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Sony HT-CT550W

Powered 2.1-channel home theater sound bar with wireless subwoofer and HDMI switching

13 Reviews

Item # 158HTCT550

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Our take on the Sony HT-CT550W

The picture on that new HDTV is a big hit, but the sound from its speakers turned out to be a bit disappointing. And the typical home theater system takes up more space and requires more setup time than you wanted to give up. Take heart. Sony's HT-CT550W could be just what you're looking for. This complete system is a simple way to add the clear dialogue and punchy sound you've been missing.

The picture on that new HDTV is a big hit, but the sound from its speakers turned out to be a bit disappointing. And the typical home theater system takes up more space and requires more setup time than you wanted to give up. Take heart. Sony's HT-CT550W could be just what you're looking for. This complete system is a simple way to add the clear dialogue and punchy sound you've been missing.

A room filled with sound, not obstacles
The HT-CT550W's 400 watts of power will have the air crackling with excitement whether you're watching a Blu-ray movie, DVD concert, ballgame on TV, or rocking the house with your favorite video game. The included receiver has three HDMI inputs for high-def sources, making it easy to switch between your HD cable box, Blu-ray player, and game console. The dual-driver sound bar rests on your TV stand or mounts easily on the wall. It's designed to blend right in with your 40" or larger Sony BRAVIA® TV. And the subwoofer is wireless, so you can place it conveniently just about anywhere in the room. With the HT-CT550W's built-in Dolby® Digital and DTS® decoding and Sony's S-Force® Surround technology, you'll experience clear, immersive sound without lots of gear cluttering your living room.

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    System details:
    • compact 2.1 channel home theater system with receiver, sound bar, and wireless subwoofer
    • speaker wire, optical digital cable and remote control included
    • includes transceivers to connect to receiver and wireless sub
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    • 134 watts x 2 RMS
    • 3 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output
    • 3D-ready HDMI version 1.4a
    • built-in Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio decoding
    • Sony's S-Force® Surround technology for a powerful surround sound effect
    • built-in FM tuner
    • audio inputs include stereo, coaxial digital, and optical digital
    • weight: 4.2 lbs.
    • 10-3/4"W x 2-3/8"H x 11-3/8"D
    Sound bar:
    • two 2" woofers
    • bass reflex design
    • weight: 5.1 lbs.
    • 37-5/16"W x 3"H x 1-11/16"D
    Wireless subwoofer:
    • 134 watts RMS
    • 6-3/8" cone
    • bass reflex design
    • requires AC power
    • weight: 19.4 lbs.
    • 10-11/16"W x 15-5/16"H x 11-1/8"D

    What's in the Box:

    • Receiver (STR-CT550WT)
    • Soundbar speaker (SS-CT550W) with attached 10' speaker cable terminated by proprietary connectors
    • Wireless powered subwoofer (SA-WCT550W)
    • 2 Wireless transceivers (EZW-RT50)
    • IR remote control (RM-AAU0113)
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • 8' Digital optical cable
    • FM wire antenna
    • 4 Self-adhesive pads
    • Operating Instructions (Eng/Fre/Spa)
    • Limited Warranty sheet (US)
    • Consumer 1 Year Warranty sheet (Canada)
    • Online Product Registration sheet

    Sony HT-CT550W Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (13 Reviews)

    Love it

    Larry from Florida on 5/22/2013

    Replaced my old Sony sound bar with this an am very pleased. We have a medium sized room with tall ceilings an the sound is now so much better. The set up was very easy and the remote subwoofer is great. You can't go wrong with this unit.

    Pros: Nothing

    Cons: Remote is a little difficult to maneuver.

    Sony HT-CT550W

    V.Smith from Ravenna, Oh. on 4/12/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    easy to install has great sound. display is hard to read (small ) making it harder to set up. sub-woofer can put anywhere in the room no wires to plug in just the power plug.



    Sony HT-CT550W

    JLR from Montana on 3/22/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Not ever owned a flat screen television or soundbar I wasn't sure what to expect out of this Sony but apparently my expectations were pretty high. I opted for the 550 watt unit over a lesser unit because of the size of the room I had to deal with and I was really hoping the 550 was going to be able to blast me out of the room when called upon. It didn't have the oomph to do this. And, there was a little "tinniness" when played at all volumes.

    Pros: The packaging was nice and the unit was easy to install.

    Cons: Expensive, tinny sound, not as loud as I was hoping for.

    Replaced Old Sony Cabinet System

    Tone from Japan on 7/18/2012

    This system is okay. I was expectin alot more from 500 watts RMS. Treble distorts at higher volumes over 40. I use a high end audio card for my sound source. Bass is adequate but is easily masked by the treble after about vol 30. I even have the sub placed in a corner just to boost the bass a little more Bought this to replace an old cabinet system with only 200 watts but my old system sounds way better with my huge box speakers. I guess there really is no replacement for displacement. Old system runs all over this system even though it was from 1995.

    Pros: Cheap Easy to install HDMI Light Space saving

    Cons: No component inputs Audio could be better Bass could be boomier Distortion Proprietary connections

    Sony Soundbar upgrade

    AC from Wichita, KS on 7/12/2012

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought this as an upgrade to a Sony sound bar we have used for years. Disappointed with the quality of sound and could not find anything we liked after making every sort of adjustment possible. Tried for about four days. Ended up placing our old system back into service. Could hardly recommend it to anyone looking for a decent sound system. Should have saved my money or invested in another brand. Is loud but quality of sound lacking.

    Pros: Price, size, looks, loud and comes with a wireless woofer.

    Cons: Sound quality. Difficult to adjust amp. No on screen display.

    Sony HT-CT550W

    joe from columbia sc on 1/26/2012

    Soundbar is great, subwoofer is par. If your watching sports & want to hear background noise, forget about it. I'm not looking to vibrate the room, I would like to hear a little bass without sticking my ear to the woofer to see if it was on. Woofer comes alive if listening to music.

    Pros: Soundbar is good.

    Cons: Subwoofer is par.

    CT550 - Its what you should expect

    Jim from Bville NY on 1/16/2012

    A common thread with sound bars, they arent 5.1. Nor will they fill a huge room. My room is a big family room with a half wall to kitchen 14x40 over all, but we sit near TV. Dont worry, it is so loud you cant turn it up all the way. The sound is clean with no annoying anything. Music is very good. Easy to set up. Having the receiver with the HDMIs in and out to TV with all Sony stuff is the way to go. Dont buy a sound bar that doesnt integrate everything. I just hit the power button on the FIOS remote and everything is ready to go. Coupled with the 46" LED and a Bluray and its great. So the helicopter doesnt fly right over your head. I can live with that.

    Pros: Very clean sound. Easy to use. Integrates well with Sony stuff.

    Cons: Some TVs dont let you attach to the stand of the TV if in a cabinet. Mine doesnt. I had to raise the TV 1.75" and now its perfect. Also, it doesnt have a brilliant stand. ie. it could tip over.

    HT-CT550W Nice Product, Very Good Sound, Easy to Connect

    Jeff from Dallas, TX on 12/31/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Reviewed a large number of sound bars before buying this one. This sound bar has very good sound, but you need to set up the levels before you use. The default setting out of the box are not much better than the TV speakers I had in my Sharp Aquos 52 inch LCD. Here are the setting I used to get started: Sound Field: Movie Amp Menu (Amp Menu Button and then use the up/down and left/right arrows to navigate) ....Level .......CNT Level: +4 ...... SW Level: +6 ...... Audio DRC: Auto .....Tone ......Bass : +5 ......Treble: +3 .....Audio .....A/V Synch: On (there was a slight delay between the picture and sound that was noticeable when this feature was turned OFF. Turning it on corrected the problem) ......Dual Mono: Main ......Night Mode: Off. (Turning the function ON enables clear voice and lowers Bass at low volumes) ......Input Mode: Auto My Sharp TV with the Aquos Link could automatically determine that the sound bar system was installed and would disable the TV speakers automatically. Some people have noted that you need to make sure you turn off the TV speakers or it sounds flat... I also have Wifi built into the TV and the sound bar system had no problem automatically detecting that the TV was generating the sound vs my direct TV receiver. All-in-all I'm very pleased with the purchase

    Pros: Small Size, Good Sound, Easy to Connect, Flexibility of HDMI connections, wireless sub

    Cons: Manual is a little difficult to follow.


    Brian H. from York, Pa on 10/22/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    this soundbar sounds really awesome, and the subwoofer rocks the bass!!! Great Buy, would highly recommend it!!!!



    Sony HT-CT550W

    Neil from Texas on 10/13/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very disappointed,I was not expecting awsome sound but thought this would be adequate, not even close not even worth the shipping cost.I was considering this unt or a Bose unit the advisor said the Sony would be great,bad advise.



    Excellent Sound; Small Package; Easy Set Up

    Able from Orlando, FL on 8/28/2011

    Excellent Sound in a small package. This is a great sound bar with a very capable wireless sub-woofer ( if configured correctly) . I connected this to my new Sony HX820 TV and am very impressed. Not only does it integrate seamlessly with the Sony HX820 TV with a nice big menu displayed on the TV, I am also able to connect and sync all my other components to the one TV or AV remote. While I've seen some mixed reviews on this system and after having setup for myself, I can only assume some did not configure correctly. For instance, only use newer 1.4 high-speed HDMI cables to get the most benefits from this system and perhaps adjust the bass ( tone), and the center speaker and subwoofer to +3 or +4 or more. Likewise its very important to make sure to turn off the speakers on your TV while listening to the sound bar. This little sound bar also produces "virtual" 5.1 surround sound--but for this price and convenience ( really easy to set up) you shouldn't expect full or true 5.1 surround sound affects that you would get from a traditional 5.1 system that requires five separate front and rear speakers and a Sub-woofer. I highly recommend this product for someone looking for enhanced sound, quick & easy setup and minimum wires to deal with at an affordable price. Oh and it processes 3D too!




    Steve from Waukesha Wi on 7/20/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    It has nice sound. The sub woofer is far more ornamental than it is useful or effective. For the price it is solid and easy to set up. The sound is good. Obviously there are ways to get much richer sound, but if you need a sound bar set up, this is a great option.



    Disappointing Sound Quality

    Romy from Austin, TX on 6/17/2011

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Impressive: sleek looking, wireless subwoofer, separate receiver with plenty of inputs (HDMI, optical) Unimpressive: 2.1 system (vs earlier models that were 3.1), sound quality We were a little disappointed in the sound quality, it sounds a little tinny or sparse to us. This is our first sound bar though. Our previous audio setup was a low-end stereo onkyo receiver with 2 small, old Bose speakers (100 model), all of it ~10 years old. We did end up keeping the soundbar, but I would strongly suggest checking the audio quality out in person before buying.




    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Enclosure Bass Reflex
    Design ---
    Pieces in System 3
    Color Black
    Tweeter None
    Midrange 2" Cone (x2)
    Woofer None
    Separate Subwoofer Yes
    Subwoofer Driver 6.375 " Cone
    Surround Sound Decoding No
    Dialogue Enhancement ---
    Auto Volume ---
    4K Video Compatible No
    HDR Video Compatible ---
    Audio Return Channel ---
    Remote IR Passthrough No
    Works with TV Remote (IR) ---
    Control by App ---
    Bluetooth Connectivity No
    Wi-Fi No
    Wall-mountable Yes
    Mounting Bracket Included No
    Surface Mount Stand Included No
    Speaker Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Speaker Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Amplifier Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Amplifier Labor Warranty 1 Year
    System Frequency Response Not Given
    Powered System Yes
    Sound Bar RMS Power 134 x 2
    Subwoofer RMS Power 134 x 1
    Inputs and Outputs
    Mini Stereo Audio Inputs None
    RCA Stereo Audio Inputs 1
    Optical Digital Audio Inputs 2
    Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs 1
    HDMI Inputs 3
    HDMI Outputs 1
    USB Port No
    Subwoofer Output Wireless
    Sound Bar (inches) 3H x 37-5/16W x 1-11/16D
    Sound Bar Weight 5 lbs
    Subwoofer (inches) 15-5/16H x 10-11/16W x 11-1/8D
    Subwoofer Weight 19.5 lbs

    Product Research

    Overview: The Sony HT-CT550W Home Theater System is a three-piece surround sound system which includes an AV receiver (SS-CT550W), soundbar speaker (SS-MCT550W), and a wireless powered subwoofer module (SA-WCT550W). This three-piece home theater system brings simplicity and performance together by pairing a soundbar speaker and a wireless powered subwoofer to create a surround sound experience in a compact and easy to install package. The HT-CT550W Home Theater System features Dolby Digital & DTS decoding, as well as 3D pass-through. The HT-CT550W includes an IR remote control for wireless operation of the system. The Sony HT-CT550W is a fast & easy way to add great sound to any HDTV, and is the perfect complement for 40" and larger flat-panel televisions.

    System Components
    Audio Section
    Video Section
    Convenience Features
    Remote Control

    System Components

    AV Receiver: The Sony HT-CT550W Home Theater System includes an AV receiver (SS-CT550W) which contains all of the system's audio/video connections to connect your external AV gear and your flat-panel television. The AV receiver also features an integrated S-Master digital amplifier (134W x 2ch) to power the system's soundbar speaker. The AV receiver wirelessly connects to the system's wireless powered subwoofer via two supplied wireless transceivers. In addition, the AV receiver features a built-in FM tuner.

    Note: The AV receiver measures 10.6875" (w) x 2.3125" (h) x 11.4375" (d).

    Soundbar Speaker: The HT-CT550W Home Theater System's soundbar speaker (SS-MCT550W) is equipped with two full-range 2.0" cone-type drivers in a bass reflex enclosure. The soundbar speaker can be securely placed on a stand or shelf using the supplied 4 self-adhesive rubber-feet, or mounted to the wall with its two rear-mounted keyhole slots and mounting screws (screws sold separately). The soundbar speaker acts as your home theater systems front (left/right) and center speakers, as well as giving you the effect that you have rear speakers positioned behind you. The soundbar features an attached 10' speaker cable which plugs into the proprietary speaker terminals on back of the AV receiver.

    Note: The soundbar speaker's keyhole slots are spaced 10.4375" apart.

    Wireless Powered Subwoofer: The HT-CT550W Home Theater System's wireless powered subwoofer module (SA-WCT550W) is equipped with a 6.375" cone-type subwoofer in a bass-reflex enclosure powered by a built-in digital Sony S-Master digital amplifier. The digital amplifier is rated at 134W x lch. The wireless powered subwoofer has a fixed 200Hz low-pass crossover. And because the powered subwoofer is wireless, you can place the powered sub just about anywhere in the room. The powered subwoofer requires an included wireless transceiver be inserted into the sub's rear-panel wireless port, and will also require an AC outlet to plug in its AC power cord.

    Wireless Transceivers: The two supplied wireless transceivers (EZW-RT50) get inserted into the back of the AV receiver and powered subwoofer. The wireless transceivers operate via a 5.8GHz frequency range.

    Audio Section

    S-Force Pro Surround 3D Technology: By using a powerful digital Sony S-Master digital amplifier (134W x 2ch) and DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology, realistic surround sound can be generated from this two-piece surround sound system. Unlike other "virtual surround" technologies, rear sound is generated from the soundbar speaker using sophisticated digital sound processing and does not need to be bounced off of side walls. No matter what the size or shape of the room or what is on the wall, it is possible to hear sounds from behind you without needing to place speakers behind you.

    Digital Surround Formats: The HT-CT550W supports the following digital audio formats.

    • Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD
    • DTS: DTS, DTS HD High Resolution, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS 96/24
    • Linear PCM: 2ch (48 kHz or less), 5.1ch (96 kHz or less), or (192 kHz or less)

    Note: Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, and LPCM 7ch is only supported via HDMI.

    Sound Fields: You can select from one of the following sound fields to optimize your surround sound experience.

    • Standard: Suits various sources.
    • Movie: Recreates powerful and realistic sound, along with clear dialogue.
    • Drama: Suited for TV dramas.
    • Music: Suited for music programs or music videos on Blu-ray Discs/DVDs.
    • Sports: Produces the play-by-play commentary clearly and realistic sound with surround effects, such as cheering.
    • News: Produces the announcer's voice clearly.
    • Game: Produces powerful and realistic sound, suited for video games.
    • 2CH Stereo: Suited for music CDs.
    • Portable Audio: Suited to replay portable compressed audio source (available only on DM Port).

    Note: You can set a different sound field for each input source.

    Speaker Level: You can adjust the level (+/-6dB) and balance of the soundbar speaker and the powered subwoofer. This setting will be applied to all sound fields.

    Bass & Treble: You can adjust the bass and treble independently from -6 to +6 dB.

    Audio DRC: This feature narrows the dynamic range of a Dolby Digital/DTS sound track for enjoying movies at low volume.

    Night Mode: You can enjoy sound effects and hear the dialogue clearly even at a low volume levels using this function.

    Max Volume Limiter: You can limit the maximum volume level of the system from 1 to 49 in 1-step increments.

    Digital & Analog Audio Inputs: The Sony HT-CT550W Home Theater System features both analog audio and digital audio inputs for connecting external audio sources such as your DVD player and CD player.

    • Digital Audio: The HT-CT550W features 2 optical inputs and 1 coaxial input.
    • Analog Audio: The system also features 2 pair of RCA stereo analog inputs.

    Video Section

    HDMI (ver.1.4): The Sony HT-CT550W features 3 HDMI (ver.1.4) inputs and 1 HDMI (ver.1.4) output which supports 1080/24p, x.v.Color, Deep Color, and 3D, as well as ARC & HDMI control. The system can detect and receive the best possible video and audio signals from all connected devices via HDMI, making connection and performance as simple as plugging in a single wire. Sony's HDMI Active Intelligence, transmits both audio and video signals through one HDMI cable. The system's HDMI inputs/output support 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p.

    Note: The HT-CT550W system does not feature composite, S-video, or component video inputs/outputs.

    1080/24p: The Sony HT-CT550W allows you to watch movies at their native frame rate 24p format (24 frames per second) when paired with a 24p playback device like a Blu-ray Disc Player.

    3D Pass Through: The Sony HT-CT550W is compatible with 3D-ready Blu-ray disc movies, video games and other 3D content through its HDMI (v.1.4) connections.

    Note: 3D viewing requires 3D-ready source with 3D content, 3D-ready HDTV, 3D glasses, and high-speed HDMI cable. Other 3D accessories may also be required.

    x.v.Color: The Sony HT-CT550W supports x.v.Color, offering a wider color range than the current broadcast standard. For the x.v.Color feature to be useful, the entire video production chain must be compatible (camera-editing-format-player-display).

    Deep Color: The Sony HT-CT550W also supports Deep Color which allows the color depth of video signals passing through HDMI to be raised. The number of colors that could be expressed by 1 pixel was 24 bits (16,777,216 colors) with a standard HDMI jack. However, the number of colors which can be expressed by 1 pixel is 36 bits with a Deep Color enabled HDMI jack. Since the gradation of the depth of a color can be expressed more finely with more bits, continuous color changes can be more smoothly expressed. For the Deep Color feature to be useful, the entire video production chain must be compatible (camera-editing-format-player-display).

    Note: x.v. Color and Deep Color technology are supported only when source product, HDMI cable, media and HDTV all support those features.

    Standby Pass-Through: You can conveniently access all your HDMI connected devices without having to power on the HT-CT550W system.

    ARC (Audio Return Channel): This feature allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to the HT-CT550W system through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.

    A/V Sync: You can delay the sound using this function when the image is slower than the sound when you are playing a Dolby, Digital, DTS or Linear PCM source connected by a digital audio input or HDMI.

    Convenience Features

    FM Tuner: The Sony HT-CT550W features a built-in FM tuner with up to 20FM presets, preset naming, and direct tuning.

    Display Dimmer: The brightness of the powered subwoofer modules front-panel display can be set to one of two brightness levels.

    Sleep Timer: You can set the system to turn off at a preset time when you want to fall asleep listening to music. You can preset the time in 10-minute increments from 10-90 minutes.

    Auto Standby: You can reduce the system's power consumption. The system enters standby mode automatically when you do no operate the system for approximately 30 minutes and the system is not outputting sound for approximately 30 minutes.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote Control: The HT-CT550W comes supplied with a full-function IR remote control (RM-AAU072) for wireless operation of the system, which is also pre-programmed to operate other Sony audio/video equipment. You can also change the factory settings of the input buttons on the remote to suit the components in your system.

    Bravia Theater Sync: Sony's Bravia Theater Sync feature allows you to easily manage select BRAVIA televisions and Sony HDMI audio and video components with a single remote. By connecting Sony components that are compatible with the HDMI Control function with a HDMI cable, operation is simplified in the following ways.

    • One-Touch-Play: When you playback a component such as a DVD/Blu-ray Disc Player, the receiver and the TV are turned on automatically and switch to the appropriate HDMI input.
    • System Audio Control: While watching TV, you can select to output the sound from the TV speaker or the speakers connected to the receiver.
    • System Power Off: When you turn off the TV, the receiver and connected components are also turned off simultaneously.

    Bravia Widget Control: You can connect the Sony HT-CT550W to select Sony 2011 televisions and experience an integrated user interface on-screen; enabling on-screen feedback and control function.

    Note: Can be used only when receiver is connected to a Sony EX620, EX630, EX720, EX820, EX830, NX830, HX820, HX830, or HX930 series Bravia HDTV via HDMI cable (sold separately).

    Our Product Research Team

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