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Sony HT-S2000 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jun 28, 2023 at 11:47 am
Latest change: Writing modified Jun 28, 2023 at 11:47 am
Sony HT-S2000 Picture

The Sony HT-S2000 is a simple 3.1 soundbar released in 2023. It includes a discrete center channel to improve vocal reproduction, as well as a subwoofer integrated into the bar itself. With a smaller and more compact design, it doesn't take up a lot of space in your living room, either. Plus, you can connect it to other Sony subwoofers and satellites for improved performance. This soundbar 'supports' many different audio formats, from 5.1 surround sound like Dolby Digital to lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos. However, it has to downmix them to stereo to play them.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The Sony HT-S2000 is decent for mixed usage. This simple 3.1 soundbar is a solid upgrade over your existing TV speakers, with support for many different audio formats you'll likely come across on different streaming platforms. Its discrete center channel improves vocal clarity in the mix, too. However, since it has to downmix height and surround sound formats into stereo to play them back, it can't provide a more immersive feel to your audio. It lacks low-bass, too, so you don't feel as much thump and rumble in action-packed movie scenes.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Supports many different audio formats.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Downmixes height and surround sound to stereo.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sony HT-S2000 is good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. This 3.1 soundbar comes with a discrete center channel designed to improve vocal clarity in the mix. With an even and balanced sound, voices are reproduced with detail, so it's easy to follow along with the conversations on screen. There's even a dialogue enhancement tool on hand, which is a nice touch. However, you're pretty limited in sound customization outside of that since the bar lacks bass and treble adjustments or a graphic EQ.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
Cons
  • No bass and treble adjustments.
N/A Music

The Sony S2000 is alright for music. Out-of-the-box, it offers a fairly even and balanced sound suitable for listening to most music genres. Voices and lead instruments are reproduced with clarity, too. However, like most bars with an integrated subwoofer, it lacks the deep thump and rumble that brings genres like EDM and hip-hop to life. There's no room correction tool, so it sounds a little different based on the acoustics of your space, and you're limited to a subwoofer level adjustment tool for manual customization.

Pros
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • No bass and treble adjustments.
  • Lacks low-bass.
N/A Movies

The Sony S2000 is passable for movies. This simple 3.1 soundbar supports many of the audio formats commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays, from Dolby Digital to Dolby Atmos. However, given its setup, it has to downmix this content into stereo sound to play it back. The resulting sound isn't as clear or as real as what you get with more premium setups, and sound effects don't stretch to the space around you for an immersive feel. The lack of low-bass is noticeable in some action-packed scenes, too.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Supports many different audio formats.
Cons
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • Downmixes height and surround sound to stereo.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Jun 28, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 22, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Jun 19, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated May 25, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated May 05, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony HT-S2000 is available in Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the forums so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Sony HT-S2000 is a 3.1 setup released in 2023. As with other models, like the Sony HT-A5000 and the Sony HT-A3000, it has a virtual surround tool called Sound Field that's designed to provide a more immersive sound, even if it doesn't noticeably improve the sound in practice. It's designed to be a simple upgrade over your existing TV speakers, and while it doesn't provide as premium of an audio experience as more high-end models, its ability to reproduce lots of different audio formats helps it stand out from the crowd.

You can also check out our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best small soundbars, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Sony HT-A3000

The Sony HT-A3000 and the Sony HT-S2000 are both standalone 3.1 setups with similar overall performances. The HT-A3000 has a few extra features, as it supports more wireless playback options, and you can connect it to a compatible BRAVIA TV for its Acoustic Center Sync feature.

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is a better 3.1 soundbar than the Sony HT-S2000. The HT-G700 has a dedicated subwoofer, offering better bass reproduction. Plus, it has an HDMI input for video passthrough, unlike the HT-S2000. Its stereo soundstage and stereo dynamics performances aren't as good as the HT-S2000. The HT-S2000 is a good alternative if you don't have room for a subwoofer in your living room.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F and the Sony HT-S2000 are both 3.1 soundbars with support for many different audio formats. The HT-Z9F is the better of the two, though, largely because it comes with a dedicated subwoofer for improved bass reproduction. It supports more wireless playback options, too, and since it comes with an HDMI input, you can use it for video passthrough, unlike the HT-S2000.

Samsung HW-Q60B

The Samsung HW-Q60B is a better 3.1 setup than the Sony HT-S2000. Since it comes with a dedicated subwoofer, it offers better bass reproduction. It comes with more features, too, such as a graphic EQ for sound customization and an HDMI input for video passthrough.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Sony HT-S2000 is a simple soundbar with an all-black design. It's mostly made of plastic with metal grilles covering the drivers in front. Two sound ports are visible on the sides as well.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Enclosure
Locked

There's a subwoofer integrated into the bar itself. You can add on a compatible sub from the manufacturer separately as well.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
Locked

The manufacturer sells compatible satellites separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The bar isn't very wide, but it may not fit between the legs of your 55-inch TV stand. Fortunately, it isn't very tall, so it won't obscure your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Locked
Bar Brackets Included
Locked
Mountable Satellites
Locked
Satellite Brackets Included
Locked

While you can mount the bar to the wall, you must buy the brackets separately.

N/A
Design
Build Quality

The Sony HT-S2000 has a great build quality. Overall, it feels very solid. The metal grille in the front of the bar helps protect the drivers inside, too. The rest of the bar is made of plastic, which feels quite sturdy, though the top panel, in particular, is prone to picking up fingerprints when you handle it.

Design
In The Box

  • Setup card with Reference Guide
  • Wall mount template
  • Remote with batteries (2x AAA)
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Power cable (1.3 ft / 0.4m)
  • Power Adapter (built-in cable length of 4.9 ft / 1.5m)

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
3.1
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The Sony HT-S2000 has a decent stereo frequency response. Overall, the sound profile is quite even, especially in the mids, where more voices and lead instruments are reproduced. It performs well for a bar of its size, but of course, without a dedicated subwoofer, it lacks a lot of thump and rumble in the low-bass. You can always add a separate subwoofer from the manufacturer if you want a better performance.

We tested the bar with Sound Field Off, which resulted in a more natural sound. Sound Field is a virtual surround tool that's designed to provide a more immersive feel to your audio, and depending on your preferences, you may find it more to your liking. However, in our view, stereo audio seems unnatural with this feature activated, and voices echo in the mix. This may be because, with Sound Field on, stereo content plays from the center channel in addition to the right and left channels.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

This soundbar comes with three different subwoofer levels: MIN, MID, and MAX. It's set to MID by default, but the MAX setting is ideal if you prefer a more neutral sound with stereo content. It adds a little more warmth in the bass range, which is nice. Some content, especially bass-heavy music like EDM, seems a bit boomier in this setting, which may not be ideal for everyone.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The Sony HT-S2000 has a decent stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived to be a little bit wider than the bar itself, and the bar isn't very wide, to begin with. Turning on the Sound Field feature results in a narrower sound with some content, including Money by Pink Floyd. On the upside, focus is good, so it's easy to pinpoint certain instruments and voices to more exact locations within the soundstage.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

This soundbar gets loud. It doesn't have much compression at max volume, either, meaning you can enjoy a clean and clear sound even when you crank up the volume.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

Distortion falls within good limits at a normal listening volume of 80dB. As with most bars, there's a slight jump in distortion when you push it to max volume, but it's hard to hear with real-life content. As a result, audio reproduction is clean and pure, even at loud volumes.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

This 3.1 setup comes with a discrete center channel designed to improve vocal reproduction in the mix. Though the channel's frequency response is missing some low-bass, this isn't a huge deal since most voices are reproduced in the mid-range. As a result, dialogue remains clear and easy to follow.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

The Sony HT-S2000 lacks discrete surround speakers, so it has to downmix 5.1 content like Dolby Digital into stereo to play it back. The resulting sound is less clear and real overallโ€”audio seems like it's coming from a speaker placed in front of you, and sound effects don't stretch into the space around you. You can improve the bar's performance by adding separate satellites from the manufacturer, though.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

This 3.1 setup can playback Dolby Atmos content, which is increasingly common on both streaming platforms and Blu-rays. Since it lacks up-firing channels, it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it. The resulting sound isn't as immersive as what you get with more premium bars, but thanks to its even frequency response, sound effects are reproduced with clarity and detail.

Our subjective evaluations of the bar's Atmos performance confirm that it's a good upgrade over your existing TV speakers with this content. Of course, since it downmixes this content into stereo, the sound is centered to the front of the room, and you don't get the feeling of effects stretching around the room or above your head. It's also missing some rumble in the low-bass, especially noticeable during more action-packed scenes. Again, listening with Sound Field Off provides a more natural sound, while turning this feature on seems to narrow the soundstage in some instances, so you don't get the same clear and real feel.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

As with most Sony soundbars, the Sony HT-S2000 doesn't offer a ton of sound enhancement features. You won't find a room correction feature, so it sounds slightly different depending on your room. You're limited in terms of manual customization, too, with only a subwoofer level adjustment tool on hand instead of more traditional bass and treble adjustments. As for EQ presets, you can choose between turning the virtual surround feature called Sound Field on and off, but that's it. You can also use the app to access other features like the dynamic range compressor (DRC), which reduces the volume imbalance between different programs and commercials.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked
Subwoofer Output
Locked

You can connect the bar to your TV using an HDMI or Optical connection. It lacks a Full HDMI in port, though, so you can't use the bar as a hub between devices for video passthrough.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

The Sony HT-S2000 supports most common audio formats found on both streaming platforms and Blu-rays with Sound Field Off, which is how we tested the bar. However, Dolby Digital content isn't correctly implemented with Sound Field On. Effects meant for either the left or right channels play simultaneously on both the left and right channels, which may explain why the soundstage seems narrow with this virtual surround feature turned on.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked
N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked
PCM Channels
Locked

Whether you listen with Sound Field turned on or off, this bar supports both Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical. Dolby Digital is the more common of the two, while DTS is often used as a fallback for higher-quality DTS-HD MA often found on Blu-rays.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Sony HT-S2000 Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Sony HT-S2000 has an okay latency performance. There's some delay measured over both Optical and HDMI connections; however, when you watch real-life content, it's not very noticeable. Certain apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, too. If you have any issues, you can always use the A/V Sync feature in the app to manually adjust the delay.

N/A
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
Locked
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Locked
4k Max Refresh Rate
Locked
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Locked
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
Locked
8k Max Refresh Rate
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10+ Passthrough
Locked
Dolby Vision Passthrough
Locked
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
Locked
FreeSync Passthrough
Locked
G-SYNC Passthrough
Locked
ALLM Passthrough
Locked

Without an HDMI input, you can't use the bar for video passthrough to your TV.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi Playback
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked
Spotify Connect
Locked

You can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar via Bluetooth.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

There's a small display in the front of the bar. It shows all the changes you make with the app and the remote, including the volume level, the input, and the subwoofer level.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

A few controls on top of the bar let you access its most basic features. You can use them to power it on and off, change the input, activate Bluetooth pairing, and adjust the volume. You can also use the remote and the Home Entertainment Connect app to control the bar.

Additional Features
Remote

The remote is pretty simple compared to other Sony soundbar remotes, making it easy to find the needed features. If you prefer to control the bar from your phone, you can also download the Home Entertainment Connect app.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked
Microphone Mute
Locked

You can't control the bar using a voice assistant.