There may be a whole lot of curiosity in soundbars that are not too costly, however aren’t precisely finances merchandise both. soundbar at across the Rs. 30,000 value stage will pair effectively with a good mid-range or upper-mid-range tv, and there are a handful of manufacturers in India that provide precisely this sort 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 lots for Rs. 29,990.
Though a soundbar at its core, the Sony HT-S40R is exclusive in that the package deal additionally features a pair of wi-fi rear audio system and a subwoofer, making for an genuine 5.1-channel house theatre setup. Is that this speaker system handy to make use of, and is that this the perfect you should buy for lower than Rs. 30,000? Discover out on this overview.
Sony HT-S40R design and specs
Soundbars and residential theatre speaker programs look greatest when they’re discreet and easy, and the Sony HT-S40R sticks to this transient. All the elements are black in color, and do not look out of the bizarre for a soundbar speaker system. The gross sales package deal features 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 programs 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 completely 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 on the again, in addition to USB on 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 brand on the left and a few stickers exhibiting its options. It has no buttons or controls on it. A easy steel grille covers the speaker drivers.
The highest of the subwoofer has contact controls for energy, supply choice, Bluetooth 5 connectivity (with assist for the SBC codec), and quantity. There may be additionally a small monochrome textual content show on the entrance which shows the facility state and lively supply.
Though Sony calls the rear audio system wi-fi, this is not strictly correct; the rear audio system system as an entire does connect with the subwoofer wirelessly, however the audio system themselves do should be related to the amplifier utilizing wires for audio and energy. The amplifier additionally wants its personal energy outlet.
Which means that you need not wire the encompass audio system to the principle setup, however you do after all want to make sure they’re suitably positioned to be used with the required amplifier. The rear audio system might 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 giant, however has loads of buttons to manage numerous facets of the speaker system. You’ll be able to set sound modes, alter the grasp and subwoofer quantity ranges individually, and likewise management playback on related gadgets due to HDMI-CEC assist.
As soon as related and arrange, I used to be additionally in a position to management the system quantity utilizing my TV distant, and the speaker system routinely 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 handle this.
Sony HT-S40R efficiency
The Sony HT-S40R is a mid-range soundbar, and naturally has a function set that largely suits in with the pricing. Whereas vital wiring remains to be concerned within the setup, the soundbar system does supply correct 5.1-channel sound, and a rated 600W of complete sound output. Superior audio codecs corresponding to Dolby Atmos will not be supported, however there’s assist for Dolby Digital Audio on the Sony HT-S40R. Though not fairly as loud because the sound output determine suggests, the Sony HT-S40R is able to excessive volumes with no audible distortion.
Whereas I did usually use the rear speaker system for some motion pictures throughout my overview, 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 numerous 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.
Though 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 the direction of typical tv viewing. Voices had been crisp and clear; sound results and soundtracks had been clear, delicate, and straightforward to take heed to; and there was a way of width regardless of the bar speaker being a couple of 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. Though 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.
Whereas there’s a whole lot of native 5.1-channel content material on the favored streaming providers, solely a few of it actually impacted the viewing expertise in the way in which that encompass sound is supposed to. With exhibits corresponding to The Good Place, it barely appeared to matter what I may hear from the rear audio system (though there was a transparent sense of separation), however with Greyhound and Our Planet, there was lots to take pleasure in within the sound.
With the latter, David Attenborough’s gripping narration sounded pretty much 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 – corresponding to birds chirping and water flowing – notably effectively. 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 had been naturally lacking, however this did not impression most of my listening experiences with the HT-S40R. The rear audio system, whereas first rate, 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 pleasant to me. In the event you do have the room for rear audio system, they do make a good 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, notably in Greyhound the place it made for some pleasant thump within the motion scenes. The quantity of the subwoofer is individually adjustable from the general system quantity, so you’ll be able to flip up or down the assault as per your listening preferences.
I additionally tried out Bluetooth connectivity. Though the sound was loud, the tuning wasn’t fairly suited to music.
The Sony HT-S40R is not state-of-the-art, as you would possibly count on from a soundbar speaker system priced below Rs. 30,000, but it surely makes up for this with uncooked efficiency. It is loud, clear, crisp, and works very effectively with native 5.1-channel content material over HDMI-ARC. Though there is not any assist for Dolby Atmos or every other superior audio codecs, the HT-S40R handles normal encompass sound very effectively, due to its 5.1-channel setup.
That mentioned, there are too many wires, and the rear audio system had been a bit difficult for me to place. It is not ideally tuned for music listening both, however in case you can work your method round these hiccups, the HT-S40R provides succesful 5.1-channel sound at a great value. There are some first rate competing choices from manufacturers corresponding to Polk Audio, Bose, JBL, and Samsung, however the Sony is value contemplating for its quantity capabilities and 5.1-channel output.
Catch the newest from the Client Electronics Present on Devices 360, at our CES 2022 hub.