A great speaker can perk up your sport console or PC with larger, extra immersive sound, which is exactly the thought behind the Panasonic SoundSlayer (SC-HTB01). This $299.95 mini soundbar is a potent one-piece speaker system to your desk or small leisure middle, with a large sound area, an audio steadiness tuned for gaming, and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s a easy soundbar that places out loads of energy for its measurement, but it surely’s on the dear aspect in contrast with what you will get from competing fashions.
The SoundSlayer is an easy black slab of a speaker measuring 2.1 by 17.0 by 5.2 inches (HWD). It is constructed solidly and is well sturdy sufficient to take a seat beneath even a big monitor, however that depends upon the scale and form of its base. The speaker is deep sufficient to make it a bit inconvenient to position immediately in entrance of your monitor if desk area is at a premium, but it surely’s not fairly deep sufficient to fully cowl the footprint of my 34-inch ultrawide mannequin. Paradoxically, Panasonic ought to have made the speaker a bit larger so it may sit beneath any monitor.
The entrance of the SoundSlayer holds two full-range drivers and two tweeters, lined with black grille material. A trapezoidal cutout close to the highest of the fabric reveals 4 indicator LEDs. An extra up-firing subwoofer sits inside, hidden from view.
The fitting panel includes a energy button, a quantity rocker, and a mix enter and Bluetooth pairing button. You too can management the speaker with the included distant, a flat black plastic card lined in rectangular buttons. The distant has the identical energy button and quantity rocker, separate buttons for enter and Bluetooth pairing, a set of subwoofer adjustment buttons, a mute button, and a number of other different devoted buttons for altering the speaker’s sound modes.
The again of the speaker holds an HDMI enter and HDMI output, plus an optical audio enter, a USB port for service, and a port for the included energy adapter. HDMI is the advisable solution to join your pc or sport console to the SoundSlayer, however optical is on the market in its place, and it’s also possible to use Bluetooth. No analog audio connections like 3.5mm or RCA can be found.
As talked about, the perfect manner to make use of the SoundSlayer is with the HDMI pass-through, although there’s a barely irritating manufacturing facility default you’ll need to change. The speaker mechanically powers off after 20 minutes with out an audio sign, and each time it activates or off it interrupts the HDMI feed for a couple of seconds. This implies if you happen to spend time at your pc with none sound going via it, the speaker will periodically energy off, turning your display screen darkish for a couple of seconds earlier than resuming the pass-through (which capabilities when the speaker is off).
To repair this, press and maintain the quantity minus button on the speaker and the subwoofer plus button on the distant on the similar time, for at the very least 4 seconds. The Clr Dialog gentle will glow, indicating the mode. Launch the quantity minus button and press subwoofer plus as soon as extra and the sunshine will change to GN-Recreation/AV Or-TV, which implies the automated shutoff characteristic has been disabled.
The SoundSlayer’s small measurement belies a surprisingly highly effective sound. It may well simply fill a room, or at the very least ensconce anybody sitting in entrance of it with a full, sturdy sound area with strong simulated encompass, with assist for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Digital:X. You received’t get the sense that there are satellites behind you, however you’ll get some good room-filling resonance and occasional bouts of directional audio bouncing off of close by partitions, giving the impression that the speaker is way bigger than it’s.
For music, on our bass check monitor, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the SoundSlayer produces a full sound with sufficient thump that the kick drum hits lead to a palpable vibration on my desk. The small subwoofer driver doesn’t have the scale or area to actually shake the partitions, but it surely makes an admirable try. The speaker doesn’t distort at most quantity, but it surely would possibly rattle any unfastened objects close by.
Sure’ “Roundabout” sounds good on the SoundSlayer, with the opening acoustic guitar plucks getting loads of resonance and a robust sense of string texture. When the tune correctly kicks in, the vocals take middle stage and sound properly layered, whereas the guitar strums and drums come via clearly. It’s not probably the most correct sound, but it surely’s nicely balanced with sturdy lows and high-mids.
The Crystal Technique’s “Busy Youngster” additionally sounds good on the SoundSlayer. The opening percussion will get a surprisingly giant sound area, with hits sounding like they’re coming from nicely previous the width of the speaker. The bassline will get strong presence, although the drums don’t obtain fairly sufficient high-frequency response for his or her assault to sound significantly crisp towards the thump. The vocals come via good and clear, although.
The SoundSlayer was designed in collaboration with Sq.-Enix, with Final Fantasy XIV particularly in thoughts. In actual fact, the speaker options three Recreation modes, the primary of which is for RPGs like Last Fantasy XIV, the second of which is for shooters, and the third of which is meant to boost dialogue. These are along with the Cinema, Music, and Commonplace sound modes.
Last Fantasy XIV certainly sounds glorious on the SoundSlayer. The swelling orchestral soundtrack is full and highly effective, and the limitless conflict and spark of various strikes in fight comes via clearly. The dialogue in cutscenes sounds clear, and the speaker does a pleasant job of filling my gaming area with sound, offering an thrilling soundtrack when questing.
Fortnite additionally sounds excellent on the SoundSlayer. Whereas the extensive sound area of the speaker doesn’t translate right into a tactical benefit like good simulated encompass from a gaming headset can, it nonetheless sounds very full, with good low-frequency response to make distant gunfire come via with loads of presence.
A Dear Soundbar for Avid gamers
The Panasonic SoundSlayer provides loads of energy to your PC gaming expertise, and may supply a pleasant increase over your TV’s audio system. It isn’t as highly effective as a full-fledged soundbar, nonetheless, and that’s price holding in thoughts because it prices $300. For a similar worth, you will get the unbelievable Harman Kardon SoundSticks 4, standard stereo PC audio system with a putting design and glorious sound high quality. Or for $229.99, you will get the Razer Leviathan, one other mini soundbar with a subwoofer for extra bass energy. Finally, the SoundSlayer is a strong speaker that is priced about $100 too excessive.