Sony has just announced a new soundbar, the HTS400. Let me run you through what we know so far. 

It’s a 2.1 affair, with a 900mm wall-mountable soundbar, plus a wireless subwoofer you can locate elsewhere in the room. The total output is circa 330watts and its inputs include optical and HDMI ARC but there is only 1 of those HDMI ports. Bluetooth will also be available. 

Feature-wise, plentiful. It’ll come with Dolby Digital and Sonys own virtual surround sound technology, S Force PRO front surround. Sony says it puts you, the consumer, right in the action of your favourite movies by emulating cinema-style surround sound. By using front speakers only, Sony’s unique digital sound field processing technology virtually reproduces the surround sound field. The HTS400 will only be standard Dolby Digital, there will not be any DTS or Dolby Atmos, so this is already shaping up to be a budget to mid-range setup. 


The front speakers include an X-Balanced Speaker Unit, which features a unique rectangular shape that maximizes the diaphragm. It also reduces driver excursion while maintaining sound pressure, which they are saying will result in less distortion and greater vocal clarity. As for the subwoofer, it’s got a nice big 160mm driver in the box, which should pack a punch in those action movies. 

If you’re a Sony fan already and have one of their Bravia TV’s, you’re in luck. Thanks to an integrated user interface, the soundbar settings automatically appear on your BRAVIA TV’s Quick Settings menu for easy control of sound settings and volume with the TV’s remote control. 


When I was reviewing the HT X8500, one of my comments was that I wanted there to be a screen, so it was easier for me to know what input I was on, rather than trying to see a small indicator light. Well the HTS 400 has a small OLED display to the front of the soundbar, which offers at-a-glance status information on remote control functions, including input source, volume, and sound settings.

As for availability the HTS 400 will start shipping in April, with a retail price of around £260. 

With all that in mind, I think this could be a good choice if you’re in the market for a good quality but affordable soundbar. It’s only got standard Dolby and Sonys own virtual surround sound, which is probably enough as Atmos or DTS X in a soundbar is a bit of a gimmick. The wireless subwoofer is good, no need to worry about running a cable but only one HDMI port is quite limiting, especially if you wanted to say plug a games console into the soundbar, then ARC to the TV, you wouldn’t be able to. Time will tell, we might hear it and then not recommend it based on previous experiences, I don’t think that will happen. We’ll try and get one on release and let you know.