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Panasonic slips out the skinny SC-HTB490 soundbar

Slimline sounds

If you’re in the market for a soundbar, chances are you’re not looking for something the size of a railway sleeper. If you had that much space to play with you’d just go for a full-on surround-sound system, so Panasonic’s new SC-HTB490 (£349) might be just the noisy cuboid you’ve been looking for. Inside you get two full-range, forward-facing drivers and dual bass reflex ports – and despite its slimline dimensions it still packs in 160 watts of audio-pushing power, which is doubled to 320W by the similarly punchy wireless sub. There’s HDMI (ARC) and an optical input onboard for getting the sound out of your TV, but you can also connect over Bluetooth if you want it to double up as a long, thin stereo.