May 22, 2019 By Lisa
In recent times, the mid-range soundbar market has turn out to be very crowded. It seems lots of people desire a system with tons of options, versatility and actually nice sound for his or her new flat display TVs – with out having to dip their financial savings twice. Who knew?
Sony's newest competitor, the two.1-channel HT-S350, comes scorching with its severe grandiloquents because of a claimed 320-watt energy plant. Though this technique is loaded with a whole lot of energy to your favourite film moments, it has a little bit of a tough time competing with the classiest fashions in balancing the finer particulars.
Out of the field
The HT-S350 comes within the standard L-shaped field for many two-piece bars. It opens like an angular cocoon to disclose the bar and the wi-fi subwoofer that accompanies it inside. The bar is lighter than anticipated, with the overwhelming majority of the system's 24-odd kilos loaded into the wi-fi subwoofer. The submarine is by far probably the most sturdy piece of the puzzle (unsurprisingly), carrying a bass woofer going through the entrance behind a inflexible mesh display and a bass port just under.
Within the packaging additionally, you will discover a digital optical cable, a bag with directions and batteries, and, after storing the field, a slim distant caught within the backside of the styrofoam that appears like an enormous roll of Tootsie .
Options and design
What can we are saying in regards to the design of the soundbar? By way of fashion, this stuff wouldn’t have a lot, as a result of they often purpose to vanish beneath your TV. The bar of the HT-S350 is considerably totally different from its rounded corners and its honeycombed prime panel to appear like vinyl for amp housing (however definitely doesn’t really feel prefer it). There are additionally contact controls on the highest for energy, quantity, Bluetooth and supply switching.
The configuration of the HT-S350 is very simple.
The chocolate bar-shaped distant management is dotted with many buttons, with keys for quantity, subwoofer stage and a number of sound modes, together with Music, Sport, Information, Films, Sports activities and Normal. There’s additionally an Auto Sound button designed to tune the system to get the most effective sound based mostly on playback, a Vocal key to talk and a Evening Mode key to permit for higher stability when it is advisable flip off the amount. Sadly, there may be apparently no method to modify the highs or lows, however that's not shocking at this value.
On the again aspect of the bar is an IR repeater in case it blocks the IR sensor of your TV, and a cubby for the connection ports. The HT-S350 hosts two hard-core connections, however they’re those you're most probably to want, together with digital ports for ARC HDMI and an optical connection. That is the primary Soundbar we are able to keep in mind assembly with zero analog inputs, which suggests you will be unable to attach a document participant or that ageing tv with out an adapter.
Riley Younger / Digital Traits
Bluetooth gives a method to join wirelessly to the newest Sony TVs, in addition to streaming to the soundbar out of your cellphone. There is no such thing as a Wi-Fi assist, however, which might have been good for streaming music of superior high quality, however once more, we’re not stunned that it’s lacking at this stage . In contrast to our favourite soundbar in its class, the Yamaha YAS-207, the HT-S350 additionally lacks a second HDMI port to attach on to a Blu-ray participant, broadcast machine or sport console so as to permit it to deal with audio decoding.
Talking of which, the system solely helps the very fundamental Dolby Digital and Dolby Twin Mono, however no DTS decoding, though it does provide the Sony S-Drive Professional digital encompass engine for a really fundamental enlargement of the sound stage 2.1 when taking part in in cinema.
The beefy subwoofer provides a severe contact to your favourite motion pictures.
Consistent with the, uh, minimalist theme, the entrance panel of the HT-S350 gives no straightforward method to choose the amount stage or subwoofer. As a substitute of the easy LED bar utilized by many reasonably priced bars, Sony depends on a rag of flashing lights to find out whether or not the amount is within the center, on the lowest, or on the highest. It may be workable, ostensibly, when you have memorized the guide (or saved it readily available), however intuitive that’s not it. That mentioned, taking part in movies is not going to matter when you join by way of HDMI ARC.
The set up of the HT-S350 is very simple, particularly for TVs with HDMI ARC. Simply plug the bar and subwoofer, join a high-speed HDMI cable (not equipped) to the HDMI ARC port of your TV, and also you're most likely executed. This must also permit the distant management of your TV to manage the amount. Nevertheless, in some instances, you might must allow the ARC and / or HDMI-CEC choices in your TV's settings menu and alter the output sound to Exterior Speaker or Receiver.
In case your TV doesn’t have ARC HDMI, simply join by way of the optical cable, however which means you will want so as to add a extra distant within the combine. As talked about earlier, the brand new Sony TVs may connect with the bar by way of Bluetooth.
As talked about above, this technique knocks out a strong sound, particularly on the subject of its beefy subwoofer, including just a little punch to your favourite motion pictures. We had a whole lot of enjoyable with John Wick: Chapter 2, whereas the icy higher aspect leaned into the techno soundtrack and worn-out metal collisions, and the subwoofer warmed up the a number of explosions, barrages of blows. fist and torrential waves.
The system has some issues with tighter TV programming, nevertheless, partly due to a hissing really feel within the higher midrange which might sometimes trigger dialogue and results to take a pointy tone. This was intensified when utilizing the voice key, to the purpose the place we merely dropped it.
Riley Younger / Digital Traits
The sound stage can also be reasonably boxy for such an extended bar that tends to condense each TV programming and music. You'll get finer particulars on this excessive medium – when it's not too sharp – and we've additionally had higher luck with Music and Cinema modes than with different decisions. General nevertheless, we might have preferred just a little extra definition and stability in probably the most delicate moments to associate with the grandiloquence within the heavier scenes.
Whereas the brand new Sony HT-S350 has a whole lot of energy and simply surpasses the flat and squeaky sound of your TV, a scarcity of stability and fascinating options forestall it from rising above the spectacular variety of opponents within the section of mid-range sound bars.
Is there a greater different?
At this value level, the clear reply is Yamaha's YAS-207. It gives higher sound, extra options, superior connectivity and sound processing choices, all at a really comparable value. There’s a purpose for it to at all times be our favourite sound bar a 12 months and a half later. There are additionally a number of different attention-grabbing choices on our greatest checklist of sound bars.
How lengthy will it final?
The HT-S350 is solidly constructed and gives fashionable connection choices, equivalent to HDMI ARC and Bluetooth (for Sony TVs solely). It ought to due to this fact maintain agency for the years to come back.
Do you have to purchase it?
No. There are simply not sufficient options right here, and the sound isn’t adequate to position the HT-S350 excessive opponents within the midrange soundbar market.