Sony recently released the Sony HT-MT300 a small soundbar with a subwoofer that you could put under the couch. Having a compact soundbar usually means that what you gain from space and gives in to sound quality, but what about this soundbar? We look at it in this review.
Sony HT-MT300 – design
The Sony HT-MT300 is not a high-quality speaker in terms of design, something that might also make the price of 299 euros clear. You can clearly see that the case is made of plastic, but Sony is trying to make something more of it than it is. The texture resembles that of a leather exterior, but nothing is less true. It should give the compact soundbar a luxurious look, but by combining the texture with plastic, the opposite is achieved. The device looks cheap. Fortunately, it is true that the build quality is of a high level and that everything feels solid.
There are a number of buttons on the top right. From left to right: a button for switching input, a button that lets you activate bluetooth, the volume buttons and the power button. They do not stick out, so in fact you have to deal with a kind of touch-sensitive environment, or capacitive buttons. You get no feedback from those buttons, so you also do not know immediately whether the soundbar registers your action. There is also a small delay in the action and the action, leaving room for short doubt.
In the middle we see a number of indicators. When you connect the soundbar to the TV, the ‘TV’ light will come on. There are also indicators for bluetooth, usb, analogue, film and music. The latter two adjust the sound reproduction slightly differently. The speaker grill is on the front and is also made of plastic. Through it you can see the speakers. There are no speakers or buttons on the sides, so the Sony HT-MT300 shines with simplicity. Serving will not be a challenge for many people.
The included subwoofer has the same layer of artificial leather. This does not look too, honestly. The device is indeed thin enough to place it under a couch or TV cabinet, but there are some conditions attached to it. For example, the couch or cabinet must be high enough and the bank must be close to an electrical outlet nearby. Or you have to – an a bit out of sight – an extension cable can be lost, but that is not the case with us. As a result, the woofer was still standing next to the cupboard, where it actually always stands.
Sony HT-MT300 installation
There are four connections on the back. One connection is for the power supply. There is also a USB port, an optical connection and a standard connection for an audio cable. Connecting the Sony HT-MT300 is a piece of cake. All you have to do is connect an audio source and you’re done. The connections are also easily accessible. Thus we see that the analog and optical openings are on a slant. That means you do not have to worry about cables or corners: you just plug them in and everything works right away.
Connecting the subwoofer is actually even easier. The soundbar and woofer communicate wirelessly and you do not have to do anything. All you have to do is connect the subwoofer to a power outlet and the two devices then do the rest. There is still a button on the back with which you can realize the connection for when something goes wrong. But in our case nothing went wrong and we also assume that nothing goes wrong with you. If that is the case, consult the supplied manual.
Sony HT-MT300 – use
We’ve just talked about it, the use of the soundbar. So there are a number of buttons on the bar that give you quick access to the most used functions. That is all nice and nice, but for the real operation you can go well with the included remote control. That is a narrow accessory, which fortunately is not very small and thin and therefore well in the hand. The soundbar responds quickly and accurately to the remote, making it always our preferred choice during operation.
There are buttons with which you can go directly to another connection, so you do not have to tap the appropriate button on the Sony HT-MT300 several times. You also get access to speech mode here, which is very suitable for series or films in which a lot is spoken. The volume knob is nice and large and provides – just like all other buttons – more than enough feedback. You can also adjust the level of the subwoofer – you can read more about the sound quality further on in this review.
The remote control has a number of handy buttons. There is also a button that lets you pause, play and play backwards or forwards music or video, for example when you play something via USB. In addition, there is a mode that you can activate in the evening: this makes hard sound effects through a soft filter and voices come forward better. The same applies to ClearAudio +: all sounds are therefore better shown and the conversations seem to be more at the center of attention.
Sony HT-MT300 – audio quality
The Sony HT-MT300 is doing pretty well in terms of ease of use and operation, but the soundbar is disappointing in terms of audio quality. Yes, it is an improvement of the speakers on your own television, but the question is how much you want to pay for it. The HT-MT300 does not really have a powerful sound and is actually a reasonable amplification of the TV sound. It is true that you are better able to distinguish the different elements in an audio track, making films, series and games easier to understand and follow. The sound field is slightly wider and slightly more detailed (less stashed away) than when you use the speakers of the TV.
But furthermore it is unfortunately so that the bass sound good, even when you open it completely. Yes, you can hear him, but unfortunately at a minimal level. It does not feel very warm at all, so you soon come to the conclusion that certain tone reproduction – almost all outliers – are displayed flat. There is no punch in the bass and the higher tones fall a bit away in the tones that are in the middle. Listening to music is a better experience than the speakers on a TV alone, but for that you can also buy simpler speakers.
Sony HT-MT300 – conclusion
The Sony HT-MT300 is not a bad product, but is against different levels. The price of 299 euros is not cheap, but in comparison with a direct competitor, the Fidelio B1 from Philips , it is not so bad. Both devices are not top and that has everything to do with the compact size. That provides a lot of comfort: it fits easily on your TV cabinet and the subwoofer is also very flexible to divide by its narrow size (assuming you have the possibilities, of course).
But if you’re already planning to spend three hundred euros on a soundbar – which for people who live in small houses do not have to be the wrong choice – then put a few bucks down for another Sony soundbar, such as the Sony HT-CT790 . And if you have kept five hundred euros apart because you found the aforementioned Philips attractive: the Sony HT-NT5 has now also become cheaper and almost as expensive. In short: the Sony HT-MT300 is, in spite of the lower price, in my view just too expensive, looking at the sound quality you get.
Meanwhile, there are already a lot of soundbars discounted and cost the nicer models from then, now somewhere between three and six hundred euros. If you find another option in between, for around 450 euros, you can consider the Sony HT-NT780 for example . Again, the Sony HT-MT300 is not a bad product and provides a lot of conveniences, and the sound is better than what the average television can offer, but for an amount of three hundred euros we expect a better audio reproduction, especially what involves more punch in the bass and good audible highs.