Sony's latest soundbar is an all-in-one surround sound system

sony soundbar
(Image credit: Sony)

Creating a home cinema system from scratch can be pricey, but the latest soundbar from Sony offers a budget-friendly option, with included wireless rear speakers, amplifier, and a subwoofer. 

The Sony HT-S40R comes with a 600W power output and offers a true 5.1 surround sound setup alongside Dolby Digital audio technology.

Available to buy in May for £350, the new soundbar may not come with Dolby Atmos like the best soundbar of 2021, the £799 Sonos Arc, but it should offer an immersive sound for your TV shows, films, and music thanks to those wireless speakers that are included in the price.

Without the need for lots of annoying cables snaking around your living room, the HT-S40R should suit most homes – and you can even send audio to the home theatre system wirelessly if you have a Sony Bravia TV that supports a TV wireless connection. Additionally, the subwoofer and soundbar share a single power connection, keeping wires to a minimum.

Otherwise, you'll find HDMI ARC, optical, and analogue input connections on the soundbar – while some of the best soundbars will include more connection options, this should be enough for a simple setup.

If you want to listen to music on the soundbar, you can do so wirelessly thanks to Bluetooth connectivity. Alternatively, there's a USB port so you can play audio from a USB device.

Slick design

The soundbar itself looks pretty sleek and slim, and while it's not the most exciting design we've ever seen, it should provide an unobtrusive way to boost your TV's audio. Both the soundbar and the rear speakers can be wall-mounted to save even more space, while the wireless amplifier can either be placed on a shelf or table, or mounted on your wall.

There are four different sound modes to choose from, including Cinema, Music, Standard, and Auto, so you can pick whichever setting best suits what you're watching or listening to. 

There are also a Night mode that's designed to make audio clear at low volume levels, and a Voice mode to add clarity to dialogue.

For a mid-range soundbar, it seems as though you get a lot for your money, with true surround sound and convenient wireless connectivity. 

However, for those really low on space, models like the Cowin Soundbar may be more suitable. This modular soundbar can be broken in half to make two floor-standing speakers – pretty nifty. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.