There is a lot of curiosity in soundbars that are not too costly, however aren’t precisely price range merchandise both. An excellent soundbar at across the Rs. 30,000 value stage will pair properly with a respectable mid-range or upper-mid-range tv, and there are a handful of manufacturers in India that supply precisely this type of product. Sony is well-known for its mid-range soundbars, and its newest product, the Sony HT-S40R 5.1-channel soundbar speaker system, guarantees a lot for Rs. 29,990.
Although a soundbar at its core, the Sony HT-S40R is exclusive in that the bundle additionally contains a pair of wi-fi rear audio system and a subwoofer, making for an genuine 5.1-channel house theatre setup. Is this speaker system handy to make use of, and is that this the perfect you should purchase for lower than Rs. 30,000? Find out on this assessment.
Sony HT-S40R design and specs
Soundbars and residential theatre speaker methods look finest when they’re discreet and easy, and the Sony HT-S40R sticks to this transient. All of the elements are black in color, and do not look out of the bizarre for a soundbar speaker system. The gross sales bundle contains a three-channel soundbar speaker, a subwoofer, two rear audio system, and an amplifier to energy the rear-channel audio system. There’s additionally a distant for the system, batteries to energy it, and an HDMI cable to attach the system to your tv or AV receiver.
Most soundbar methods I’ve reviewed have the bar speaker because the grasp machine, with the subwoofer, if any, drawing its sign from there. With the Sony HT-S40R, issues are totally different; the subwoofer is the first machine, which connects to all supply gadgets in addition to mains energy. There are 4 choices for connectivity on the subwoofer: Digital Optical, HDMI-ARC, and Analog In at the again, in addition to USB at the entrance.
There are additionally sockets to attach the bar speaker to the subwoofer; the cable is mounted to the bar speaker, which receives its audio sign in addition to energy from the subwoofer. The bar speaker is totally plain save for a Sony emblem on the left and a few stickers displaying its options. It has no buttons or controls on it. A easy metallic grille covers the speaker drivers.
The high of the subwoofer has contact controls for energy, supply choice, Bluetooth 5 connectivity (with help for the SBC codec), and quantity. There can be a small monochrome textual content show on the entrance which shows the ability state and energetic supply.
Although Sony calls the rear audio system wi-fi, this is not strictly correct; the rear audio system system as a complete does connect with the subwoofer wirelessly, however the audio system themselves do must be linked to the amplifier utilizing wires for audio and energy. The amplifier additionally wants its personal energy outlet.
This signifies that you need not wire the encompass audio system to the principle setup, however you do in fact want to make sure they’re suitably positioned to be used with the required amplifier. The rear audio system could be positioned both on a tabletop, or wall-mounted. The amplifier has sockets for energy and to attach the 2 audio system, and two buttons for energy and linking with the subwoofer.
The distant of the Sony HT-S40R is not very massive, however has loads of buttons to regulate varied points of the speaker system. You can set sound modes, modify the grasp and subwoofer quantity ranges individually, and in addition management playback on linked gadgets because of HDMI-CEC help.
Once linked and arrange, I used to be additionally capable of management the system quantity utilizing my TV distant, and the speaker system mechanically powered on when the TV was turned on. Oddly, I needed to flip off the HT-S40R manually, as turning the TV off did not deal with this.
Sony HT-S40R efficiency
The Sony HT-S40R is a mid-range soundbar, and naturally has a characteristic set that largely suits in with the pricing. While vital wiring continues to be concerned within the setup, the soundbar system does supply correct 5.1-channel sound, and a rated 600W of complete sound output. Advanced audio codecs reminiscent of Dolby Atmos aren’t supported, however there’s help for Dolby Digital Audio on the Sony HT-S40R. Although not fairly as loud because the sound output determine suggests, the Sony HT-S40R is able to excessive volumes with no audible distortion.
While I did usually use the rear speaker system for some motion pictures throughout my assessment, I normally had solely the bar speaker and subwoofer operational for a lot of my time with the HT-S40R. I used to be utilizing HDMI-ARC for connectivity to the TV. I examined this house theatre speaker system with varied tv exhibits and flicks on Netflix and Apple TV+, together with Our Planet, Ted Lasso, The Good Place, and Tom Hanks starrer Greyhound. This allowed me to check native 5.1-channel content material in addition to see how the system labored as a 3.1-channel audio setup utilizing simply the bar speaker and subwoofer.
Although it is a passive unit that receives energy from the subwoofer, the bar speaker is the guts of the Sony HT-S40R. Its three devoted channels capably supply correct left, proper, and centre channel output, with the sound tuning geared in direction of typical tv viewing. Voices have been crisp and clear; sound results and soundtracks have been clear, delicate, and straightforward to hearken to; and there was a sense of width regardless of the bar speaker being a few inches shorter than the TV itself.
The HT-S40R expectedly provided a significantly improved listening expertise than the Mi TV 5X I used to be utilizing it with. Although not fairly as crisp-sounding or clear because the costlier Sony HT-G700 soundbar, the HT-S40R did make up for this with its rear audio system.
While there’s a lot of native 5.1-channel content material on the favored streaming companies, solely a few of it actually impacted the viewing expertise in the way in which that encompass sound is supposed to. With exhibits reminiscent of The Good Place, it barely appeared to matter what I may hear from the rear audio system (though there was a clear sense of separation), however with Greyhound and Our Planet, there was a lot to get pleasure from within the sound.
With the latter, David Attenborough’s gripping narration sounded nearly as good because it will get via the soundbar, whereas the rear audio system made for some spectacular background work, dealing with the sounds of nature – reminiscent of birds chirping and water flowing – significantly properly. The speaker system additionally suitably reproduced the tense and fast-paced really feel of a lot of Greyhound, whereas rightly giving Tom Hanks’ dialogue supply the centrestage.
When functioning as a extra conventional 3.1-channel soundbar and subwoofer system, the encompass components have been naturally lacking, however this did not affect most of my listening experiences with the HT-S40R. The rear audio system, whereas respectable, aren’t very loud, and the bar speaker and subwoofer understandably did a lot of the heavy lifting anyway. Ted Lasso, The Good Place, and Our Planet all sounded virtually as fulfilling to me. If you do have the room for rear audio system, they do make a truthful distinction within the sound, however aren’t important for TV exhibits.
The subwoofer, whereas being the brains of the setup, does additionally ship loads of energy and assault. With the quantity turned up, it added loads of impact via succesful and distortion-free low-end rumble, significantly in Greyhound the place it made for some fulfilling thump within the motion scenes. The quantity of the subwoofer is individually adjustable from the general system quantity, so you may flip up or down the assault as per your listening preferences.
I additionally tried out Bluetooth connectivity. Although the sound was loud, the tuning wasn’t fairly suited to music.
The Sony HT-S40R is not state-of-the-art, as you may anticipate from a soundbar speaker system priced below Rs. 30,000, however it makes up for this with uncooked efficiency. It’s loud, clear, crisp, and works very properly with native 5.1-channel content material over HDMI-ARC. Although there isn’t any help for Dolby Atmos or every other superior audio codecs, the HT-S40R handles normal encompass sound very properly, because of its 5.1-channel setup.
That stated, there are too many wires, and the rear audio system have been a bit tough for me to place. It is not ideally tuned for music listening both, however in case you can work your approach round these hiccups, the HT-S40R provides succesful 5.1-channel sound at a good value. There are some respectable competing choices from manufacturers reminiscent of Polk Audio, Bose, JBL, and Samsung, however the Sony is value contemplating for its quantity capabilities and 5.1-channel output.