Sound bars, unlike most other audio devices, offer a unique proposition. With their larger sizes, they can pack in more hardware that may translate to better audio fidelity than smaller dock sized devices. This also means higher cost when compared to what you might get from a multi-channel audio setup or even a plain 2.1-channel audio setup. In any case, since these sound bars are targeted at sizable living room spaces, we actually moved out of our lab and into a larger room to perform our listening tests.
Seeing that the Philips HTS7140 features a built-in Blu-ray player, we paired the sound bar with a Philips Series 6000 TV to fully test out its capabilities. The provision of a USB port also meant that we could use our usual MP3 tracks (stored on a USB thumb drive) to gauge the performance levels of this sound bar.
In order to fully challenge the capabilities of the Philips HTS7140, we expanded our usual audio materials from just MP3 audio tracks to include Michael Jackson’s This Is It Blu-ray as well. Although the songs on the disc may not be the finished articles the King of Pop intended for release, the mix of instruments and vocals still offers a stern test for audio equipment in various scenarios. Rounding up our collection of content was the Superman Returns Blu-ray movie with special consideration paid to how well the sound bar was able to replicate the entire gamut of audio which makes for an enjoyable movie experience.
As always, we performed listening tests with an objective mind frame to discern how neutral the tone of the HTS7140 truly was. Additionally, we also tweaked the audio settings in each listening test to see if enhancement options provided for Philips helps its cause better.