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Sony HT-CT370 Review: Feature-Rich Soundbar

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Some soundbars sacrifice simplicity to keep their sleek profile. They remove all the features that an audio-video receiver provides, such as the ability to stream music via Bluetooth or consolidate HDMI connections. Sony’s HT–CT370 retains these features while keeping them simple. This soundbar delivers better sound quality for TV and movies thanks to its wireless subwoofer.

Editor’s note: The Sony HT-CT370 has been discontinued by Sony. We recommend the Sony HT-S350 and Yamaha YAS-209. Check out our top soundbars page to see all of our top picks.

Design

The Sony HT–CT370 is different from rectangular soundbars because it has a diamond shape. It is thickest at the middle and thinnest at the top and bottom. The soundbar can be placed on any surface and both the top and front can be seen and heard. Wrapped in back fabric, the soundbar measures 35.5×4.5×2 inches and looks great on a 42-inch television. However, it looked a little too small when placed on a shelf beneath my 55-inch Panasonic P55ST60. The soundbar can be mounted on the wall either above or below your TV.

Sony included three HDMI inputs and an HDMI output on the backside of the soundbar. You can also connect to your TV via optical digital audio, or a 3.5mm audio input if you don’t own HDMI. The button at the top of the soundbar lets you select the input source. This can be done via the remote control, or the free SongPal app available for Android and iOS.

The front display, which is hidden beneath the fabric, but still clearly visible, indicates which input has been activated. This is a significant improvement on the poor feedback provided by soundbars like the JBL Cinema SB100. The display can also be relied upon if you use the remote control for level and tone adjustments.

Despite connecting the soundbar via HDMI, the HT–CT370 does not offer an onscreen display. JBL’s Cinema SB400 offers this feature. The SongPal app via Bluetooth offers a visual way to adjust the settings if you find it too limited.

Remote and Subwoofer

You can use the remote included in the package for many functions. You can quickly switch between sound modes and adjust the volume. You can program the remote to control your TV’s power and volume, as well as turn on and off channels and play music from a Bluetooth-connected device.

Sony has included a narrow wireless subwoofer to boost low-end frequencies. It measures just 15.6 inches high x 14.3 inches deep x 54 inches wide and can be hidden in a corner. There is a remote control to adjust the volume.

Configuration and use

The Sony HT-CT370 can be used as a hub to connect three HDMI devices. So, for example, I connected my Roku, Blu-ray player, and cable box to the soundbar. The soundbar was then connected to my TV.

Pair the wireless subwoofer with the amp menu on the remote. To toggle to the “WS” setting, press the “amp” button. The subwoofer’s back should be illuminated with the “link” button.

Bluetooth pairing is possible with the HT-CT370 to play music from a smartphone or tablet. It was easy to pair it with both Android devices and iOS. NFC-equipped Android devices are the best option for pairing. Simply place your mobile device on top and the process will begin. Pair with an iOS device by pressing “pairing” on your remote. Look for SONYHT-CT370 under Bluetooth Menu > Other Devices.

After connecting everything, I had to adjust the tone settings in order to get the best sound quality from the system. The default settings produced a sound that was too bright, which didn’t benefit from the subwoofer’s extra bass. I increased the volume to 10 from a maximum of 13 and decreased the treble level to -3. ClearAudio+ sounds best for TV, movies, and music. It also works well with sports, movies, and music.

Audio Performance

After making some adjustments, the HT–CT370 produced a very good sound. There was one problem. The soundbar enhances dialogue, making it easier to understand what people are saying on the screen. However, the dialogue is not as resonant as systems with subwoofers such as Vizio’sS4251wB4 and Vizio. Peter Coyote’s narration of Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts, An Intimate Stories sounded more tinny than robust.

The subwoofer was activated to provide vibration and depth in action scenes from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is likely that the crossover setting between main soundbars and subwoofers is the problem. However, the unit doesn’t have an adjustment for this.

The subwoofer was engaged and the system produced solid bass and low-end effects, as well as clear treble tones during action sequences. The background music was lively as Barbossa’s cursed pirate’s march underwater to attack the British in Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl.

Although the system does not have rear speakers, I was able to hear the clicking that foreshadowed the arrival of the spiders of Murkwood from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Music listening is also a great experience with the HT-CT370. It was perfect stereo separation at its best on Jimmy Page’s swirling guitar in Led Zeppelin’s “Is This All There Is,” while the subwoofer boomed out the beat on Aphex Twins “Circularnt6a [141.98] [Syrobonkus mix].”

The Sony unit is loud with 300 watts total power. Compare that to the 60-watts provided by Vizio’s S4251wB4. Half-volume was loud enough to fill my living space with sound.

Bottom line

Sony’s HTCT370 soundbar delivers exactly what you need: It enhances sound quality for movies, TV, and music without requiring space for a dedicated home theatre system. It offers more connectivity options than other soundbars, particularly at this price, thanks to its integrated HDMI inputs as well as Bluetooth. The $300 Vizio S4251wB4 might be a better option if you don’t require HDMI. Although Sony’s soundbar is slightly better than Vizio’s, it offers true surround sound for less. The Sony HT-CT370 is a good choice if you want to keep your cost under $400/PS350.

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