Sharp Expands Sound Bar Lineup

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Sharp is doubling its selection of sound bars to six with new models debuting at CES this week that include its first with HDMI connections and HDMI’s audio return channel.

Seven other new audio products feature iPod/ iPhone docks and include two iPod speaker systems, two minicomponent systems, two microcomponent systems, and a hi-fi component system.

In sound bars, three models include HDMI output that supports HDMI’s audio return channel, simplifying hookup to an HDMI-equipped TV. One of the three offers HDMI switching, and it uses three HDMI 1.4a inputs and output to pass through 3D content from Blu-ray discs and cable/satellite set top boxes.

The model with HDMI switching is the 3.1-channel HT-SB600 with outboard subwoofer, three HDMI 1.4a inputs, one HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel, stereo RCA input and two digital audio inputs (optical and coaxial). It also features embedded Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoders and Dolby Virtual Speaker to deliver a virtual 5.1 soundfield. Power is rated at 3x100 watts plus 1x100 watts.

The other two models with HDMI output but no HDMI inputs are the 2.1-channel HT-SL70 and HTSL50, both with outboard subwoofer. These models feature analog-stereo 3.5mm input, RCA input, and HDMI output with audio return channel. The SL70 is rated at 2x50 watts plus 1x 100 watts. The SL50 is rated at 2x25 plus 1x50 watts.

Among the new sound bars without HDMI, the 2.1-channel HT-SB350 features built-in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoders and Dolby Virtual Speaker to simulate 5.1-channel surround sound. It also features SRS WOW HD post processing to expand the horizontal and vertical image and add bass response and clarity. The 2.1-channel SB250 features built-in SRS WOW HED decoding. Both come with embedded subwoofer.

Pricing was unavailable.

Among iPod-docking audio systems, the two minicomponent systems are the CD-DHS1050P and CD-DH-S950P, both with iPod/iPhone dock on top, fornt-panel USB to connect other MP3 players, fivedisc CD changer, and full-logic cassette. The two microcomponent systems are the XL-DH259P and XL-DH229P with dock on top, USB connection for other MP3 players, and CD player. The hifi component system is the XL-HF200P, which consists of two two-way speakers and a CD receiver with dock on top, iPod/iPhone video output and USB connection to other MP3 players.

The two docking-speaker systems include the DKCL5P with clock-radio functions, FM tuner, SD card reader, USB Host port, iPod/iPhone video output and dual alarms.


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