- Great sound quality, easy setup, good looks
- Minimal video inputs, irritating menu system
An attractive package for converting just one or two devices to surround. It looks great and offers wonderful sound, but for combining the control of four or five devices, there are better alternatives.
Price$ 659.00 (AUD)
In the SC-HT15, Panasonic offers a simple receiver and speaker combination that allows you to upgrade your existing input devices (DVD, VCR, CD player and so on) to a surround sound setup, with minimal cost and without the hassle of having to replace anything.
The system comes with a standard 5.1 speaker setup: two front speakers, two rear speakers, a centre speaker and a subwoofer. The two front speakers look very stylish; they're large, contoured and sit on top of metal stands. They also have an option for wall mounting, which is useful in small spaces, but the package does not include all the necessary tools and components for this.
The rear and centre speakers are smaller, but not so small as to inhibit sound quality. All the speakers plug directly into the subwoofer, which then connects to the receiver, rather than each manually plugging into the main unit--which keeps the back clear for swapping and changing devices.
The unit itself is slim, sleek and reasonably stylish. Initially we were amazed at the size, as the SC-HT15 is less than 4cm thick, but upon closer inspection we realised how this was possible, and also discovered one of the big weaknesses of the system. The receiver is exclusively an audio receiver. This means it does not take video input of any kind. A basic setup with this system involves plugging your DVD player's video output into the television, and its audio output into the receiver. Using multiple devices (CD players, VCRs, game consoles and the like) requires elaborate combinations of video and audio inputs. Most other receivers concentrate control over all one's entertainment devices into a single box, so it seems remiss not to include this sort of functionality.
It's a pity, because the sound quality is excellent. We were particularly impressed with the centre speaker, which sounded fantastic. The subwoofer produced a great rumbling with little distortion, and the back speakers had just enough presence to create a proper surround environment without being overbearing. We picked up almost no distortion, regardless of the volume used or the pitch of the sound.
The menu system left something to be desired. Navigation was unnecessarily difficult on the console, and the remote was not self-explanatory. It took a good while poring over the manual before we had much idea of how to manipulate the sound field. That said, there were plenty of options to control the levels of the individual speakers as well as a bass boost function.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Apple's new TV app puts all the shows and movies you want to watch in one spot
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Google's 4K HDR Chromecast Ultra costs US$69, and will launch in November
- Xiaomi's 4K-capable Mi Box is the most affordable Android TV device yet
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCQuality Assurance LeadNSW
- CCSecurity Incident Response Handler - TelcoVIC
- CCSystem & Network EngineerVIC
- CCDevOps/Automation EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Middleware SpecialistNSW
- TPDev Ops SpecialistWA
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- CCDatacenter EngineerNSW
- CCBusiness Case Developer - GovernmentNSW
- TPProject Manager - ApplicationsQLD
- CCService Desk ConsultantNSW
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical Services Engineer - Spanish speakingNSW
- CCContract IT Assistant (Network & System Mgt.) 161107/ITA/986Asia
- CCSecurity ExpertVIC
- FTSenior Consultant Commercial PricingVIC
- FTMid-Senior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCSiebel DeveloperACT
- FTHL7 Interface AnalystSA
- CCChange Analyst - BankingNSW
- CCADABAS Database Administrator - NV1 clearedACT
- CCApplication PackagerVIC
- CCSiteCore CMS Content Support Officer - contract Initially - SydneyNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AX - Brisbane BasedQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW