdmi cable that is plugged into your tv from sky and plug into hdmi 3 of the soundbar2. Make sure you have a hdmi cable in the back of the tv in the hdmi in ports3. Plug the other end of the tv hdmi cable into the hdmi arc port on the soundbar4. Click on input and choose hdmi 3 and the picture and sound should come through the soundbar from your sky systemplease note: i have not tried this with any other external units, such as firestick or playstation, dvd player, etc, only with using skyi have to admit, the quality is a little crackly due to possibly lesser type cable connections. However, i’m due for a new tv. So i will update once i have a sony 4k and see if the quality improves with the hdmi arc both ways, etc. You can also use an amplifier and it works with an external tuner in the same way. If i test any other units, i will also update my review.
    1. Excellent value for the money and good sound too. I have a sony bravia tv which i find the speakers rather poor so purchased this and it works brilliantly and sub speaker is adjustable too. Would recommend this produce.
      1. Excellent value for the money and good sound too. I have a sony bravia tv which i find the speakers rather poor so purchased this and it works brilliantly and sub speaker is adjustable too. Would recommend this produce.
  3. Sony ht-ct380 soundbar will work with older tv that has no hdmi arc or optical outputs. . I have an older sony kdl40w2000 (2007) with no optical input and no arc but it does have two older hdmi inputs. There are a lot of current tv programmes and films that are broadcast using a sound technology that didn’t exist when my tv was produced. Consequently the voices are sometimes muffled and indistinct when played back through my tv’s built in amp and speakers. You have to turn the volume up very loud to be able to understand a bit more clearly what people are saying. The problem is that loud parts are very loud and quiet parts are very muffled then you are blasted by the adverts when they come on. Consequently you have to keep up’ing and down’ing the volume. So to overcome this problem i decided to buy a sound bar. I tend to buy same-make brands to reduce incompatibility issues.
  4. This review is from : Sony HT-CT381 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with 4K Compatibility (300 W, S-Master, Clear Audio Plus, S-Force Pro, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Bluetooth and NFC) – Silver

    Sony ht-ct380 soundbar will work with older tv that has no hdmi arc or optical outputs. . I have an older sony kdl40w2000 (2007) with no optical input and no arc but it does have two older hdmi inputs. There are a lot of current tv programmes and films that are broadcast using a sound technology that didn’t exist when my tv was produced. Consequently the voices are sometimes muffled and indistinct when played back through my tv’s built in amp and speakers. You have to turn the volume up very loud to be able to understand a bit more clearly what people are saying. The problem is that loud parts are very loud and quiet parts are very muffled then you are blasted by the adverts when they come on. Consequently you have to keep up’ing and down’ing the volume. So to overcome this problem i decided to buy a sound bar. I tend to buy same-make brands to reduce incompatibility issues.
  5. This review is from : Sony HT-CT381 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with 4K Compatibility (300 W, S-Master, Clear Audio Plus, S-Force Pro, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Bluetooth and NFC) – Silver

    Sound is perfect, perfect compatibility with sony tv bravia and playstation. Sound is perfect, perfect compatibility with sony tv bravia and playstation 4. Clear sound, 300w is good enough to make some nosie.
    1. Sound is perfect, perfect compatibility with sony tv bravia and playstation. Sound is perfect, perfect compatibility with sony tv bravia and playstation 4. Clear sound, 300w is good enough to make some nosie.
      1. Sound is excellent, set up is a piece of cake and the price is spot on too, particularly for a 300 watt sound bar.
  6. This review is from : Sony HT-CT381 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with 4K Compatibility (300 W, S-Master, Clear Audio Plus, S-Force Pro, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Bluetooth and NFC) – Silver

    Sound is excellent, set up is a piece of cake and the price is spot on too, particularly for a 300 watt sound bar.
    1. Made a fantastic difference to the sound quality from my sony 4k tv. Well packaged and quick delivery.
      1. Made a fantastic difference to the sound quality from my sony 4k tv. Well packaged and quick delivery.
  7. This review is from : Sony HT-CT381 2.1 Channel Sound Bar with 4K Compatibility (300 W, S-Master, Clear Audio Plus, S-Force Pro, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Bluetooth and NFC) – Silver

    Bargain hunt has never sounded so good. I bought this for the main sony 32inch tv with the aim to improve sound quality which it certainly does. It comes in a funny looking l shape box that looks as if it could double as an uncomfortable chair. Setting the thing up is fairly straight forwards but managed to plug the hdmi arc cable from the tv into the wrong connector and nothing happened. It comes with an optical cable which is useful as if arc doesn’t work then its possible to use that instead. Compared to a proper home cinema setup with all the speakers i wouldn’t exactly say that this unit “fills the room” but it is a very noticeable improvement over the tv speakers which sound lacking if you switch back to them. The subwoofer is a box that rumbles and isn’t a small barking dog. . As always with these things, it requires a bit of fiddling to get it to sound right. The sub isn’t supposed to be a speaker in its own right – its only there to add a bit of bass – if you’re constantly aware of it rumbling then its too loud, especially if its just with normal tv programmes that dont have much bass anyway. The sound the system makes is very dependent on the source of the sound – non hd freeview is just 2 channel sound, whereas hd freeview is 5.
    1. Bargain hunt has never sounded so good. I bought this for the main sony 32inch tv with the aim to improve sound quality which it certainly does. It comes in a funny looking l shape box that looks as if it could double as an uncomfortable chair. Setting the thing up is fairly straight forwards but managed to plug the hdmi arc cable from the tv into the wrong connector and nothing happened. It comes with an optical cable which is useful as if arc doesn’t work then its possible to use that instead. Compared to a proper home cinema setup with all the speakers i wouldn’t exactly say that this unit “fills the room” but it is a very noticeable improvement over the tv speakers which sound lacking if you switch back to them. The subwoofer is a box that rumbles and isn’t a small barking dog. . As always with these things, it requires a bit of fiddling to get it to sound right. The sub isn’t supposed to be a speaker in its own right – its only there to add a bit of bass – if you’re constantly aware of it rumbling then its too loud, especially if its just with normal tv programmes that dont have much bass anyway. The sound the system makes is very dependent on the source of the sound – non hd freeview is just 2 channel sound, whereas hd freeview is 5.
      1. Disappointing sound quality and lack of remote integration. Like other reviewers, i was also disappointed with this. I have a yamaha soundbar on my main tv, which has excellent definition & real presence. Compared to that as a baseline, the sound on this is thin, it is not possible to have any real bass punch even with the sw on 12, it’s maximum setting. Further it is not possible to match the soundbar to the remote codes for the tv or sky controller, something which the yamaha also does, so you have yet another fiddly remote lying around. I’ve tried the sony support site but they state this is not possible. Overall not at all the quality i expect from sony – you can do better than this.
  8. Disappointing sound quality and lack of remote integration. Like other reviewers, i was also disappointed with this. I have a yamaha soundbar on my main tv, which has excellent definition & real presence. Compared to that as a baseline, the sound on this is thin, it is not possible to have any real bass punch even with the sw on 12, it’s maximum setting. Further it is not possible to match the soundbar to the remote codes for the tv or sky controller, something which the yamaha also does, so you have yet another fiddly remote lying around. I’ve tried the sony support site but they state this is not possible. Overall not at all the quality i expect from sony – you can do better than this.