Among the many things the pandemic helped accelerate, one has to be the quest of middle class households to recreate the big screen experience at home. For those with decent, large, TVs at home, a good surround sound set up can go a long way in bringing the movies home. The Sony HT-S40R aims to tap into just this crowd.
The Sony HT-S40R is 5.1 ch soundbar with a sub-woofer and a pair of back units that connect wirelessly to the main unit even though they do need cables to connect to the unit that keeps them linked. This is perfect for a large entertainment room set up. I am underlining the large because the speakers are 600w and you really don’t want to push that in a small space.
I was more than impressed by how easy it was to connect the units even though it has five of these. The soundbar and sub-woofer connect together to the TV. While the back units have a central unit that takes the power and connects to the main unit wirelessly. This unit can be placed at the back of your room.
Yes, the HT S40R can play music from a USB dongle or via Bluetooth from your phone. But at heart this is a home cinema set up. So when I binged on The Chestnut Man you could feel the cinema experience in every sense, the audio of the thriller really wrapping you and fling the room. But that said, the soundbar in front ensured you has crystal clear dialogues when it was needed and when this was happening I could see the rear units go silent.
And again, remember this is 600w of Dolby Audio and you don’t want to go full volume while watching an action movie, unless you are trying to get thrown out of your housing society.
You can also play music from a TV app like Amazon Music and enjoy it without interruptions you might have while playing via Bluetooth from the phone. This is when the HT-S40R stands up to remind you that this is a Sony speaker at the end of the day. Yes, I am referring to the extra bass that emanates out of the sub-woofers. Thankfully you can adjust this level separately using the remote. The remote also lets you select from some presets for Cinema, Voice and Music. I was very impressed by the Auto level preset and the night mode.
There are also controls on the remote in case you want to change select songs while playing via the USB dongle. There is some assistance on the LED display of the subwoofer to help you find the right song. However, I did not test this because I really did not have a USB lying around with songs loaded like before. That seemed like a very 2015 thing to do.
The only issue I found was how the volume levels kept changing when you switched the inputs. Also while streaming music using Bluetooth from the phone, there seemed to be a bit too much interference for my linking.
If you are looking to rig a home-theatre at home with a projector or TV, then the Sony HT-S40R is one of the best options for you right now. And the price point of Rs 29,990 is not that much comparing the big screen effect on offer with the 600w 5.1ch Dolby Audio. Give this more than a thought.