A comprehensive review of the Sony HT-CT780 soundbar. We discuss both the soundbar and the supplied wireless subwoofer. You also get a small remote control with this package, especially for the speaker set.
Sony HT-CT780 soundbar – What is it?
The Sony HT-CT780 is a big package. When you take the equipment from the store, keep in mind a box of one and a half meters wide, with a big bump on the left. The Sony HT-CT780 is in fact a soundbar of 103 centimeters. My television is 37 inches (98 centimeters) and I always thought that it was pretty wide, but the soundbar is still a bit on both sides. Personally, I have no problems with this, but I can imagine that you do not like this in your expensive setup.
In the big box is not only the wide soundbar, but also a separate subwoofer. That is wireless, so when you plug in, everything should work. Of course the plug of the soundbar must also be connected, but that seems obvious to me. The subwoofer then connects itself to the speaker, so you are ready to use the set within minutes. You can connect the soundbar to your television or set-up in two ways: with the included optical cable or an unmounted HDMI cable .
In general, consumers and audiophiles prefer an HDMI connection for their home cinema systems: digital is preferred . HDMI is a beautiful system because it not only transmits image, but also a crystal clear sound. Plus: it can ensure that you have fewer cables behind your TV cabinet or wall piece, which is also an advantage. Moreover, by using an HDMI cable you can also use many of the latest technologies in the field of audio – with an optical cable that does not always work.
Why Sony then opted for an optical cable may have to do with the idea that many people prefer to connect their equipment separately, so they do not always depend on, in this case, a soundbar. Anyway, enough about those cables. Because there is another object to discuss: the remote control. This is a small, narrow remote control with all the functions for setting the subwoofer functions that can be used directly as well as functions that you need to look up in the bar’s single menu.
Sony HT-CT780 soundbar – Design
In terms of design, the Sony HT-CT780 soundbar is pretty cool. Unfortunately you can not really add a lot of variation to the design of a soundbar, so of course it looks like the already available range, but you can not blame the wide speaker. What I did notice was the quality of the back. The front looks neat and feels high quality, but the moment I removed the soundbar from the box, the first thing I felt was plastic. The back also looks good, but feels incredibly cheap.
At the back of the soundbar there are some small buttons that you can use instead of the remote control. I hardly ever used them, but it’s good to know they’re on it. On the top you will find the locations for the buttons. They are neatly hidden away. Furthermore, the HT-CT780 has three HDMI connections on the back, an HDMI-in and of course a connection for the optical cable, plus a display behind the fabric at the front, so to say, which shows your actions in those different levels.
Fortunately, the subwoofer not only looks good, it is also of good quality. It is solid and heavy, just as a subwoofer should be, and it looks good too. With its black color it fits in most homecine metrics. The smooth finish in the edge is never disturbing and actually gives the woofer its own face, while the soundbar in question looks reasonably standard. Between the appearance of both speakers there is a world of difference, but in the end it’s all about how they work and what the sound quality is.
Sony HT-CT780 soundbar – How does it work?
As I just indicated, the connection works very easily: plug in, connect an optical or HDMI cable and Kees is ready. What else you can do is download the SongPal application for Android and iOS, but it is certainly and fortunately not required to get everything out of the soundbar. If you want to do that anyway, the linking works just as quickly. Or you do it via Bluetooth or via NFC, which is slightly faster. The connection is ultimately the same – but good, it is not mandatory and with the remote control you do not need it either.
On the remote control you can see all functions in one overview. You can dim the display behind the speaker and you can adjust various settings manually in the menu. Fortunately, you do not have to have a degree to study because there are also Sound Field options, with which you can consult preprogrammed settings and set your sound for a movie, game or music. I did not always like the music mode, because the songs became flatter instead of deeper.
That’s why I mostly used the Clear Audio + button. That position makes the sound deeper and richer than the normal position. For films I liked to use the Movie mode and for games I also preferred Audio Clear + – that stand is really well thought out and sounds great. There is also an option to let the voices jump out more and switch to night mode – filtering background noise and making the voices better. Great for when you want to watch movie while someone is sleeping.
In fact, you can use the SongPal application as a replacement for your remote control. That is only useful for the moment when you can not find that remote control; the app slurps a lot of energy from your smartphone, so I almost never used it. That is why I am glad that he is not obliged. For the experience, the software adds nothing, except that it can quickly connect your smartphone to the soundbar. But nowadays it is no longer difficult to find and use the Bluetooth settings.
Sony HT-CT780 soundbar – Sound quality
I mentioned the sound quality above. In general I am very satisfied – especially about the quality of Audio Clear +. The stand for films and conversations has also been worked out well. The stand for calls ensures that the rear sound is somewhat toned down, so you can simply understand what is being told. Sometimes you have to put a movie a bit harder to hear what someone says, so you also hear the explosions and the like harder, which does not always provide an ideal listening experience.
Now the background noise is weakening that maybe not always, but with this option you’re pretty in the middle of the solution and the problem and you actually choose the least of the available evils. The pre-sets of games and music are a bit disappointing, unfortunately. Because games today lean heavily on surround effects and the soundbar does simulate, but in fact does not have a surround system, the audio sometimes sounds distorted, dull or distant – the same effect the pre-set for music also has a bit . The surround sound for movies is self-evident (there are no speakers behind the listening position) virtually and does not make a great impression. The audio field is being made a bit wider and objects seem to go a bit further into space, but that is also what has been said.
Fortunately, you are able to tinker with the settings and the quality of the sound yourself, so that it sounds room filling and above all sufficient. You do this by pressing Menu on the remote control and then use the arrows to find the setting that you want to adjust. Next you indicate which part of the audio needs to be moved forward or backwards. When you press Menu, everything turns happy, because that menu is organized in a clear and understandable way.
What impresses me is the sound quality of the subwoofer. Even at a somewhat lower level, you notice that the bass sounds good. During a game of Borderlands 2 on Xbox One the woofer really comes into its own, due to the many explosions and low tones of the robots that you kneel down. While watching movies and listening to music, the bass is also phenomenal. And I really did not expect that, despite the first, good and positive impression that the subwoofer left behind. A very pleasant surprise.
Now the soundbar always has one thing against it: how expensive your set is (the Sony HT-CT780 is about 400-500 euros away), the quality does not come close to two or four separate speakers (which you happen to be on the first picture) and a separate subwoofer (mine is twice as wide as this one). That is why a sound bar is not ideal for everyone in many cases. But in a few cases: when you have a small house, have a smaller budget or can not hear the difference between a soundbar (plus subwoofer) and a complete system.
Sony HT-CT780 soundbar – Conclusion
The soundbar in general and the Sony HT-CT780 in particular, in my opinion, always have a side note: it is not ideal in all situations and in my opinion would not serve as a replacement device for a complete sound system (not in the last place because of the lack of real surround sound). Do you have a smaller house and budget and do you want nice sound that does not take up much space, then I can imagine that you are considering a soundbar. Even if you like minimal and like to place the speaker under your television.
But if you consider a soundbar, I can recommend the Sony HT-CT780. You can connect your smartphone wirelessly, you can connect multiple sources (thanks to the total of three HDMI connections at the back) and not only has an easily adjustable soundbar, but also an even easier to set up subwoofer that is an impressive sound. The standard sound options are not always sufficient (games and music), but fortunately you are able to set everything yourself.
In addition, you also get attachments to attach the soundbar to the wall, so that too is made easy for you. That is actually the key word for the Sony HT-CT780 soundbar: easy. But the word ‘extended’ also fits perfectly with this system. The app SongPal is unfortunately not included, but luckily you are not obliged to download it. For the rest, the Sony HT-CT780 is a complete and fine package for those looking for a compact and simple system with average audio reproduction.