Sharp Sound Bar HT-SBW182 performance

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I Have a Sharp HT-SBW182 Sound bar. I have fully set it up and all seems to work but the performance does not match what people are reporting. I have it connected to an LG 55" OLED TV which is only 1 year old. The Sound Bar is connected to the TV via the HDMI-ARC. The sound Bar is operating but the sound quality no better than the TV inbuilt speaker. There is no perceptible difference in the three pre set sounds or indeed the fourth mode of user set sounds. In the User set mode the operation of the bass and treble setting has no effect what so ever. I know the sound bar is in operation as when I mute the sound bar using the Bar Remote control unit it does indeed mute so the sound is being generated by the Sound bar. As there is very little difference between the Sound Bar sound quality and the inbuilt speaker quality, I either have a Faulty Sound bar or I am doing something wrong in the set up. The Sub Woofer is paired with the Set Up and works albeit almost unnoticeable.Can anyone help, as the Sound Bar is not performing anywhere near that which reviewers suggest the Sound Bar should perform. Maybe it is that I have 'Cloth Ears' or my expectation are too high, but I would at least expect an improvement from the LG inbuilt speaker quality, there is an almost imperceivable improvement but not that anyone notices.
 
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Are you sure that sound is actually coming from the bar?
There should be no sound at all coming from the TV.
If unsure, temporarily move the bar away from the TV to experiment.
If it hasn't done so automatically, there are choices for the sound output, through the LG settings menu/Sound and choose something like HDMI-ARC.
 
Are you sure that sound is actually coming from the bar?
There should be no sound at all coming from the TV.
If unsure, temporarily move the bar away from the TV to experiment.
If it hasn't done so automatically, there are choices for the sound output, through the LG settings menu/Sound and choose something like HDMI-ARC.
I am sure the sound is coming from the Sound bar, As I said in my posting, if I turn the sound bar off using the Sound Bar controller then the sound turns off, I also can put my ear to the sound bar and the sound is emitted from the Bar. I also said in my posting, I am set up with the HDMI-ARC option.
 
I also said in my posting, I am set up with the HDMI-ARC option.
Ok, your post said you had connected to the HDMI-ARC, but hadn't said you had changed/checked the settings on the TV.

am sure the sound is coming from the Sound bar, As I said in my posting, if I turn the sound bar off using the Sound Bar controller then the sound turns off, I also can put my ear to the sound bar and the sound is emitted from the Bar.
I just wanted to check, because your description isn't what I would expect from a sound bar.
You should easily be able to tell that the sound is coming from the bar and not the TV - you shouldn't have to resort to putting your ear to it - separating the TV from the bar is foolproof.

Can you connect the bar to another audio source, from a different TV or laptop etc?
 
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Ok, your post said you had connected to the HDMI-ARC, but hadn't said you had changed/checked the settings on the TV.


I just wanted to check, because your description isn't what I would expect from a sound bar.
You should easily be able to tell that the sound is coming from the bar and not the TV - you shouldn't have to resort to putting your ear to it - separating the TV from the bar is foolproof.

Can you connect the bar to another audio source, from a different TV or laptop etc?

Yeah, I could try that, I have an older Samsung TV, not sure what capability it has for HDMI input and Sound bar attachment. Ill have a look at that as a trial.
Just been messing around with the Sound bar on the LG TV. The sound bar is definitely outputting the sound, and not the TV speaker. The sound is an improvement over the TV speaker but there is no discernible difference with the different equaliser settings.
A feature of this soundbar is that there are no visual facility to check the equaliser settings. The only indication available is an LED light on the speaker which changes colour the colour being generated by varying illumination of multiple smaller leds, the LED base colour being Red no matter what Equaliser option is selected. Thanks for your help.
 
I have limited experience of soundbars, having only had two, the first was a cheapy Sony set (SA-CT80), about £100ish but actually sounded pretty good and a ton better than the TV, the bass was quite prominent, you should be able to stick your head near the subwoofer and hear it and feel it pumping out through the port. I then (on a whim) bought another (much reduced) and apparently much better Sony Soundbar from John Lewis but the upgrade was unnoticeable unless you really started cranking the volume up, which defeats the whole object for me, that said you could still hear the bass pumping out even at low volumes. Now I have my old mahoosive speakers and a separate amp chucking out the sound, hands down ten times better than any sound bar.

Anyway I digress, I guess my point is that the sound quality you can hear is all in the eye of the beholder, as it were, personally I would never buy any Sharp product, they have never been renowned for good quality sounds and Sony have never produced much that any audiophile would consider high quality though they're a league above Sharp, I would send it back for a refund if you can and buy a Sony SA-CT80 for £50odd off ebay.

BTW how big is your room, big rooms need a big subwoofer.
 
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The only indication available is an LED light on the speaker which changes colour the colour being generated by varying illumination of multiple smaller leds, the LED base colour being Red no matter what Equaliser option is selected.
So the led doesn't change colour at all?
That doesn't sound right.
Screenshot_20231029-210347_Adobe Acrobat.jpg

It looks like you need the cyan light to enable custom EQ and enable the bass/treble adjustments.

It's also got Bluetooth and a 3.5mm jack, so there are plenty of ways to check the sound quality independently of HDMI and the TV - the 3.5mm jack should be able to give you a true impression of the quality.
 
I Have a Sharp HT-SBW182 Sound bar. I have fully set it up and all seems to work but the performance does not match what people are reporting. I have it connected to an LG 55" OLED TV which is only 1 year old. The Sound Bar is connected to the TV via the HDMI-ARC. The sound Bar is operating but the sound quality no better than the TV inbuilt speaker. There is no perceptible difference in the three pre set sounds or indeed the fourth mode of user set sounds. In the User set mode the operation of the bass and treble setting has no effect what so ever. I know the sound bar is in operation as when I mute the sound bar using the Bar Remote control unit it does indeed mute so the sound is being generated by the Sound bar. As there is very little difference between the Sound Bar sound quality and the inbuilt speaker quality, I either have a Faulty Sound bar or I am doing something wrong in the set up. The Sub Woofer is paired with the Set Up and works albeit almost unnoticeable.Can anyone help, as the Sound Bar is not performing anywhere near that which reviewers suggest the Sound Bar should perform. Maybe it is that I have 'Cloth Ears' or my expectation are too high, but I would at least expect an improvement from the LG inbuilt speaker quality, there is an almost imperceivable improvement but not that anyone notices.

I'm sure you probably know this, but you can't always rely on the opinions of others in things such as Amazon and Currys reviews. Some folks are easily pleased.

The Sharp sound bar is £90, and that includes a wireless sub. If you breakdown all the costs, stuff such as resellers profit, VAT, transport, support costs etc then there's not really a lot left in the kitty to make a sound bar that will sell for £90. That doesn't stop them being made, but it does put these products into perspective in relation to an OLED TV. That's a product that's at the other end of the spectrum. OLED isn't the last word in money-no-object TVs, but it's pretty much up there.

The designers of the Sharp were fairly sensible in keeping this a basic 2.1 sound bar. There's no support for Dolby Digital or DTS, so it's worth checking that the TV and any sources are set to Stereo PCM rather than Auto / Bitstream or Dolby.

The sub has quite a limited frequency response; just 60~100Hz, and even then the sound measurement allows a lot of roll off (6dB) which reduces the range of useful audio even further. Try placing the sub in a room corner to get a bit of bass boost.
 
You are spot on with respect to relying on reviews, and my experience of Curry's in store advice is that they know less than I do in most technical stuff and I know next to nothing about things such as Sound Bars, my experience being limited to being able to spell 'Sound Bar' and that is even a struggle sometimes.
The LG-OLED TV was bought for it's incredible picture quality, the sound output is OK but not in the same league as the picture which is of course to be expected considering the depth of the TV and as such capability of decent speakers. I understand the SONY system using the screen as a sound generation source is much better. The frequency response of the Sharp sound bar at 50-100 Hz (+/- 6db) is a bit of a give away but is clearly referenced to the Bass Frequency Response and does not address the Treble and that should be in the 15kHz area. The bar was bought for me as a present from my son, and Mrs H would not entertain expenditure in the £700 as a sound source, the TV was only £950 when on offer from Curry's reduced from £1700 so I consider I got an incredible bargain. The Sharp SOund Bar is an improvement on the In Built speaker, so in that respect it is a step forward.
Thanks so much for your advice.
I had a look at the available sound settings on the TV and they are MPEG/Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus/HE-ACC/Auto. In my ignorance I thought MPEG was a video format hence the MP(Moving Picture) reference, clearly I am wrong there. I am familiar with Dolby but have no idea what HE-ACC is all about, so in ignorance I left the sound setting in Auto, Your advice regarding settings and using Stereo PCM is not an option, so what would you suggest I use in that you recommend avoiding Auto.
 
You are spot on
Yes, @Lucid is usually spot on! ;)

I had a look at the available sound settings on the TV and they are MPEG/Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus/HE-ACC/Auto
As a troubleshooting step, it's worth trying a different source first.
There won't be much point worrying about the TV settings, if the quality of the soundbar is sub-par to begin with.
Try Bluetooth from your phone, a 3.5mm jack connection to any source you have with a headphone socket, or your other TV.
If you can't get a decent sound from any of these devices, all the adjustments in the world on the TV settings, won't get you anywhere!

. In my ignorance I thought MPEG was a video format hence the MP(Moving Picture) reference, clearly I am wrong there.
Now that's a whole other story!


Mrs H would not entertain expenditure in the £700 as a sound source
A basic, but decent AV amp and speakers should cost quite a bit less, and the sound quality would be a worthwhile improvement! :)
 
Hi RG, Yeah, I looked at that Wikipedia link a while ago, it is very informative. It gets a bit deep at times but very educational.
Thanks for your suggestions. Not a great improvement from my other TV either. I think I need to lower my expectations and accept the obvious, 'You Get What You Pay For'.
The Sharp Sound Bar is an improvement over the TV in-built speaker, but my expectations were maybe unreasonable and were based on ignorance and comparing the sound quality to a £700 jobby. Maybe Lucid can give advice on the available TV settings, but it appears my expectations are unreasonable. Thanks for you input, any advice to a Hi-Fi 'doodah' is greatly appreciated.
 
You are spot on with respect to relying on reviews, and my experience of Curry's in store advice is that they know less than I do in most technical stuff and I know next to nothing about things such as Sound Bars, my experience being limited to being able to spell 'Sound Bar' and that is even a struggle sometimes.

You're not wrong about Currys staff in the main. There are probably a few exceptions, but not many.

TV sound generally sucks. It has become progressively worse as TVs got thinner over the years. Sony's vibrating screen is a bit like NXT technology from the early aughties. It works pretty well, but is only available on their higher-end range, IIRC.


The frequency response of the Sharp sound bar at 50-100 Hz (+/- 6db) is a bit of a give away but is clearly referenced to the Bass Frequency Response and does not address the Treble and that should be in the 15kHz area.
I don't believe I referenced the whole sound bar as 50-100Hz, just the sub, and I gave the 60~100Hz figure quoted in their user manual specifications. The main sound bar frequency response is 200 Hz ~ 16kHz, but it +/-10dB, so a bit of a gap between the sub and the bar, and a lot of variation in the sound level across the range. Having said that, the in-room response of most loudspeakers is quite peaky too, so let's not lose any sleep over this.

1698781816904.png


The bar was bought for me as a present from my son, and Mrs H would not entertain expenditure in the £700 as a sound source, the TV was only £950 when on offer from Curry's reduced from £1700 so I consider I got an incredible bargain. The Sharp SOund Bar is an improvement on the In Built speaker, so in that respect it is a step forward.
Ah, things can be quite tricky when something is a present.


I had a look at the available sound settings on the TV and they are MPEG/Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus/HE-ACC/Auto. In my ignorance I thought MPEG was a video format hence the MP(Moving Picture) reference, clearly I am wrong there. I am familiar with Dolby but have no idea what HE-ACC is all about, so in ignorance I left the sound setting in Auto, Your advice regarding settings and using Stereo PCM is not an option, so what would you suggest I use in that you recommend avoiding Auto.

It would be useful if you'd given the TV model number, then I could be sure of giving the exact info. As it is, my best guess is that you have the OLED55C1 (OLED55C14) model, but that's only a best guess. However, if it is that TV then PCM is an option, though I have to say that the menu choices are context sensitive. You do need to check certain settings before some options will appear.

I've composited three pages from the Web manual which replicates the TV's built-in help menus. The blue star and ring are my additions too.

1698782416535.png


There isn't an option for the TV to output HE-AAC in the menu list above. That CODEC only appears in the list of sound formats the TV will receive. It is converted internally by the TV to create DD or DD+ for the pass-thru setting, and converted to PCM if the TV is set to that mode.

HE-AAC is the audio CODEC used by broadcasters for digital TV and also used in streaming. It's a more efficient CODEC than the MPEG-1 audio formats used for digital TV. This goes hand-in-hand with the higher efficiency video CODEC used for HD and for 4K streaming.

Your TV and sound bar will be negotiating a common set of audio standards via the HDMI handshake each time the system starts up. It's possible then that the TV sees that the sound bar is only capable of stereo sound, and so the TV is automatically defaulting to PCM 2.0 out. You might want to disconnect the HDMI cable for ARC when the devices are powered off, then recheck the sound menus as if you were using optical. The TV can't detect an optical-out connected device, so whether something is plugged into the socket or not makes no difference to the TV. Run through the sound set-up menus as if your sound bar were to use optical and see if the PCM option appears. If it does, then set the TV to use it. Next, power down and reconnect HDMI. The sound setting should remain as PCM even if the menu option disappears. Double check that HDMI ARC audio out is working correctly.
 
Hi Lucid, Thanks so much for your comprehensive reply. I might add, I am in deepwater here, if I explain, my degree was in Electrical Power Engineering - Rotating Machines, in the late 1960's, when Michael Faraday was a lad, so Communication 50 years on has developed to be unrecognisable to an Old Giffer.
The TV I have is an LG - OLED55A 16LA. The Manual I can get access to is that built into the TV. There are no references to any PCM in that version of the manual. I have down loaded the appropriate manual via the LG Website and on Page 83 there is a reference to HDMI(ARC) Device.
I have copied and pasted its dialogue below in bold print. It refers to a SIMPLINK device automatically turning ON, then refers to then Switching the SIMPLINK device off, but no advice on how to turn OFF the SIMPLINK device. I Presume the SIMPLINK is turned OFF when the TV speaker is selected for sound output, and when doing so, the TV speaker returns to the default settings for equaliser setting. (Incidentally I cant find any Equaliser settings for the TV Speaker on my TV.)
As Far as I can determine SIMPLINK is something to do with the use of a single remote control and that SIMPLINK automatically selects the appropriate Digital Sound Output when HDMI(ARC) is selected as a sound output???. In my set up , the TV remote control only controls the volume of the Sound Bar not any other functions such as Equaliser selection, I need to use the sound bar remote control to adjust those settings.
When I use the Sound Bar remote control to select different Equaliser settings, there is absolutely no discernable difference in the sound with any of the settings although the Sound Bar LED indication suggests the different equaliser options are set, User settings of Bass and Treble should be able to be reset in the 'Custom Mode' of the equaliser but again there is no discernible difference when using Custom Mode and adjusting the Bass and Treble settings.
Hope that my description makes some sense to you.

HDMI(ARC) Device

Sound from the TV can be output through an external audio device connected via a HDMI (ARC) port.

Select HDMI(ARC) Device to automatically turn on SIMPLINK. Once SIMPLINK is turned off, the output speaker settings automatically revert to the default settings for uninterrupted audio output.
 
Hi Lucid. Just found on Page 24 of the manual reference to the switching On and Off of the SIMPLINK function.
I have checked the HDMI-CEC setting and SImplink is switched ON
 
Can you not see if your son can send it back, I know sometimes these things can be fraught with fragile family politics but really I think you're on a hiding to nothing here, the sound quality is poor because it just is. You should be able to plug the optical cable in the back of the soundbar and away you go, absolutely no need for all of this high jinks. Buy a better one, buy secondhand if you want, if you're in no hurry look on Marketplace, at least you can hear them before you buy that way.
 

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