Panasonic’s new sound systems ditch surrounds for more flexible 3.1 arrangements

PansonicHTB770_K_front_length_1209-700Panasonic showed four new systems at CES 2013, but left consumers hanging in regard to availability and pricing. If you have been holding off on the purchase of the Panasonic TC-P65ST60 65″ 3D plasma (which looks like the best bang for the buck  in a 65″ HDTV right now) this might be a good time to pull the trigger and add on a 3.1 system while you’re at it.

What’s interesting about the new line-up is that Panasonic seems to be moving away from the 5.1 systems from its past and pushing higher quality 3.1 systems with more power – 300 watts per channel for the SC-HTB770 – and a greater number of HDMI inputs (3) for external sources intead.

The four new models are designed to work with HDTVs in the 42-inch to 65-inch ranges and are equipped with wireless or built-in subwoofers and Bluetooth capabilities. The SC-HTB70 and SC-HTB65 models offer a unique, sleek solid bar design for free and flexible layouts. The SC-HTB65 provides users with two-way placement- by rotating the bar 90 degrees, users can opt for a wall-mount setup or a TV-sized stand.

The SC-HTB70 allows for four-way, multi-angle positional placement enabling a user to set the speaker to the most suitable angle without giving up sound quality. A built-in sensor automatically detects the bar’s orientation and switches the directional characteristics of its sound output to match. With an Anti-Vibration Integrated Subwoofer inside the speaker unit, the SC-HTB70 claims to provide high-quality, clear sound playback in each of its four layouts.

Both the SC-HTB770 –  available in both black and silver – and SC-HTB370 models have a stainless steel mesh design for a modern, decor-friendly appeal. 

The 2013 Panasonic Home Theater Systems will be available in March 2013 with pricing as follows: SC-HTB770: $400, SC-HTB370: $300, SC-HTB70: $200, SC-HTB65: $180.

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