Sony HT-S40R 5.1 Channel Home Theatre Soundbar Review: Proper Surround Sound at a Reasonable Price

There’s numerous curiosity in soundbars that are not too costly, however aren’t precisely funds merchandise both. A very good soundbar at across the Rs. 30,000 value stage will pair nicely with a good 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 quite a bit for Rs. 29,990.

Though a soundbar at its core, the Sony HT-S40R is exclusive in that the bundle 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 one of the best you should buy for lower than Rs. 30,000? Discover out on this evaluate.

sony ht s40r soundbar review logo Sony

Sony’s newest soundbar is healthier described as a house theatre system, with 5.1-channel output

Sony HT-S40R design and specs

Soundbars and residential theatre speaker techniques look finest when they’re discreet and easy, and the Sony HT-S40R sticks to this transient. The entire elements are black in color, and do not look out of the abnormal for a soundbar speaker system. The gross sales bundle 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 techniques 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 units 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 fully 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 help for the SBC codec), and quantity. There’s 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 hook up 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.

sony ht s40r soundbar review bar Sony

The left, proper, and centre channel audio system of the system are inside the bar speaker of the Sony HT-S40R

Which means 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 giant, however has loads of buttons to manage numerous facets of the speaker system. You possibly can set sound modes, modify the grasp and subwoofer quantity ranges individually, and in addition management playback on related units due to HDMI-CEC help.

As soon as related 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 care for 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 important 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 akin to Dolby Atmos are usually not supported, however there’s help 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 films throughout my evaluate, 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.

sony ht s40r soundbar review controls Sony

The subwoofer is the controller of the HT-S40R, with the buttons on the prime and a USB port on the entrance

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 direction of typical tv viewing. Voices had been crisp and clear; sound results and soundtracks had been clear, refined, and straightforward to hearken to; and there was a way of width regardless of the bar speaker being just a few inches shorter than the TV itself.

The HT-S40R expectedly supplied 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 numerous 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 akin to The Good Place, it barely appeared to matter what I might hear from the rear audio system (though there was a transparent sense of separation), however with Greyhound and Our Planet, there was quite a bit to take pleasure in within the sound.

With the latter, David Attenborough’s gripping narration sounded nearly as good because it will get by the soundbar, whereas the rear audio system made for some spectacular background work, dealing with the sounds of nature – akin to birds chirping and water flowing – significantly nicely. 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 influence 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. For those who 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 by succesful and distortion-free low-end rumble, significantly 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 possibly can 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 nicely with native 5.1-channel content material over HDMI-ARC. Though there is not any help for Dolby Atmos or every other superior audio codecs, the HT-S40R handles commonplace encompass sound very nicely, due to its 5.1-channel setup.

That stated, 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 the event you can work your means round these hiccups, the HT-S40R gives succesful 5.1-channel sound at a superb value. There are some first rate competing choices from manufacturers akin to Polk Audio, Bose, JBL, and Samsung, however the Sony is price contemplating for its quantity capabilities and 5.1-channel output.


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