Sony's HT-S400 budget soundbar and sub packs power and virtual surround sound

Sony HT-S400 soundbar
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has drawn the curtain on its latest soundbar offering, the HT-S400. The new 2.1-channel 'bar and subwoofer pairing promises to deliver virtual surround sound for £260 / $300 / AU$499.

The HT-S400 combines a 200W soundbar with a 130W wireless sub, for a total power output of 330W – pretty punchy for such a relatively compact and affordable set-up.

Unsurprisingly, there's no support for the premium Dolby Atmos surround format, but you do get Dolby Digital. And Sony's own S-Force PRO Front Surround tech supposedly works to emulate cinema-style surround sound to get the most out of movie soundtracks.

The subwoofer isn't the only thing that's wireless here. The HT-S400 can receive wireless audio from compatible TVs via Bluetooth A2DP (that's most of the 2021 Sony Bravia TVs, but you can check whether your set is supported here).

The soundbar comes with a compact remote, but here's a neat feature: the soundbar settings should automatically appear on your Bravia TV's settings menu, so you can adjust the sound using your existing remote. 

A concealed OLED display is a nice touch, and the flat design should ensure drama-free wall-mounting. You also get a 'Night' mode for dialing back the bass so as not to disturb the neighbours. Connections include the typical HDMI ARC and optical inputs.

In the market for a budget soundbar from the venerable Japanese brand? The Sony HT-S400 is due to go on sale in April 2022.


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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.

  • ned
    But the company just mad it harder for anyone in the UK to easily listen to perfectly legal international radio stations so why would anyone buy their products.
  • Carza
    What Hi-Fi? said:
    Virtual surround, a clever design and wireless smarts? Sony's latest soundbar sounds like it has a lot of offer buyers on a budget...

    Sony's HT-S400 budget soundbar and sub pack power and virtual surround sound : Read more
    I have to say I really like the S400. It’s all a matter of perspective- I’ve never had any surround sound equipment before, nor have I had a soundbar for that matter. I do however, have a fairly new LG 4K tv, so I thought I’d try and make the sound worthy of the excellent picture ( nothing wrong with the tv speakers really).
    The Sony HT S400 just connected up and off it went - lovely clear sound in my medium to large sized living room. Here’s where the perspective comes in: I can get Dolby atmos via the tv internal speakers which sounds decent. I use an Apple TV 4K box and a Sky Q UHD box for info.
    But, because the S400 sounds so much better than the tv speakers, the ‘downgrade’ to Dolby digital is very much an upgrade on the sound and audio experience.
    It doesn’t really do surround sound despite the blurb, but the front facing sound effects are excellent and move left to right with precision. I have zero regrets, and for £229 that I paid at Curry’s I never feel I needed to pay hundreds more for a slight upturn in sound effects that may never reach their promised heights as most soundbars are not surround sound anyway. Highly recommended.