Not everyone has room for a large soundbar in the room, and not everyone wants to pay a large amount for it. Sony responds to this with the HT-S2000. This soundbar has various premium audio features, packed in a compact housing. We have extensively tested this soundbar in recent weeks.
|Connectivity Technology||Bluetooth, USB|
|Special Feature||Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, Bluetooth, USB Port, Sony | Home Entertainment Connect app, Dolby Atmos® and DTS: X®, Vertical Surround Engine, S-Force PRO Front SurroundDigital Sound Enhancement Engine, Bluetooth, USB Port, Sony | Home Entertainment Connect app, Dolby Atmos® and DTS: X®, Vertical Surround Engine, S-Force PRO Front Surround|
Impressive Audio Features in a Compact Design
This 3.1-channel soundbar features support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and comes with Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force PRO Front Surround. Vertical Surround Engine should place audio above the listening position, while S-Force Pro creates sound from the sides. Thanks to a newly developed up mixer, the HT-S2000 should offer a three-dimensional surround experience, even when playing stereo content, according to the Japanese manufacturer. The technology analyzes the track in real-time and separates the audio into its individual parts (such as voices, sound effects, or musical instruments) and wraps them around the listener. This soundbar is also compatible with the new Sony Home Entertainment Connect app. The HT-S2000 has a dedicated center speaker for clear dialogue and a built-in dual subwoofer for powerful bass.
Setting Up and Control via the Sony Home Entertainment Connect App
Setting up and using the soundbar is done via the new Sony Home Entertainment Connect app. The app guides the user through the initial setup, assists with troubleshooting, and provides full control over volume, sound fields, and more from a smartphone. The app also provides useful information such as feature recommendations and new software updates. Streaming music is only possible via Bluetooth. There is no WiFi available, so Chromecast and AirPlay are not possible. There is also no support for voice control. With the optional wireless subwoofer and rear speakers, more bass and intensity can be added to the audio experience.
Design and Connections
In terms of design, the Sony HT-S2000 is a typical soundbar. The speaker is an elongated rectangle with rounded corners, a metal grill, a width of 60 centimeters, a height of 6.4 centimeters, and a depth of 12.4 centimeters. The soundbar’s compact size makes it a suitable match for most televisions. The HT-S2000 comes with a repeater for transmitting signals when it obstructs a television’s infrared receiver. The soundbar package includes a remote, HDMI cable, power supply, and wall-mounting template.
Audio Performance: A Surprising Virtual Surround Experience
The HT-S2000 impresses with its virtual surround experience, despite lacking upward-firing speakers. Sony’s technology produces a wide and immersive soundstage that enhances movie audio effectively. Dialogue clarity, bass presence, and high-frequency detail are commendable without being overly aggressive. Music playback is also satisfactory, delivering warm stereo sound with adequate bass.
Enhancing Stereo Content with Sound Field Technology
Sony’s Sound Field technology, while a matter of personal preference, enhances stereo content by adding depth and height. This enhancement is particularly noticeable when watching stereo films or series, creating a more immersive experience.
In our comprehensive sound test of the Sony HT-S2000 soundbar, we delved into its audio capabilities across various scenarios, evaluating its performance in different modes and content types. Our goal was to assess how well this compact soundbar could enhance audio experiences in both movie and music playback.
Movie Experience: Embracing the Virtual Surround
To evaluate the HT-S2000’s virtual surround capabilities, we selected a range of movies known for their immersive soundscapes. Despite lacking dedicated upward-firing speakers, the soundbar managed to impressively widen the audio stage. Explosions resonated with depth, and scenes with sweeping orchestral scores achieved a sense of grandeur. While it may not match the full-on envelopment of higher-end Dolby Atmos setups, the HT-S2000 effectively conveyed a spatial dimension that enhanced the cinematic experience.
Dialogue Clarity and Bass Impact
A crucial aspect of any soundbar’s performance is its ability to reproduce dialogue with clarity. In this respect, the HT-S2000 held its ground admirably. Even during action-packed sequences with overlapping sound effects, voices remained intelligible, ensuring an immersive movie-watching experience.
Additionally, the built-in dual subwoofer demonstrated its prowess in delivering satisfying bass impact. While not earth-shaking, the low-frequency presence added depth to explosions and rumbling soundscapes, contributing to the overall immersion.
Music Playback: A Pleasurable Listening Experience
Transitioning to music playback, the HT-S2000 continued to showcase its versatility. We explored various music genres, from classical to rock, evaluating the soundbar’s ability to handle nuances and deliver an engaging sonic experience. Its stereo reproduction, while not as wide as dedicated music systems, presented a warm and vibrant soundstage, providing an enjoyable listening environment for casual music sessions.
Sound Field Technology: Enhancing Stereo Content
Sony’s Sound Field technology added an interesting layer to our music evaluation. Enabling this feature subtly widened and deepened the stereo soundstage. While purists might prefer a true stereo setup, this technology could find appeal among users seeking a more enveloping sound without investing in additional speakers.
The Sony HT-S2000 soundbar managed to deliver an impressive audio performance across a variety of scenarios. Its virtual surround capabilities enhanced movie-watching experiences, while clear dialogue reproduction and balanced bass added depth to the sound. The soundbar’s music playback was enjoyable, with the option to enhance stereo content using Sony’s Sound Field technology.
Ultimately, the HT-S2000 proved its worth as a compact upgrade for television audio. While lacking advanced streaming features, it excelled in delivering an enhanced sonic experience suitable for small to medium-sized rooms. If you’re looking for an audio boost without the complexities of a full home theater setup, the HT-S2000 could be a compelling choice. However, with its suggested retail price, it’s advisable to keep an eye out for discounts that make it an even more appealing option for budget-conscious consumers.
Conclusion: A Compact Upgrade for Audio
The Sony HT-S2000 offers a significant audio upgrade for television viewing and occasional music enjoyment. It excels in small to medium-sized rooms. While its suggested retail price is slightly high at 500 euros, its performance warrants consideration. Potential buyers might want to wait for a sale, as the soundbar is already available for around 400 euros. If you’re looking for an audio enhancement without the need for advanced streaming features, the HT-S2000 could be an excellent choice.
- Convincingly deep and wide soundstage
- Convincing upgrade for TV speakers
- Easy to set up and use
- Dolby Atmos support
- Compact soundbar
- No Wi-Fi and streaming
- No real surround experience
- No equalizer