Panasonic SC-HTE80 'alternative' speaker board offers wireless connectivity and centre-screen sound

Panasonic on Monday announced a new audio product for the home, called SC-HTE80 Speaker Board, touting it as an "alternative to traditional Soundbar Home Theatre Systems".

Although Panasonic is marketing the SC-HTE80 as something new and different, it actually boasts many of the same functions as some recent launches: Orbitsound's new SB60 Airsound Base and Onkyo's LS-T10 models spring to mind.

Read: Onkyo soundbars to solve TV speaker woes: LS-B40, LS-B50, LS-T10

The SC-HTE80 measures 460mm wide and just 60mm high, and sports a "bushed-metal appearance, scratch-free top-coat". Panasonic said the speaker board is ideal for TVs up to 42 inches because of its slim, compact form factor that fits underneath a TV or inside a TV stand.

The speaker board has an HDMI input, and it features two integrated subwoofers for audio clarity, dynamic bass sound and Panasonic's "H.Bass" sound processing. The set-up also provides a Clear-Mode Dialogue function that allegedly "gives the impression that audio is coming from the centre of the screen", rather than from beneath the TV.

Read: Orbitsound SB60 Airsound Base: Beef up your TV's audio

On top of all the audio-related bells and whistles, Panasonic has included connectivity and networking features like Bluetooth for wireless connection to supported TVs and NFC-capability for connecting mobile devices. Users can stream their music to the speaker board directly from a mobile device via the Panasonic Music Streaming app.

Panasonic's SC-HTE80 Speaker Board is now available in either silver or black colours for £249.