Sony is one of the most well-known brands in the soundbar and home entertainment speaker market, but the majority of the Japanese company’s mainstream options are in the premium price range. Buyers with a budget of Rs. 25,000 or less should consider options from brands such as JBL and Polk Audio, as well as very affordable products from Blaupunkt, Zebronics, and others. Sony HT-S400 Soundbar latest soundbar, the HT-S400, establishes a strong presence in the somewhat affordable soundbar market, promising capable performance at an affordable price.
The Sony HT-S400, priced at Rs. 21,990, is a 2.1-channel soundbar that prioritises design, connectivity, and ease of setup. This is the best reasonably priced soundbar system you can buy right now, with a wireless subwoofer, a rated sound output of 330W, and the both wired and wireless connectivity options. This is the true review of the Sony HT-S400 soundbar. Let’s check out all the details of this new Sony Soundbar.
Design and Specifications
Despite being significantly less expensive than the Sony HT-S40R soundbar, the newer HT-S400 appears and feels better, thanks to a nicer front grille and an interesting texture on the body. Having said that, it’s still subtle and easy to overlook, which is exactly what a soundbar should be. The bar speaker’s size suggests that it works best with a 43-inch television.
The lower price of the Sony HT-S400 is, of course, due to the significantly different key specifications. This is a 2.1-channel soundbar, as opposed to the 5.1-channel HT-S40R, with a single two-channel bar speaker and a separate wireless subwoofer. The rated sound output is also lower, at 330W, which is split between the 130W subwoofer and the 200W bar speaker. The 7.3kg subwoofer only supports wireless connectivity with the 2.4kg bar speaker, which acts as a master device and handles connectivity with external devices.
The Sony HT-S400 comes with power cables for the bar speaker as well as subwoofer, an optical (Toslink) audio cable for wired connectivity, and just a small remote control (along with batteries). The front of the bar speaker features a small monochrome OLED display that displays basic information such as the audio source and volume levels.
The Sony HT-S400 soundbar system’s remote is small and convenient, powered by two AAA batteries, and has only a few buttons to control the basic features and customizations. This includes basic functions like power, volume, and source selection, as well as the ability to adjust the subwoofer volume level to adjust the bass and a few options for optimising the sound for voice or music.
The Sony HT-S400 is simple to set up. Of course, the bar speaker and subwoofer required separate power outlets, but the wireless connectivity meant that there wasn’t any wire between the two components themselves. Sony’s proprietary wireless connectivity protocol performed admirably, with the subwoofer immediately connecting to the bar speaker and maintaining a stable connection. For my review, I used HDMI ARC connectivity with the TV, as well as Bluetooth connectivity to listen to music from my smartphone.
PerformanceThe Sony HT-S400 is not a complicated or well-equipped soundbar system. Due to the 2.1-channel configuration, higher-resolution audio formats must be downmix to stereo for output, and the actual length of the bar is the only difference between the HT-S400 and a standard three-piece stereo speaker system. Despite its technical flaws, the Sony HT-S400 delivers a surprisingly straightforward performance that is a significant improvement over most television speakers.
Due to the speaker configuration, the Sony HT-S400 is particularly good with music and does a good job of making movies and television shows sound louder and better. The sound was clean, the soundstage was reasonably spacious, and the sonic signature was well-balanced. The subwoofer wasn’t overpowering for the bar speaker, and the two worked well together.
The Sony HT-S400 truly distinguishes itself in terms of volume. The soundbar system is significantly louder than most televisions, budget or premium, with a rated output of 330W between the bar speaker and subwoofer. When the volume was turned up, the HT-S400 soundbar system produced a loud, wide, and straightforward sound that worked well with a variety of content.
The sound was also well-balanced, with the subwoofer appearing to be the ideal size and output for the bar speaker. The bass was never overpowering, as is often the case with budget and mid-range soundbars, but it was also never underwhelming. The volume of just the subwoofer can be adjusted using the remote, but I discovered the default level to be fine for the most part, and I only adjusted it when I needed to keep the volume low but couldn’t hear dialogue very clearly.
Due to the 2.1-channel configuration, the Sony HT-S400 soundbar system handled music well, whether from the connected smart TV or via Bluetooth. Even at low volume levels, the loud output, spacious soundstage, as well as balanced sound were enjoyable for a moderately sized room, and the ability to tweak the subwoofer volume for just a bit of extra attack and punch was quite useful.
The Sony HT-S400 soundbar may be under-equipped and feature-lacking, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The soundbar shines in its ease of setup and use, loud and balanced sound, and reasonable price for what it offers. However, keep in mind the lack of advanced audio format support and surround sound (real or virtual), as well as the fact that this is essentially a 2.1-channel speaker system designed to function as a soundbar.
If you have a budget of around Rs. 25,000 and need something to add volume, attack, and drive to your home entertainment setup, consider the Sony HT-S400. You can also consider Polk Audio and JBL options, but Sony’s straightforward approach and focus on core functionality make the HT-S400 worth considering.
GoWarranty’s Extended Warranty
The sound bar generally comes with a one year warranty, with an additional one-year warranty on the panel. There are, however, other things that can be harmed. I recommend getting a good extended warranty that covers your soundbar from the start. Vineet Malhotra, a popular YouTuber, and I both recommend Go Warranty. GoWarranty will cover the entire cost of your soundbar. They are well-known for their simple and direct and painless procedure.