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The Sony HT-S700RF isn’t your typical home cinema system. It involves a soundbar rather than front speakers, with two tallboy-style rear speakers and also a subwoofer. Sony claims that system, that includes a hefty power output of 1000W RMS, has been designed especially for the Indian market. It has both auxiliary and digital inputs, supports HMDI-ARC, and even has Bluetooth and a USB port so that you can play your media through.
The system will set you back Rs. 39,990 but are available for under Rs. 38,000 online. Does Sony’s new soundbar home cinema system deserve a location in your house? We find out.
Sony HT-S700RF 5.1 soundbar design and features
The entire system contains a sleek but really long soundbar with three individual drivers, two tallboy-style rear speakers, and a modest-sized 20cm subwoofer. The look is not ostentatious at all, and the system will not scream for attention.
The soundbar includes a diamond-cut metal grille at the front end with a rhombus pattern that looks sleek and classy. The tallboy speakers and subwoofer are finished in matte black, and appearance simple and elegant. The standard of materials used is top-notch, and the complete setup feels premium.
The soundbar itself is without any buttons, and all controls are located at the top of the subwoofer unit. There are five buttons altogether: one for power, someone to change the foundation, two to control the quantity, and one for Bluetooth pairing. There’s a USB port at the front end of the subwoofer, by which you can play music and videos from a USB storage device. Files could be navigated via the Sony Music Centre app.
The subwoofer’s power is built in nevertheless, you do have to manage a pesky power brick for the soundbar itself. You will find a dedicated Bluetooth button on the remote as well as the one on the subwoofer. When either button is pressed, the machine automatically tries to hook up to previously paired devices, and switches into pairing mode if none can be found.
The soundbar and the trunk speakers are linked to the subwoofer using wires. We’d have favored a radio setup at this price. The subwoofer also offers all of the inputs, and the choice is somewhat sparse.
There is one HDMI port with support for ARC (Audio Return Channel), therefore you can send your TV’s audio tracks to the machine through the same HDMI cable that feeds it. Gleam 3.5mm auxiliary jack, an optical S/PDIF input, and these USB port. At least one additional HDMI port and optical input could have been appreciated.
The remote is chunky and well-built, and its own buttons, which are constructed of rubber, aren’t mushy. Together with the usual power, Bluetooth, input selection and volume buttons, you will find a menu button, enter button, playback controls, and buttons to regulate the intensity of the subwoofer. There are five audio tracks modes on offer, which have individual buttons on the remote: Voice, Night, Music, Cinema, and Standard.
The subwoofer houses the inputs
While Bluetooth 4.2 is a popular feature, the machine will not support the LDAC, aptX, or aptX HD high-quality audio tracks streaming codecs, that is a shame. AAC is supported, but that’s a tiny consolation. NFC can be conspicuous by its absence; an attribute commonly within this price range.
Sony HT-S700RF 5.1 soundbar performance
The three front speakers and both rear speakers deliver 152 Watts of power each, and the subwoofer is rated at 240 Watts. Headphones and speakers from Sony’s stable frequently have an extremely bass-focused sound signature, but we were amazed with the clarity of sound delivered by the HT-S700RF. No frequency range dominates others, and the bass is crisp and pronounced and without hijacking the sound mix.
The soundstage is great, and both rear speakers execute a congrats of distributing sound across an area.
Clear and expressive mids are among the highlights of the soundbar. Dialogue is full-bodied, and even doing his thing sequences, isn’t not lost within the most common sea of explosions and vocals. Assuming you have trouble hearing dialogue in movies or Television shows, the HT-S700RF could be a good choice.
While you’re watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the dialogue was crisp and clear, and the speakers did absolute justice to Nicolas Hooper’s scintillating soundtrack. Playing Forza Horizon 3 on our Xbox One S was also a good experience, with the rumble of engines pulsating through the trunk speakers, and the subwoofer adding just the mandatory amount of oomph necessary for the EDM-heavy soundtrack.
The HT-S700RF did a commendable job with music, although having less high-resolution music codec support did stifle the Bluetooth experience a bit, inside our view as audiophiles. The sound signature is pretty balanced, and therefore the soundbar handled virtually all music genres with aplomb.
The crisp treble lends itself well to rock and metal tracks, and the expressive mids make hearing Blues a pleasure. Those that prefer room-shaking bass could possibly be better served by other options including the JBL Cinema SB450, however the low-end available is punchy enough to operate a vehicle EDM tracks and explosive cinematic moments.
The HT-S700RF 5.1 Home Cinema Soundbar System is an extremely well-rounded home theatre system that’s built well, looks classy, and will be offering crisp and balanced sound. It reproduces music along with movies perfectly, and the bundled remote is solid and simple to use.
We could did with an increase of inputs, and a home cinema system as of this price should ideally not require wires. However, these drawbacks aren’t enough to eliminate from the HT-S700RF’s appeal.
When you can live with the wires, this home cinema system from Sony should be on your grocery list.
Price: Rs. 37,990 (MOP)
Sleek and well-built
Solid remote with tactile buttons
Wide soundstage, balanced sound signature
Punchy bass, expressive mids
Must have been wireless
Very few inputs
No Bluetooth aptX support
Ratings (out of 5)