Sony has unveiled a new soundbar that comes complete with a wireless subwoofer and wireless rear speakers for a reasonable price. For £349 (around $500, AU$650), the new HT-S40R promises maximum oomph and minimum clutter.
The system delivers 600W of power, Bluetooth for music streaming and support for Dolby Audio (there's no mention of object-based Dolby Atmos, but we wouldn't necessarily expect it at this price).
According to Sony, the HT-S40R delivers "room-filling sound" and "no wires between the front and rear speakers". The subwoofer and soundbar share a single power connection and those with a Sony Bravia TV that supports "TV wireless connection" can beam audio between the TV and HT-S40R wirelessly.
There is a slight catch: Sony's one-box wonder isn't completely wireless. It does require a compact wireless amplifier (included in the box) to power the rear speakers. The amp can be placed nearby or mounted on the wall, but it will need to be plugged into the mains. You can see it in the bottom-left of the picture below.
Sony gives you four different sound modes to choose from – Cinema, Music, Standard, and Auto – so you can pick the setting that best suits what you're watching or listening to. There's also Night and Voice modes, which aim to provide clear dialogue at low volume, so as not to disturb the neighbours. Connections include HDMI ARC, a USB port, plus optical and analogue inputs.
Although we're yet to test the Sony HT-S40R, on paper it seems to offer plenty of bang for your buck. If you're after an affordable 5.1 system for movies and music, this could be a cheaper alternative to building a system around, say, a Sonos Beam soundbar (£399, $399, AU$599).
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