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Panasonic’s Slim New Soundbar Is Made To Be Heard, Not Seen

A new soundbar has just been dropped into Panasonic’s product lineup – the SC-HTB490 – and it’s being compared to Sonos Beam for its output quality.

Most notably though, this is a slimline soundbar that’s been designed specifically for keeping a low profile, blending in and fitting snugly into a minimalistic or compact setup. This soundbar’s main mission is to deliver on massive sound in the most invisible way possible, not detracting focus from the screen or overall aesthetic.

The space-saving SC-HTB490 consists of only two forward-firing speaker units, though these are augmented by twin bass reflex ports to boost low end. Possibly an advantage over the Sonos Beam and other all-in-one soundbars is the wireless subwoofer that Panasonic includes with this model.


Where the SC-HTB490 differs from the Beam is that it doesn’t support wi-fi streaming or any built-in smart features; its wireless capability is solely Bluetooth. But it does offer a further choice of HDMI ARC, optical or USB connectivity, and the subwoofer is easy to move around to the ideal spot due to having no cables anchoring it to any units (it just needs a power outlet within range).

Peak power output hits 320W – an equal split between the 160W soundbar and the 160W subwoofer.

But the slim, unobstructive design is really this soundbar’s drawcard, with Panasonic saying that the SC-HTB490 can “slot under most TVs, keeping rooms neat and tidy,” while still delivering rich and full bass that can “be heard and felt.”

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