Sony HT-S400 2.1-Channel Soundbar Evaluation: Uncomplicated and Able

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Sony is amid the greatest names in the soundbar and house entertainment speaker section, but most of the Japanese brand’s mainstream alternatives are in top quality cost brackets. Prospective buyers with a spending budget of all-around Rs. 25,000 or a lot less generally need to have to look at alternatives from models these types of as JBL and Polk Audio, or pretty very affordable solutions from Blaupunkt, Zebronics, and the like. Sony’s latest soundbar, the HT-S400, presents it a stable existence in the considerably reasonably priced soundbar place, and promises able overall performance at a realistic selling price.

Priced at Rs. 21,990, the Sony HT-S400 is a 2.1-channel soundbar that focuses on the crucial things, including layout, connectivity, and ease of set up. With a wireless subwoofer, a rated audio output of 330W, and both wired and wireless connectivity solutions, is this the best fairly-priced soundbar system you can purchase right now? Locate out in this evaluate.

sony ht s400 review logo Sony

The 2.1-channel Sony HT-S400 has a two-driver soundbar and a wireless subwoofer

 

Sony HT-S400 style and design and specs

Despite the fact that noticeably more economical than the Sony HT-S40R soundbar, the newer HT-S400 appears to be like and feels much better, many thanks to a nicer grille at the front, and an interesting texture on the human body. That mentioned, it truly is continue to discreet and instead uncomplicated to pass up fully, which is particularly what a soundbar should really glance like. The sizing of the bar speaker implies that it really is finest employed with a 43-inch television, though I examined it with a 55-inch tv for this overview.

Of study course, the reduce price tag of the Sony HT-S400 is because of the substantially various key specifications. Compared with the 5.1-channel HT-S40R, this is a 2.1-channel soundbar, with a solitary two-channel bar speaker, and a individual wireless subwoofer. The rated audio output is also a good little bit decreased at 330W, break up involving the 130W subwoofer and 200W bar speaker. The subwoofer weighs 7.3kg and only supports wireless connectivity with the 2.4kg bar speaker, with the latter serving as a grasp product and handling connectivity with exterior equipment.

The product sales package of the Sony HT-S400 features power cables for the bar speaker and subwoofer, an optical (Toslink) audio cable for wired connectivity, and a compact remote (along with batteries). The bar speaker has a tiny monochrome OLED screen at the entrance, which shows primary facts, which includes the audio source and volume stages.

At the prime of the bar speaker are the touch-sensitive buttons, which can be used to command electricity, quantity, and audio supply even with no the distant. The again of the speaker has two ports — HDMI and Optical (Toslink) — for wired connectivity, and there is also Bluetooth 5 for wi-fi connectivity, with support for the SBC codec.

The remote of the Sony HT-S400 soundbar process is tiny and somewhat effortless, is run by two AAA batteries, and has just a number of buttons on it to command the simple attributes and customisations. This includes main functions these as electricity, volume, and source variety, together with the skill to regulate the subwoofer volume level to regulate the bass, and a pair of options to optimise the seem for voice or Sony’s Sound Industry manner.

sony ht s400 review remote Sony

The remote of the Sony HT-S400 soundbar technique is modest and convenient, and allows you regulate the subwoofer volume to tweak the bass level

 

The Sony HT-S400 is pretty uncomplicated to setup. The bar speaker and subwoofer did, of system, have to have to join to individual energy sockets, but the wi-fi connectivity meant that there was no wire amongst the two elements them selves. Sony’s proprietary wireless connectivity protocol labored reliably, with the subwoofer quickly connecting to the bar speaker when the latter was powered on, and retaining a secure connection. I utilised HDMI ARC for connectivity with the Tv set for my overview, together with occasional Bluetooth connectivity to hear to tunes from my smartphone.

Other capabilities on the Sony HT-S400 involve HDMI CEC, Television Wi-fi Link (which permits for wireless connectivity with Sony Bravia TVs devoid of utilizing Bluetooth), and assist for the Dolby Digital audio structure. HDMI CEC labored nicely, and I was equipped to command the Sony HT-S400 (simple features these kinds of as quantity) even with the distant of the Chromecast with Google Tv set that I had linked to my tv, when turning the Tv on or off equally controlled the energy of the soundbar procedure when employing HDMI ARC for connectivity.

Sony HT-S400 functionality

The Sony HT-S400 is not a specifically complex or seriously-outfitted soundbar method. The 2.1-channel set up suggests that it has to downmix larger-resolution audio formats to stereo for output, and the genuine length of the bar is the only differentiator between the HT-S400 and an common three-piece stereo speaker program. However, inspite of its technical shortcomings, the Sony HT-S400 delivers astonishingly clear-cut efficiency which is a considerable advancement above most television speakers.

The speaker arrangement also implies that the Sony HT-S400 is notably fantastic with songs, and does a truthful career of building even films and television demonstrates audio louder and much better. I located the seem to be clean, the soundstage to be moderately roomy, and the sonic signature to be quite balanced. The subwoofer wasn’t much too impressive for the bar speaker, and the two components labored very well alongside one another.

sony ht s400 review ports Sony

Connectivity selections on the Sony HT-S400 contain HDMI, Optical (Toslink), and Bluetooth

 

Of course, the rather standard driver arrangement implies that the Sony HT-S400 is unconcerned by superior audio formats, possessing to even downmix the primary 5.1-channel encoding that most modern articles on streaming expert services present. It did a decent occupation with this even so, regardless of the kind of content material I watched. The spaciousness of the soundstage was specially pleasant to listen to, particularly with videos such as The Gray Person and The Batman wherever the background score and appears designed a massive difference to the viewing expertise.

Wherever the Sony HT-S400 actually will make a variance is in how loud it can get. With a rated output of 330W amongst the bar speaker and subwoofer, the soundbar technique is substantially louder than what most televisions — budget or top quality — are in a position to deliver. With the quantity turned up, the HT-S400 soundbar technique was in a position to produce a loud, vast, and simple audio that labored with all varieties of articles. Voices have been sharp, qualifications scores were being distinct and cleanse, and there were being no substantial volume spikes that necessary repeated adjustment.

I tended to have the Sony HT-S400 method at a somewhat higher volume level most of the time, but there was often space to go even more if essential. At pretty superior volumes, the seem tended to lose a little bit of refinement, but this just isn’t a volume amount you can frequently, if at all, require to get to. The 60 p.c volume amount was sufficient for most written content for me, but I did thrust it to up to 75 % for specific dialogue-centered content material these types of as Greater Phone Saul and Masaba Masaba.

sony ht s400 review buttons Sony

The buttons at the best of the bar speaker regulate the fundamental principles, which include ability, quantity, and resource choice

 

The sound also felt very well balanced, with the subwoofer feeling like the ideal size and output for the bar speaker. The bass never ever felt far too intense as is usually the circumstance with spending budget and mid-vary soundbars, however it didn’t feel held-back or insufficient possibly. It is doable to change the quantity of the just the subwoofer applying the distant, but I identified the default amount to be fantastic for the most component, and I adjusted it only often when I required to keep the volume very low and could not listen to dialogue very obviously .

The Sony HT-S400 has some thing the manufacturer calls ‘S-Pressure Professional Front Surround’, which is claimed to offer you a digital surround seem effect with only the front-experiencing speakers. This was not genuinely the situation in my practical experience, with no important outcome of seem coming from the rear or even the sides, even from the Sound Discipline mode. The Voice and Evening modes (which can be chosen by means of the remote) created the sound more voice-focused and softer respectively, but not by substantially.

The 2.1-channel setup intended that the Sony HT-S400 soundbar method carried out fairly well with new music, irrespective of whether from the linked sensible Tv or more than Bluetooth. The loud output, roomy soundstage, and well balanced sound had been pleasant for a moderately sized place even at low volume levels, and the ability to tweak the subwoofer quantity for a bit of further assault and punch was very useful.

Verdict

The Sony HT-S400 soundbar could be a bit under-geared up and lacking in characteristics, but this just isn’t always a terrible detail. Exactly where the soundbar shines is in its simplicity of set up and use, loud and well balanced audio, and smart rate for what is actually on present. That stated, the absence of state-of-the-art audio structure support and surround audio (serious or digital) are issues to retain in head, as is the reality that this is really a 2.1-channel speaker method built to get the job done like a soundbar.

Get the Sony HT-S400 if you have a spending plan of all around Rs. 25,000 and require anything that provides quantity, assault, and push to your dwelling amusement setup. You can also take into consideration alternatives from brands these types of as Polk Audio and JBL, but Sony’s simple method and target on the main functionality tends to make the HT-S400 well worth on the lookout at.


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