Full surround sound is not always desired for your own home cinema. An adapted sound is an advantage, especially in a smaller apartment or in an old building. However, many would like better sound with good speech intelligibility, especially if the TV has a weak sound or if you just want to listen to music.
This is exactly where Sharp comes in with the HT-SBW202: The audio system consists of a soundbar that measures 920 x 64 x 86 mm. We also take a subwoofer measuring 230 x 200 x 293 mm and a small remote control from the polygonal packaging. With these dimensions, the soundbar is recommended for televisions with at least 40 inches, i.e. a screen diagonal of more than 100 cm.
The soundbar can also be wall-mounted.
Sharp HT-SBW202 in the practical test: commissioning
The appearance and workmanship of the soundbar are immediately convincing. The 1.9 kg, matt black housing has a metal front grille behind which the speaker drivers are hidden. In contrast, the wooden subwoofer falls a bit short at first glance, but our listening test is still pending at this point.
Both components are active loudspeakers. So you need a power connection for each. Since the subwoofer is connected wirelessly, you don’t have to connect speaker cables there.
The soundbar and subwoofer understood each other immediately, so they were already paired. In any case, manual pairing is described in detail in the manual. Since there is no connection cable, the subwoofer can be placed unobtrusively in the room.
The soundbar itself comes with several connection options. First and foremost is HDMI-ARC/CEC. This enables the soundbar to be controlled with the TV remote control. If you own an older TV, you can alternatively switch to digital optical input or a classic analog stereo connection.
A USB stick (max. 32 GB) with MP3 music can also serve as a source. However, the Bluetooth coupling with the smartphone is more practical. This also worked right away in the test, and we were able to send our favorite hits and audiobooks directly to the soundbar via various streaming providers.
Of course, you always have to stay at the usual Bluetooth distance from the soundbar, otherwise, the connection will be lost. For those interested in technology: The Sharp system supports the Bluetooth profiles A2DP and AVRCP.
Sharp HT-SBW202 in the practical test: operation and sound
A display placed in the middle behind the speaker grille shows the most important information. You can use the supplied remote control to select one of the preset sound settings: EQ1 on the display stands for music, EQ2 for films, and EQ3 for speech. Or you can define a personal bass and treble setting with CUST.
These each offer seven predefined grids that can be combined as desired. We were able to conveniently control the tracks on the paired smartphone using the skip buttons on the remote control. If you misplaced the remote control of the HT-SBW202, it’s not a drama, because thanks to the buttons on the side of the soundbar you can also make the most important settings there.
The crossover frequency of the woofer cannot be adjusted and ranges from 35 to 130 Hz. It does its best to effectively support the soundbar. As described at the beginning, the “bass hammer” is left out – the subwoofer is too small for that.
It doesn’t matter, because the whole set always sounds pleasing and unobtrusive – and still represents an audible sound update to the weak loudspeakers of many modern televisions. Just listening to music is also fun. The HT-SBW202 cannot keep up with expensive surround sound wonders. In view of the moderate price, this shouldn’t come as a serious surprise to anyone.
Sharp HT-SBW202 in practical test: conclusion
In terms of sound, we have to commend the Sharp HT-SBW202: for its moderate size, the 2.1-channel audio system delivers an amazingly good performance. Thanks to the simple installation, the good workmanship, and the balanced sound, the Sharp HT-SBW202 has honestly earned our price tip recommendation.