Sony today announces two new soundbars, HT-S20R and HT-G700. Exciting new models that have just hit the market will bring movies and TV shows to your living room in a powerfully immersive audio experience.
Sony HT-S20R 5.1 Soundbar Review
The Sony HT-S20R is an affordable option for those looking for a simpler soundbar. The HT-S20R 5.1 soundbar has 400W of power and two rear speakers. It also includes a subwoofer. It has a simple, elegant design that is true to Sony’s style and can be used with TVs and smartphones via Bluetooth.
A TV that is larger than 32 inches or 40 inches in size will likely have poor sound quality. A budget soundbar will give you a great 2.1 experience.
Analog, more advanced
Upgrades to 5.1 can be expensive, especially if you need the convenience of satellite speakers and a front channel setup that is soundbar-like. We have the Sony HT-20R with us today. It’s a 5.1-setup and looks very similar to the Sony HT-RT3. This soundbar is available for around $200.
Specs at a Glance
- Total Maximum Power: 400W
- Soundbar Weight: 2kg
- Subwoofer Weight: 6.9kg
- Audio Inputs: Optical-audio input, Analogue audio input (stereo mini),
- USB type A, Bluetooth, HDMI ARC.
- Soundbar Dimension: 760 x 52 x 86 mm
- Subwoofers Dimensions: 192 x 387 x 342 mm
- HDMI Input: 0
- HDMI Output (Audio Return Channel): 1
About this Subject
- Dolby Audio: Enjoy impressive high-quality surround sound from individual 5.1 audio channels with Dolby Digital
- 1-channel surround sound: 5.1 channels of real surround sound. The rear speakers and an external subwoofer work with a 3-channel sound bar, providing dynamic, immersive, cinematic sound.
- Output Power: 400W output power puts you right in the center of the action. HDMI CEC: Yes
- Bluetooth connection: Easily play your favorite content using a Bluetooth connection
- USB Playback: Use the USB port to easily connect and play music from the memory card
- Sound Mode: Button for each sound — select the mode suitable for what you are watching or listening to, including Automatic, Standard, Movies and Music. You can also choose night and voice modes.
- HDMI Arc and Optical Connection: Connect the soundbar to the TV with a single cable connection.
Build and Design
Traditional 5.1 home theatres have five speakers for each channel and one subwoofer. The S20R has the front three channels combined in one soundbar, which will be flush below your TV. This design has its advantages and drawbacks, which we will discuss in the performance section. But let’s get started with the build.
The soundbar is extremely well constructed. The soundbar has a metallic mesh grill at the front that protects the drivers. The grill allows you to see the drivers. It has rubber feet at the bottom that give it a firm grip when it is placed on a table. If you wish, you can wall-mount your soundbar. The best thing about this system is that it can be installed by a Sony technician in India.
The soundbar does not have a display. The display is located on the subwoofer. We will discuss this in more detail. The soundbar is placed flush below a 32 inch or 40-inch TV for aesthetic purposes. It doesn’t feel too big for the setup. Although it may appear a little smaller than a 55-inch TV’s, it will not look out of place.
The S20R’s cable management is identical to other Sony soundbar-home theater solutions. Each speaker has a pair of cables, and the ends go into the back of each subwoofer. The colour-coded cables make it easy to connect the cables. However, if the cable gets damaged or is lost, you cannot repair it yourself.
These small rear satellite speakers are ideal for wall-mounting surround speakers. The S20R’s rear satellite speakers have the same design as its front soundbar. They feature a metal mesh grille at the front that covers the drivers, and a plastic finish. This gives it a minimalistic look.
The home theatre was set up in a living area. Its design and aesthetics were minimal enough to blend into the existing room and home entertainment system. We feel the rear satellite speakers may be fragile because they are very light.
The subwoofer is the heart and soul of the system. The subwoofer is the heart of the system. This is where all the speaker connections are located. I don’t mean to be rude, but the wires connecting to each speaker’s back are too long to accommodate a living room of the size that they are.
You need an audio cable or HDMI to connect to the subwoofer. The sub-under the TV didn’t work for us so we did the latter. For ease of setup, we wish that the connectivity options were located at the back side of the soundbar.
An LED display is also included in the subwoofer. This displays information, such as input and information about the source. You can also customize the dB levels. It is simple to use and does not contain the complexity of an amplifier. The subwoofer’s physical controls are located on the top and can be touched.
The build quality of the home theater is excellent, especially considering the price. We like the minimalistic design and lack of any fancy features.
Connection Options and Configuration
The home theatre supports connectivity with optical-audio input (stereomini), analog audio input (stereo max) and USB type B. The home theatre also features HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel), but there is no HDMI input to allow for passthrough.
It is easy to set up your home theatre by calling Sony’s helpline and waiting for an engineer who will come and install it. To get the best experience, ensure that the rear surround speakers are at your ear level and face you. Some people may have trouble managing cables, but the length of the bundled cable is a great help. The box contains a 3.5mm audio cables. If you have to connect the system via HDMI, optical, or both, make sure you have those cables with you when you buy the system.
The remote control is identical to that you receive with the Sony HTRT3. It’s made of plastic and feels minimalistic. It’s lightweight and the buttons have rubbery surfaces, which makes them easy to press. You can find the power and source buttons at the top, making them easy to reach.
You can access 5 sound modes via the remote: standard, cinematography, music, voice, night, and music. You can also press auto to let the system decide for you. We recommend that you leave the system on auto unless you are using night mode.
It is able to accurately represent the content that you are reading. You can also dim the display of the sub by pressing the Dimmer button. This will give you a more immersive viewing experience. Other controls include playback and subwoofer controls.
The remote control works well, is easy to use with one handed and has a simple layout.
I used YouTube Music to play music on my smartphone. The speaker was connected via Bluetooth. I used the TV YouTube app to play the same music and connected the system via HDMIARC. I played some Poets of the Fall and Charlie Puth. I also connected the system via HDMI ARC.
The system can produce good bass, it is important to remember. If you like to hear music from all of the speakers, you will find that the surround speakers are able to deliver good bass. This gives you a more holistic sound. This may not be the best experience.
The same music was played through two Mackie CR5BT studio speakers. It sounded richer than the Sony soundbar. Although the S20R studio monitors are the same price as the S20R, they don’t offer all the features and come with a 2.0 setup. The S20R is the right choice if music is your priority. However, it is not the most affordable.
You are better off buying a pair of good studio monitors if you are an audiophile. This system is great for anyone who needs a multi-purpose system.
I connected my Home theatre to a TV through HDMI ARC, and watched a lot of TV shows and movies from Netflix, Hotstar, and Prime Videos. Some of the same content was also available via Bluetooth streaming. The Bluetooth audio was sent to the Fire TV Stick via Bluetooth.
One thing is certain: if your source doesn’t have great audio, it will reflect back on the speaker. I prefer ARC over Bluetooth because it delivers the best content from all of the content on the TV. The audio was crisper when I watched movies from Netflix and Prime Videos. Also, the channel separation was better than Bluetooth.
Here are some things to think about. If the dialogue is being spoken from an angle, it should be coming from the centre channel. The sound from the front left speaker should be heard, and the sound from the surround right should come from the right speaker.
These attributes are part of the Sony HT–S20R home theater with some caveats. The system’s design means that the speakers on the left and right are too close to each other. This causes a plane that is flying across the screen to have a less dramatic effect than speakers at far distances.
The second is that the rear surround speaker on the right or left of the speaker kicks in when the sound is being produced by the right or front speaker. It could be used to offset the difference in distance between the centre and left channels, but this is something you’ll notice if your home theatre hobby includes home theatre.
The surround speakers in the home theatre were more prominent for those who experienced the system along with me. It’s not necessarily a negative, but it was something that I noticed while watching movies and playing video games.
The best thing about surround sound is that you can adjust the volume of the sub and surround speakers to achieve the desired sound. Overall, the movie is well performed with action scenes coming to life and quieter scenes delivering clear dialogues. A Quiet Place is an excellent example of a movie that offers great surround sound.
Gaming was a blast. I tried out some games on the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and the PS4 Pro. It was great fun, especially if your favorite games are shooter or action-adventure games such as Uncharted and Gears of War. There is a lot of bullets flying around. Uncharted 4 allows you to tell Uncharted 4 that the game is playing through 5.1 surround sound.
This makes the experience more immersive and better than other games. You should definitely choose home theatre or5.1 if the game offers it. It provides better surround effects, channel separation and overall enjoyment.
Overall, I am pleased with the gaming performance, including dialogue, nats and gunfire. However, I would like to see better front channel separation.
You might be looking for a basic soundbar or home theatre if you have $200 to spend. You have many options when it comes to 2.1 soundbars, including those from JBL, LG, JBL, and Sony. The 5.1 soundbars are limited and it can be difficult to recommend the S20R.
The Sony HT-RT3 older model is slightly less than 18,000 and offers a few more benefits. The HT-RT3 supports NFC, which is not available on the S20R. The HTRT3 is 600W more powerful than the HT–S20R’s 400W. The HT-RT3 comes with an HDMI cable, according to Sony’s website. The overall design of the HT-RT3 is my preference. It is more angular that the HT-S20R.
The Sony HT-20R is a baby HT-3. The HT-RT3 is a better value proposition if you have a budget that can be extended by only 2-3 thousand rupees. The HTRT3’s front three-channel bar is 140mm wider than the HT-20R. If space is a concern, the HT-20R is an option. It will fit under a 32 inch TV.
If power, features and performance are important to you, the HT-RT3 is the right choice. The HT-S20R’s MRP is Rs 19,990, while the HTRT3’s MRP is Rs 18,990. The street price for the 2 is Rs 14,999, Rs 17,740, respectively. This gives the S20R an affordable street price.
Sony HT-G700 Soundbar Review
Soundbars are becoming more and more popular, with people using them to get better sound from their flat-screen TVs without having to set up a home theater. One of the main pros is that soundbars are easy to install and have eARC, which will give you access to better audio formats like Dolby Atmos.
There are mixed opinions about how well sound systems can emulate overall surround sound. Today we have the Sony HT-G700 with us. It’s a 3.1 soundbar, which has a bunch of great features like HDMI eARC and HDMI passthrough. You’ll also get to enjoy Dolby Atmos and wireless subwoofer support. This is a simple 3.1 setup, so it might not do the best job of immersing you in sound.
What’s in the Box
The box contains a soundbar and a wireless subwoofer. The box also includes a remote control, an HDMI cable, and wall mounting brackets. Two AAA batteries are also included. The included remote control is small and provides all functions.
The remote control is very similar to that of the Sony HT-20R (review), which we liked. We have an immersive AE button instead of the vertical surround sound from Sony, which is available on the HTZ9F remote control (review), and the Sony HT-8500 (review). We’ll discuss this more in the performance section. You can control the panel with the TV remote control if you use ARC (or electronicARC) to connect to the sound bar.
Connectivity Options & Setup
The soundbar supports connectivity with one HDMI port to connect headphones and one HDMI port to transmit data. It also supports 4K HDR transmission including Dolby Vision at 4K/60P/YUV 4.:4:4. The soundbar also features Sony BRAVIA SYNC, which allows you to connect it wirelessly to any Sony Bravia TVs. We have reviewed sound panels like the JBL SB450 (review), which has 3 HDMI ports and supports 4K HDR (but not Dolby Vision). The Sony HT–G700 has an optical port and a USB port. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is equipped with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, along with an Alexa function. A special smartphone app can be used to control the Yamaha. These features are not available on the Sony HT–G700. If you wish to use them on your Sony soundbar, the HT–Z9F is the best option.
The Sony HT-G700 soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS-X. We were curious to hear how surround sound works using the objects on the panel, even though it does not have overhead speakers or rear speakers.
In less than five minutes, you can set up the soundbar. The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the soundbar. Simply plug them into a power supply, then plug the HDMI cable into the TV’s HDMI port. Some TVs will require that you manually change to ARC in your sound settings.
This soundbar will be compatible with 2020 and 2019 flagship TVs that support eARC. Simply put, eARC offers a faster bandwidth than ARC and bar access to DTSX and Dolby AudioMos content.
After the soundbar has been turned on and the subwoofer is connected, the indicator should glow green in the upper left corner. If it’s red, it means that the subwoofer is not being synchronized with its soundbar. It is connected and ready for work if it is colored green.
Assembly and Design
When you first look at the soundbar, the first thing that pops into your mind is its high-quality finish. The HT-Z9F has a glossy finish. This one is matte. The front grille cannot be removed. It is an industrial design, with slightly curved edges.
Also, it has a certain weight. The soundbar is small in depth but doesn’t look bulky when viewed from the front. The soundbar’s size is only apparent from the outside. This is a result of its excellent design and build quality.
The soundbar has all ports conveniently located in the cavity at the back. This simplifies cable management. A display is located on the front of the soundbar. It only turns on when it’s on. It will look just like at home if you place the soundbar under your TV with a diagonal between 50 and 65 inches.
The subwoofer wireless is heavy and large. The pairing button is located at the back of the subwoofer. It works from the front. It is nice to have a barely visible green indicator at the front that indicates the subwoofer has been connected to the soundbar.
Sometimes it looks like the subwoofer is disconnected from the soundbar. A quick glance at the small green light will dispel any doubts. Although it’s subtle, I appreciate it. I don’t have the need to stand up and check the connection.
You can also control power, source, Bluetooth, volume, and more with the touch control at the top of your soundbar.
The Sony HT-G700 premium soundbar is very well built and has a simple industrial design.
Let’s first look at the sound performance of this soundbar. First, unlike the HTZ9F which offered an on-screen menu when connected via HDMI (this one doesn’t), this one does not. If you need to modify any settings, you’ll have to rely upon the display at the front of your soundbar.
Despite its functionality and ability to do its job well, it’s a little disappointing that the panel doesn’t allow you to see settings on a larger screen. This is especially true when the setup process for the HT-Z9F was so easy and straightforward. This panel is intended to be a more plug-and-play option with fewer options, so anyone like me who loves to look into the settings will find fault.
Second, the soundbar does not support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. The sound will come from either above or below you. Expect a larger sound stage when you consume content. However, surround sound is not something that can be simulated with surround speakers. Unless you’re talking about a Sennheiser Ambeo, or Sony HT–ST5000.
Let’s take the soundbar performance and break it down into movies, music, or game performance.
The soundbar is extremely loud. It was placed in my living room which measures approximately 20 by 13 feet. The soundbar was 6 feet from my TV. I was shocked at the volume of this soundbar.
You can feel the soundbar’s 400 watts of power when you turn up the volume to 80 percent. The soundbar was set to 75 percent volume in a movie such as “A Quiet Place”, and there was no sound before any characters screamed. Background music was turned on and the sound was crystal clear.
Even in Mission Impossible, where Tom Cruise rides a motorcycle across the screen, the channel separation was perfect. Even dialogues during action sequences are very clear. All the content can be accessed in 5.1 via OTT.
Netflix is one of many service providers that offer Dolby Atmos movies and TV shows. As I mentioned, you shouldn’t expect sound from anyone above you. You can expect some clarity in spoken dialogues.
A small button called “ImmersiveAE” on the remote control will not work for streaming Dolby Atmos content. It is intended to “zoom-in” non-Atmos content and surround sound.
Whether you are watching Atmos content or 5.1 content from OTT providers, you will feel immersed in the soundbar. This is why it is great for movies. If you are viewing content that does not relate to the atmosphere, the immersive AE button can be turned on.
This will make the dialogues clearer and the separation between the left and right channels easier to see. To see content with a lot of dialogs, immersive AE mode is more useful than voice mode.
The Sony HT-G700 is a wonderful way to enjoy movies. However, you should not expect to hear rain.
The soundbar’s musical performance is as good as you would expect from a Sony speaker. This soundbar is perfect for music lovers who appreciate good bass. You can always turn up the subwoofer volume, but I have been using it between 5 and 7, maximum 12, most of the time.
I heard Bang Bang by Will I Am. The bass guitar and orchestral instruments made me want dance and my neighbors had to call me to ask me to lower the volume at 10 AM. Yes, this soundbar can get quite loud.
For 2 reasons, the Yamaha YAS 209 has provided me with the best soundbar musical impression. The bass is perfect when listening to music in stereo. It isn’t too loud and only makes an appearance when it is necessary.
Stereo separation is almost as good when listening to music as a stereo system on the bookshelf, especially if it’s in a comfortable place. The Sony HT-G700, which is a better choice for a party than Yamaha, is louder and more suitable. Sony may be preferred by bass-lovers because it has a better bass. Yamaha’s stereo signal separation is still superior in music mode.
We played Marvel Spider-Man: The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima. All the games have channel separation, but Spider-Man is our favorite. When you swing, the city can be heard passing by with street chatter clearly audible. I used Immersive AE mode again to game.
It allowed me to use clever dialogue and separated background sounds from the noises around me. The soundbar shines even in Last of Us Part II when the emotional background music kicks in. You can still see where you are based on channel separation, even with enemies calling out and bullets flying by.
Another one that sounds great on this soundbar is Dooms soundtrack. It has deep rich bass, great bangs and the trademark grunts from the demons. When playing doom, the sub provided a powerful bass that filled the room.
The Sony HT-G700 is a great gaming machine. The dialogues are clear and the sound effects are crisp and immersive.
You probably think that I am in love the sound output of this soundbar. It ticks all the boxes. It is easy to use the different sound modes, and you don’t have to customize them. It can be left on auto and you will not have to do anything. The soundbar can be used to watch movies, TV, games, and music. You can dim the soundbar’s display if you prefer to consume content in a darkened room.
What’s the problem? One thing I would like to see is an app that can control the soundbar. You can control the volume with the TV remote control once you have connected it via ARC. The Sony remote was safely stored away, so I didn’t have to search for it every time I wanted to tweak the settings. The companion app can control the Yamaha YAS 209 completely, which is something that the Sony does not offer.
The remote control is easy to use, especially when bundled with the soundbar. The buttons are neatly arranged in two rows. The remote control has the following options: input, control of the different modes, and a mute. Buttons such as ‘Voice” can be used to boost the vocals, while Night functions ensure that the action movie bangs don’t get too loud. The subwoofer volume can be controlled and you can navigate the menu by pressing a button.
Here’s the crucial question. Is it worth spending 40K for the Sony HT–G700? If you have a budget for 40K, then the Sony HT-G700 is a good choice. The sound quality is excellent, it supports Dolby Atmos, 4K HDR passthrough, Dolby Vision support, and is easy to set up. It lacks any internet connectivity or app controls. And, as we said in the beginning: don’t expect sound to come from above or below you.
You can get better audio quality with ImmersiveAE on, especially when you separate the background score and the dialogues. The Yamaha YAS 209 is also available for around 30K. The 4K HDR passthrough is available without Dolby Vision. It does not support Dolby Atmos, but it does support DTSX. It supports an accompanying smartphone app and has Alexa built in.
Remember that the Sony HT-G700 soundbar is 400W and can be louder than the Yamaha’s 200W. You might also consider the JBL SB 450 or the Philips TAPB603, both soundbars that are within this price range.
The Sony HT-G700 bar is made up three front speakers and comes with Vertical Surround Engine technology for the best surround sound. This system can create locations that process sound by area, enhancing the user experience. Dolby Atmos, DTS:X 3.1 and Immersive AE buttons are included in the bar. These buttons enhance any stereo sound to create the surround of 7.1.2 channels.
There are many configuration options available to choose from. The bar also includes a wireless subwoofer that can boost bass and deep sounds. The TV can pair the bar and subwoofer via Bluetooth or cable.
You can get a well-built Sony HT-20R home theatre for around $200. It comes in a simple-to-setup box with a variety of connectivity options. This will enhance your TV viewing experience. It can also be placed flush under small TVs without appearing bulky. Its music performance is not for audiophiles, and the low separation of the front channels is noticeable. It is difficult to miss the presence of HDMI passthrough.
Sony HT-S20R is a great option for those who are just starting out in home theatres. Sony’s HT-RT3 is slightly more expensive at $40, so it is difficult to recommend the S20R if you have a flexible budget and are looking for more space in your entertainment center.
FAQ for Soundbars Sony HT-S20R vs. HT-G700
What is the difference between the Soundbar Sony HT 20 and HTG 700?
Sony’s HT 20 soundbar is a top-selling soundbar that provides a lot of features. It has a powerful and clear sound, Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to connect to your TV.
The Sony HTG 700 is an improved version of the HT 20 with some new features like the ability to play music from your phone without needing a Bluetooth connection.
Sony’s HTG 700 is better for those who want an enhanced experience with their TV and audio system.
Is there a difference in sound quality between soundbar Sony HT 20 and HTG 700?
The Sony HT 20 and HTG 700 are two of the most popular soundbars in the market. But there are some difference in sound between them.
The Sony HT 20 has a less powerful speaker driver which means that it does not produce as much bass as the HTG 700.
What the reviews of soundbar Sony HT 20 and HTG 700?
When buying soundbars, sound quality is the most important factor to consider. The Sony HT 20 and HTG 700 have a similar rating on Amazon due to their great sound quality.
The Sony HT 20 has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 reviews while the HTG 700 has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars with over 400 reviews.
How much the soundbar Sony HT 20 and HTG 700?
The Sony HT 20 soundbar has an impressive design with a sleek black finish and two subwoofers to provide you with an immersive audio experience. The sound quality of the Sony HT 20 is really good, and it also has a Bluetooth capability so that you can stream music wirelessly from your smartphone or tablet. The cost of Sony HT 20 on Amazon starts at $239.
The Sony HTG 700 is one of the most popular soundbars in recent years. It has 3D surround technology, which gives more depth to your audio experience by creating more realistic sounds and noises in the room. The Sony HTG 700 also comes with 2 subwoofers, which provide powerful bass sounds. The cost of Sony HTC 700 on Amazon starts at $299.