An upgrade over the older 919, the Pioneer HTZHW929BD is a three-piece sound bar comprising of a Soundwing, sub woofer and Blu-ray player. Its aesthetics are quite uninspiring, and the three-piece setup is also somewhat antiquated, which results in a lot of wiring cluttering up your AV area. The Blu-ray player features a load-out disc tray and the menu is displayed in a simple list format. With the layout not being extremely intuitive, it can be somewhat of a challenge to navigate over to the correct option. The smart feature suite is also limited, comprising of just YouTube and Picasa services.
There’s no web browser feature builtin either. With regards to audio performance, the HTZ-HW929BD demonstrated strong mids along with good bass, though the low registers could have benefitted from a bit more definition. These tonal characteristics helped the sound bar give a good showing on the tracks from Michael Jackson’s This Is It. Highs and trebles however, sounded muted and lacked sparkle, which counted against it. Thanks to the Soundwing’s upward facing design, the HTZHW929 had a decent soundstage with good directionality. Coupled with the aforementioned good bass, both sound effects and action sequences are well reproduced when playing movies. However, the muted highs do take away from the delivery of dialog. This is one sound system that won’t do justice to slow, conversation heavy flicks. In terms of ports and connectivity features, the HTZ-HW929BD has all the usual options.
You can find a single HDMI output and two HDMI inputs, along with two USB ports as well as solitary Ethernet port for network access. Composite, RCA and Optical ports are also available. Wireless playback can also be achieved via Bluetooth and DLNA. The package also comes with an iPod cradle but it must be noted that the connector is the now obsolete 30-pin version, which is not compatible with the Lightning connectors on the newest Apple gear. To further increase the allure of the HTZ-HW929BD, Pioneer has included Karaoke functions and the ability to rip tracks to plugged-in USB storage devices direct from CDs.
- CHANNELS - 2.1
- WEIGHT - 6kg
- POWER OUTPUT - 550W
- PRICE - $1,199