When they say the phrase “speaker system for home theater”, then quite massive equipment immediately pops up in the imagination, allowing for maximum sound power, which will be optimally combined with good playback quality. This allows you to clearly hear all the special effects when watching movies, as well as listen to music in a variety of directions. Unfortunately, not all people live in such spacious apartments or houses, where a separate room can be allocated for a home theater.
Often the budget for the purchase of a multimedia system is limited, and the place where it will be located also does not have a large area. In this case, you will have to give preference to inexpensive products that are elementary in installation and operation, moreover, if desired, the speakers can be moved from one place to another. With the help of Sven’s original product – multimedia system model HT-202, you can not only save a lot of free space in the room, but also provide very high sound quality. In some respects, it is comparable even to professional sound reproducing equipment used in real cinemas.
In total, the kit includes six key elements – one subwoofer for bass reproduction. Its power is 20 watts, which is decent enough for a home theater. Along with it are five more satellites, and the power of each of them is slightly lower compared to the woofer – 16 watts. The frequency range of the latter is in the range from 40 to 125 Hz, the rest of the speakers from 125 Hz to 22 kHz.
The diameter of the low-frequency sound reproducing speaker is 128 mm – for an ordinary speaker this is not too much, but for a subwoofer, and even more so, for satellites – 77 mm. The Bluetooth channel is used as a wireless interface, there are 8 Aux channels, an input for connecting an external antenna and 5 RCA jacks designed for satellites. If desired, the audio system can be used as the most ordinary music center – just insert a USB flash drive with music or an SD memory card (however, before using it, you need to make sure that it works in the FAT32 system, not NTFS – otherwise the device simply will not see it).
The device has a radio receiver. The body of all speakers is made from MDF modules. Overall dimensions are quite compact: subwoofer 175x272x305 mm, all other speakers are the same – 105x170x110 mm. The total weight of the kit is 6.3 kg.
What comes in the kit?
The audio system is delivered packed in a box of fairly thick cardboard. Inside, everything is securely laid with foam and wrapped in cellophane film, which completely eliminates damage to the elements even with strong impacts on the package. The box itself is made in Sven’s corporate colors – blue and white. Also on the packaging there is a picture of the entire audio system and a short list of its features. Each glossy surface of the subwoofer and speaker cabinets is additionally protected by a thin film that prevents dust from accumulating.
After unpacking, you can find, as mentioned a little above, one subwoofer and five satellites, a remote control, a set of batteries for it, three RCA cables, a minijack to connect the device to a multichannel audio source. The kit also includes a cable-antenna for reliable reception of a radio signal, as well as documentation – an instruction fully translated into Russian and a warranty card.
Sven HT-202 – description of the design and appearance
The engineers who developed this sound equipment did a good job in terms of the design of this kit. It cannot be said that everything looks overly rich and expensive, but at the same time the system looks stylish and very interesting. It is made in a strict black color, which allows it to fit perfectly into the interior of any room, regardless of the style in which it is made. The subwoofer acts as a central element here, and the front panel is made of high-quality glossy plastic.
I would like to immediately make a reservation that it is quite easily soiled – even the smallest specks of dust are visible on it, and it collects fingerprints at a terrible speed. However, it is unlikely that you will have to touch it often, since all the necessary operations with the equipment can be carried out through the remote control. At the top of the subwoofer is an indicator that displays the operating mode of the device. The frequency of the selected radio station, volume, and so on are displayed here.
Hours in standby mode are not provided, but they are not particularly required. The number of characters is enough – there are only four of them, there is also no separator between them. Of course, it was not very clear to us why the developers preferred this particular solution, because the presence of a watch would hardly have had a strong impact on the cost, but some owners would be more comfortable using this product. It is still not entirely clear why it was necessary to bring the USB socket to the top panel. With a connected flash drive, the attractiveness of the system is slightly lost, although, no doubt, working with drives in this case is much more convenient than when they are connected from the back of the device. Nearby is a slot for memory cards.
On the front side is a fairly large volume control. The encoder has no limitation in terms of the angle of rotation, it works with a soft pleasant click, it works instantly, no reverse deflection was detected even with a sharp rotation. Just below the encoder there is a control panel that includes four buttons – select the playback mode, switch between tracks or radio stations, as well as start/pause/stop playback.
On the left side there is a phase inverter hole, and on the right side there is a speaker, which is hidden behind a slightly protruding grille. It is covered with a soft fabric – the material does not muffle the sound, but allows it to spread more evenly around the room. There are four rubber feet on the bottom. They do not allow the surface on which the subwoofer will stand to vibrate, due to which rattles are not heard, the entire sound flow goes directly into the room.
All connectors for connecting cables are located on the back side – there is a key to turn on the audio system, a socket for the power cable, and RCA connectors. The latter can be used for separate stereo and multi-channel playback, and there are also all connectors for connecting to satellites. The plugs are painted in different colors – red and white, so it is unlikely that you will get confused when working with other speakers of the model, the channels will be connected correctly.
The control panel of the device is made qualitatively, which is surprising for such a relatively inexpensive model. It is placed in a case made of high quality plastic with a matte finish. Even accumulated dust is practically invisible, and fingerprints will not be visible at all. The remote itself is very voluminous, has 30 keys made of rubber of medium hardness. They are pressed with a pleasant effort, the commands are instantaneous.
Satellites in front are covered with glossy plastic panels. It uses the technology of an open speaker, it is reliably protected from extraneous physical influences with a plastic element, which also performs a decorative function. This whole design looks very original. There are no controls on the satellites, and they are not required here. There are no sockets for connecting cables here, the wire comes out alone, it is non-removable, there are low rubber feet from below.
How to connect and use – personal experience
Our main disappointment with this audio system was the lack of additional wall-mounted speakers on the rear panel. Either they will have to be placed on the shelves, or think about how to do it yourself. We decided to place the front speakers near the subwoofer, directly under the TV, and place the two rear speakers near the opposite wall of the room, placing them on stools. Of course, this was far from the most ideal option for ensuring maximum sound quality, but for a budget audio system, it seemed to us quite acceptable.
The cables for connecting to the central element are long enough for 3 speakers – around 4 meters, for the other two – about 2 m. For the front speakers, they were enough for us, but there were certain problems with the rear ones. The fact that the wires are fixed also seemed far from the most successful and convenient solution. However, at first we lost sight of the fact that the system was designed specifically for compact placement in a small room, which is why its creators equipped the elements with wires of this length.
Connection to the sound source is only analog – it was quite predictable, based on the fact that the product belongs to the budget segment. However, I was pleased with the possibility of connecting the device to the sound card of a personal computer or laptop via a standard 3.5 mm jack or minijack. In order to work with players with RCA outputs, you will need to purchase additional cables.
The presence of the Bluetooth module allows the player to work with tablets, smartphones and other devices. Connection via this channel is carried out within 4-5 seconds, the audio system supports a full set of standard codecs for audio transmission via Bluetooth, especially the most popular SBC. The cable-antenna for the radio turned out to be quite high quality. It turned out to be enough for high-quality signal reception of absolutely all radio stations in the FM band (Recorded in the memory of 49 FM stations).
Playback mode from a drive or flash drive starts automatically as soon as the media is connected to the audio system, but you can activate it through the control panel of the device. The built-in player works with .mp3 formats. The remote has a numeric keypad, with which you can select the appropriate radio station within a few seconds, rather than scanning the entire range, or select the desired track on the media. It is most convenient if all the songs on the card or flash drive are in the root folder, because the system does not work very correctly with folders.
Sven HT-202 – how good is the sound?
When you get yourself a set of single-way speakers, the speaker diameter of which does not exceed 80 mm, even if they are supplemented with a subwoofer, you should not expect prohibitive volume and clarity from them. This model is no exception. The fact is that compact dimensions and low cost have never benefited sound quality. Nevertheless, for its class and price range, this audio system is heard at a quite decent level. However, I would still like to mention a number of nuances in this regard.
The subwoofer reproduces low frequencies quite stably, we did not find any squeaks, wheezing and other defects. The same goes for the mids and trebles. Unfortunately, we cannot say so well about the midbass – a very significant gap is found here, which is noticeable when listening to the bass guitar, double bass, drum format “barrel” and some other similar instruments. The sound comes out some kind of “mumbling”, but these are the features of the overall dimensions and materials from which the body of the device is made. Unfortunately, it is impossible to adjust the subwoofer cutoff frequency in this device, since there is no built-in equalizer. Otherwise, when working with TVs and players, there were no complaints about the audio system.
We also tried to connect the model to a smartphone and watch streaming video on it. We did not find any sound out of sync, regardless of the source used – the speakers performed well both on Netflix, and on Youtube, and in the conditions of watching movies. After that, the speakers were connected to the computer – we decided to test their quality during games. We cannot say that we were very enthusiastic, but the sound turned out to be quite satisfactory and even good, especially during the dialogues. The sound range sagged in places, but we did not see anything terrible in this.
Sven HT-202 conclusions: pros and cons
Having worked with this audio system, we tried to carefully study it from all sides. It is quite natural that both positive and negative points were discovered. I would like to start with a positive:
- The design is compact in size and affordable;
- It can be used to work with a wide variety of sound sources;
- Relatively good sound and attractive appearance;
- It is optimally suited for small areas, as well as for rooms that combine the functions of a home theater and, say, a living room.
Unfortunately, negative points were also found, and we will not be able to do without them in any way:
- The middle bass fails a lot – the bass guitar and double bass are almost inaudible, and this parameter cannot be adjusted;
- The satellites are not attached to the walls, although this would help to further save usable space in a small room.
Ultimately, I would like to note the ambiguity of this system. First of all, it is clearly not suitable for a full-fledged home theater, as well as for spacious rooms. There is no range adjustment, which can also create some inconvenience. But the model is not too expensive and at the same time produces not the worst sound quality. We recommend to buy, but first you need to carefully study all the characteristics of this device.