Sony HT-S400 2.1-Channel Soundbar Review: Clear-cut and Capable



Sony is amongst the most significant names in the soundbar and dwelling amusement speaker phase, but most of the Japanese brand’s mainstream choices are in top quality cost brackets. Customers with a price range of all over Rs. 25,000 or fewer commonly want to search at selections from manufacturers these kinds of as JBL and Polk Audio, or very economical products from Blaupunkt, Zebronics, and the like. Sony’s newest soundbar, the HT-S400, gives it a reliable existence in the rather cost-effective soundbar space, and promises capable efficiency at a realistic value.

Priced at Rs. 21,990, the Sony HT-S400 is a 2.1-channel soundbar that focuses on the crucial things, which includes style and design, connectivity, and simplicity of setup. With a wi-fi subwoofer, a rated audio output of 330W, and both wired and wi-fi connectivity options, is this the ideal moderately-priced soundbar system you can get correct now? Discover out in this evaluate.

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


Sony HT-S400 layout and technical specs

While significantly a lot more inexpensive than the Sony HT-S40R soundbar, the newer HT-S400 appears to be like and feels much better, thanks to a nicer grille at the entrance, and an intriguing texture on the overall body. That stated, it really is nonetheless discreet and fairly quick to miss out on entirely, which is exactly what a soundbar should really search like. The dimensions of the bar speaker indicates that it is best applied with a 43-inch tv, despite the fact that I examined it with a 55-inch tv for this overview.

Of course, the reduced value of the Sony HT-S400 is for the reason that of the substantially distinct vital technical specs. As opposed to the 5.1-channel HT-S40R, this is a 2.1-channel soundbar, with a one two-channel bar speaker, and a individual wireless subwoofer. The rated audio output is also a reasonable bit decrease at 330W, break up concerning the 130W subwoofer and 200W bar speaker. The subwoofer weighs 7.3kg and only supports wi-fi connectivity with the 2.4kg bar speaker, with the latter serving as a grasp system and handling connectivity with external units.

The profits package of the Sony HT-S400 consists of power cables for the bar speaker and subwoofer, an optical (Toslink) audio cable for wired connectivity, and a modest remote (along with batteries). The bar speaker has a little monochrome OLED exhibit at the entrance, which displays fundamental data, including the audio source and quantity stages.

At the best of the bar speaker are the contact-sensitive buttons, which can be utilized to handle power, quantity, and audio resource even without having the remote. The back 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 system is compact and alternatively hassle-free, is driven by two AAA batteries, and has just a number of buttons on it to management the fundamental attributes and customisations. This consists of main functions these kinds of as electrical power, volume, and resource assortment, along with the capability to change the subwoofer quantity stage to regulate the bass, and a pair of picks to optimise the audio for voice or Sony’s Audio Subject method.

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The distant of the Sony HT-S400 soundbar process is little and easy, and lets you modify the subwoofer volume to tweak the bass level


The Sony HT-S400 is really effortless to set up. The bar speaker and subwoofer did, of course, need to link to individual electricity sockets, but the wi-fi connectivity intended that there was no wire concerning the two factors by themselves. Sony’s proprietary wi-fi connectivity protocol labored reliably, with the subwoofer immediately connecting to the bar speaker when the latter was driven on, and preserving a steady link. I utilized HDMI ARC for connectivity with the Tv for my overview, alongside with occasional Bluetooth connectivity to listen to music from my smartphone.

Other capabilities on the Sony HT-S400 consist of HDMI CEC, Tv set Wi-fi Link (which allows for wireless connectivity with Sony Bravia TVs without having making use of Bluetooth), and assistance for the Dolby Digital audio format. HDMI CEC labored nicely, and I was equipped to handle the Sony HT-S400 (basic features this sort of as volume) even with the remote of the Chromecast with Google Tv set that I had linked to my television, although turning the Television set on or off equally managed the power of the soundbar system when working with HDMI ARC for connectivity.

Sony HT-S400 effectiveness

The Sony HT-S400 is not a specially sophisticated or intensely-geared up soundbar process. The 2.1-channel setup usually means that it has to downmix increased-resolution audio formats to stereo for output, and the actual length of the bar is the only differentiator among the HT-S400 and an normal a few-piece stereo speaker program. Even so, irrespective of its complex shortcomings, the Sony HT-S400 delivers shockingly uncomplicated efficiency which is a substantial advancement more than most tv speakers.

The speaker arrangement also indicates that the Sony HT-S400 is specially good with audio, and does a honest position of earning even flicks and tv displays sound louder and superior. I found the seem to be clean, the soundstage to be reasonably roomy, and the sonic signature to be reasonably balanced. The subwoofer wasn’t far too highly effective for the bar speaker, and the two factors labored nicely with each other.

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Connectivity solutions on the Sony HT-S400 include things like HDMI, Optical (Toslink), and Bluetooth


Of course, the to some degree essential driver arrangement signifies that the Sony HT-S400 is unconcerned by advanced audio formats, acquiring to even downmix the standard 5.1-channel encoding that most modern day material on streaming solutions give. It did a respectable task with this nonetheless, regardless of the type of information I viewed. The spaciousness of the soundstage was especially pleasant to listen to, specially with films this kind of as The Gray Man and The Batman wherever the history score and seems manufactured a major variation to the viewing expertise.

Where the Sony HT-S400 genuinely helps make a variation is in how loud it can get. With a rated output of 330W among the bar speaker and subwoofer, the soundbar method is substantially louder than what most televisions — budget or quality — are equipped to provide. With the quantity turned up, the HT-S400 soundbar process was equipped to produce a loud, vast, and easy audio that labored with all sorts of content. Voices were sharp, history scores have been unique and clear, and there have been no sizeable quantity spikes that desired frequent adjustment.

I tended to have the Sony HT-S400 program at a fairly higher quantity stage most of the time, but there was constantly place to go further more if required. At really substantial volumes, the audio tended to lose a bit of refinement, but this is just not a volume level you can expect to frequently, if at all, need to get to. The 60 percent volume amount was ample for most information for me, but I did thrust it to up to 75 p.c for certain dialogue-targeted written content these as Superior Phone Saul and Masaba Masaba.

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The buttons at the best of the bar speaker handle the basics, which includes electrical power, volume, and source range


The audio also felt pretty well balanced, with the subwoofer sensation like the ideal dimensions and output for the bar speaker. The bass never felt too aggressive as is usually the circumstance with finances and mid-variety soundbars, but it didn’t feel held-again or insufficient either. It is doable to regulate the volume of the just the subwoofer making use of the remote, but I found the default degree to be great for the most portion, and I adjusted it only at times when I needed to keep the quantity low and could not hear dialogue very plainly .

The Sony HT-S400 has a thing the model phone calls ‘S-Power Pro Front Surround’, which is claimed to supply a digital encompass seem influence with only the front-dealing with speakers. This wasn’t really the case in my knowledge, with no significant outcome of audio coming from the rear or even the sides, even from the Audio Area manner. The Voice and Evening modes (which can be picked by using the remote) produced the seem additional voice-targeted and softer respectively, but not by significantly.

The 2.1-channel setup intended that the Sony HT-S400 soundbar method executed fairly nicely with new music, no matter if from the related wise Tv set or in excess of Bluetooth. The loud output, roomy soundstage, and balanced sound were pleasurable for a moderately sized space even at lower quantity ranges, and the capability to tweak the subwoofer volume for a bit of added assault and punch was very practical.


The Sony HT-S400 soundbar may well be a little bit below-geared up and lacking in capabilities, but this isn’t essentially a undesirable issue. In which the soundbar shines is in its simplicity of set up and use, loud and well balanced audio, and practical price tag for what is actually on offer you. That mentioned, the lack of innovative audio format help and surround audio (real or digital) are things to maintain in mind, as is the point that this is actually a 2.1-channel speaker method designed to work like a soundbar.

Get the Sony HT-S400 if you have a price range of close to Rs. 25,000 and need a little something that adds volume, attack, and travel to your household leisure setup. You can also look at possibilities from manufacturers such as Polk Audio and JBL, but Sony’s simple strategy and focus on the core operation makes the HT-S400 really worth hunting at.

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