Sony HT-S200F Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Sep 30, 2019 at 09:00 am
Sony HT-S200F Picture
6.7
Mixed Usage
8.3
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.6
Music
5.7
Movies
Channels
2.1

The Sony HT-S200F is an okay sounding soundbar that lacks a bit of bass and performs quite similarly to the Sony HT-S100F. On the upside, it has an integrated subwoofer, which helps a bit with its bass performance, especially with the low-frequency extension. This soundbar has a pretty neutral, yet slightly muddy sound profile, but the reproduction of voices is great. Unfortunately, it's quieter than the HT-S100F due to its small size and its soundstage is pretty narrow too. It lacks support for DTS and has no height channels and Atmos support. On the upside, the S200F performs well when pushed to its max volume.

Our Verdict

6.7 Mixed Usage

Okay for mixed usage. The Sony S200F has a fairly neutral, but slightly muddy sound profile that is better suited for dialogue-oriented content. It lacks bass even though it has an integrated subwoofer and has trouble reproducing the deep rumble and punch of bass and has a very narrow soundstage. On the upside, it can get pretty loud and most people should be satisfied with it. It also performs quite well at max volume and its overall build quality is decent. However, this bar won’t be great for an immersive movie listening experience, as it lacks height channel and support for Atmos content.

Pros
  • Great for dialogue content.
  • Performs well at max volume.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Doesn’t support DTS.
  • Always-on surround sound feature.
8.3 Dialogue/TV Shows

Good for dialogue. You can use this soundbar to listen to voice-oriented content like podcasts, audiobooks, or TV shows. The sound profile is slightly muddy, but the overall reproduction of voices is accurate. It can also get pretty loud and you can also use the Dialogue Enhancement feature to get an even better listening experience and make dialogue in movies even clearer. Additionally, you’ll be able to stream content from your phone wirelessly thanks to its Bluetooth compatibility.

6.6 Music

Mediocre for music. Although the Sony HT-S200F has a fairly neutral sound profile, its bass is quite poor and doesn’t reproduce accurately the low punch and thump of bass-heavy music even though it has an integrated subwoofer. Its soundstage is also noticeably small and is even narrower than the bar itself, which is short to begin with. On the upside, it can get loud enough for most use cases and it performs well at max volume without compression. It's easy to stream music via a Bluetooth connection, and the bar offers four EQ presets including a dedicated 'Music' mode.

5.7 Movies

Sub-par for movies. The S200F doesn’t support height channels and Atmos, which means it won’t deliver a very immersive experience. However, just like the S100F and most Sony soundbars, the S200F has an always-on surround sound feature. On the other hand, even with an integrated subwoofer, this soundbar can’t really produce deep bass thump and punch, which will negatively affect its performance with movies. It also doesn’t support DTS, which is disappointing, especially if you watch a lot of Blu-ray movies. On the upside, you’ll be able to hear the dialogue in movies very clearly thanks to the Voice mode.

  • 6.7 Mixed Usage
  • 8.3 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.6 Music
  • 5.7 Movies
  1. Update 7/22/2020: We've updated the bass adjustment feature.
  2. Update 7/21/2020: We've updated this soundbar's EQ Sound Enhancement Features.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The HT-S200F is a budget, entry-level 2.1 soundbar system from Sony's 2018 lineup. It's a fairly barebones soundbar but has an integrated subwoofer, which the HT-S100F doesn't have. Like most Sony soundbars, it has an always-on surround sound mode called S-Force Pro Front. If you want a more complete setup with a dedicated subwoofer from Sony, check out the HT-S350 or the more high-end 7.1.2 HT-ST5000 setup for a more immersive experience. The Sony HT-S200F's main competitors are the Sony HT-S100F and the Bose Solo 5.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The HT-S200F's bar is black and fairly compact. The front side has a large metal grill, while the rest is made of good quality plastic. The subwoofer is integrated into the bar and there are two ports, one on each side. The subwoofer speaker is on the underside and there's nothing to cover it as you can see here.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is embedded into the bar.

Design
Style - Satellites

There are no satellites in this soundbar setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 22.8" (58.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.4" (6.2 cm)
Bar Depth 3.7" (9.5 cm)

The bar is fairly compact and will easily fit between the legs of most 55" TVs. It isn't very tall and it's unlikely to block any part of the bottom of your screen unless the TV stand is very short, or the TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width N/A
Sub Height N/A
Sub Depth N/A

There's no separate subwoofer in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

Thre are no satellites with this soundbar.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on back)

The back of the bar is fairly plain, with one opening for the input ports.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
N/A

The subwoofer is integrated into the bar.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This setup doesn’t have satellites.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Sony HT-S200F's build quality is decent. The entire build resembles the Bose Solo 5. The subwoofer is embedded in the bar and the entire construction feels robust. The subwoofer speaker on the underside isn't covered and there's nothing to protect it from damage.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

  • Manuals
  • Optical cable
  • Remote & batteries
  • Cushion pad for wall-mounting
  • Power cable
  • Power brick

Sound
6.7
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
0.15
ST Std. Err.
2.89 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
61.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
5.5 kHz

The Sony HT-S200F has a passable frequency response. However, the low-frequency extension is fairly high, meaning that it lacks bass and will have trouble reproducing the deep thump and rumble of movies and music. Also, it has a noticeably very low high-frequency extension. Therefore, the bar has a dark and muddy sound since it lacks bass and treble. On the upside, it does perform a bit better in the bass range than the HT-S100F thanks to the integrated subwoofer inside the bar.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
6.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
3.60 dB

When listening to the Sony HT-S200F, the stereo soundstage is mediocre. The bar is small and the bar doesn’t do any tricks to widen the soundstage. On the upside, the soundstage is focused, which is good as objects seem to come from an accurate pin-point location rather than a general area.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
90.6 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
0.54 dB

The Sony S200F can get decently loud. It might not enough for a crowded party, but should be alright for regular everyday use. It also performs well at max volume without compressing very much, especially compared to other 2.1 soundbars like the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth.

7.6
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.45
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.09

The THD performance of this soundbar is great at a normal volume around 80dB and will create a clean and pure sound. However, when pushed to its max volume, there’s a small jump in THD across the range, but this shouldn’t be audible to most, especially with real-life content.

6.9
Sound
Center
C Localization
Phantom
C Slope
-0.39
C Std. Err.
4.16 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
89.3 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.37
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.45

The Sony HT-S200F is a 2.1 soundbar system, which means it doesn’t have a dedicated center speaker. It uses the left and right speakers to create a sound in the center, which sounds more diffused and less clear compared to a discrete center, but the performance is still good overall. However, when sending a 5.1 surround sound signal to the bar, it's downmixed. It also doesn’t have a good bass performance, but this won’t matter as much since there isn't much bass on center channels to begin with. Voices still sound fairly clear and accurate, and the bar gets loud enough for most people.

2.5
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
N/A
Sr Slope
1.27
Sr Std. Err.
6.54 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
85.6 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.72
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.93

The Sony HT-S200F has poor performance with surround channels. The soundbar's 2.1 configuration won't result in the most accurate and clear representation of surround objects in the soundstage. Everything is downmixed to stereo and doesn’t feel as real as a discrete surround experience offered by tower speakers. The overall sound profile is fairly bright as this soundbar lacks a lot of bass. This soundbar, like many other Sonys, has an always-on surround sound mode that causes a strange frequency response measurement, visible in our plot.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
N/A
H Slope
N/A
H Std. Err.
N/A
H SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
H Weighted THD @ 80
N/A
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

This soundbar system doesn’t have height channels and doesn’t support Atmos. However, although most other 2.1 setups don't support Atmos either, if you're looking for one that can, the Sony HT-X9000F and the Sony HT-X8500 both downmix Atmos content into stereo to play it.

4.7
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
No
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
No
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
N/A
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
N/A
Virtual Surround
Yes

Update 07/22/2020: We originally reported that this soundbar didn't have any EQ features. We also reported that it didn't have a bass adjustment feature. However, there are four EQ presets available. You can also access the bass adjustment feature by pressing the 'BASS' button on the remote. This review has been updated to better reflect these changes.

The Sony S200F has the same poor enhancement features has the S100F. It doesn’t have Room Correction, so this soundbar might sound differently depending on your room. On the upside, there are EQ presets such as 'Standard', 'Auto Sound', 'Music', and 'Cinema' available to help you find the best sound for your audio, and you can tweak the bass level too, which is nice. It also has a Dialogue Enhancement feature with the Voice Mode, which makes it easier to hear dialogue in movies, even at a lower volume. This bar is also advertised to have an always-on S-Force Front surround sound feature, which is common on Sony soundbars.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
No
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No

This soundbar has the same limited physical connections as Sony's other model; the HT-S100F. You won't be able to use this bar as a hub between your PC or game consoles and your TV. Furthermore, unless your older devices have a Bluetooth connection, you can't use their Audio Out jack to connect to the bar due to the lack of an Analog Audio In. However, these inputs still offer more choice than the 2.1 channel TaoTronics TT-SK026.

6.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

Over its ARC connection, the Sony HT-S200F supports surround sound via the Dolby Digital sound format. This is very common on most streaming platforms like Netflix, or on most Blu-ray discs. Unfortunately, you won't be able to decode DTS or any of the higher-end formats like Dolby Atmos, which can offer you object-based surround sound experience.

0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
No
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
No

The Sony HT-S200F has no Full HDMI In port which would allow it to connect to external devices that support the reproduction of advanced sound formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.

6.0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
No

The Sony HT S200F can reproduce surround sound in the Dolby Digital format over its Optical Audio In. However, it'll be downscaled to the 2.1 capabilities of this bar. The (not supported) DTS format isn't common on its own; it's the fallback for the higher quality DTS-HD MA available on many Blu-ray discs.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

You can connect the bar to any device that supports Bluetooth, like a smartphone or a tablet, and enjoy any content from your device through the soundbar's 2.1 speakers.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
N/A
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
N/A
HDR10 Passthrough
N/A

As this soundbar lacks a Full HDMI port, it can’t serve as a hub between your devices and your TV.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
N/A

The subwoofer is integrated into the bar.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites in this bar setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The interface is identical to the Sony HT-S100F. It consists of a set of lights that identify which input is in use. However, you have to get close to read the labels above the lights denoting the source is selected or learn the source order by heart.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The touch-sensitive controls found at the top are pretty straightforward. You can control the power, the input source, and the volume level, and they help you connect to your Bluetooth devices.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

This is the same remote found on the Sony HT-S100F. It has the most common controls and some preset modes to match with the playback content. The 'PLAY MODE' is a play/shuffle/repeat once/etc button when the USB port is used.

Additional Features
App
App Name N/A
iOS No
Android No
Acts as the Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No

There's no app that pairs with the Sony HT-S200F soundbar.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The soundbar enters a 'Standby' mode after 20 minutes of inactivity. It supports CEC, which means that you can use your TV's remote to control the soundbar.

Compared to other soundbars

The Sony HT-S200F sets itself apart with the built-in subwoofer which can be found under the soundbar. Although it technically has a sub channel, this soundbar's bass performance isn't on par with setups with a dedicated and wireless subwoofer. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best budget soundbars, and the best soundbars with a subwoofer.

Bose Solo 5

The Sony HT-S200F is slightly better than the Bose Solo 5. The Sony bar has a built-in subwoofer, but it doesn't give you that much more bass, unfortunately. The Sony can also get a bit louder and performs well at max volume, while the Bose compresses a bit in the bass range. The Sony offers a few sound enhancement features, which the Bose Solo 5 lacks completely.

Sony HT-S100F

The Sony HT-S200F is slightly better than the Sony HT-S100F model, especially thanks to the built-in subwoofer channel, which helps a bit with the bass. These are practically the same bar and perform very similarly otherwise. The HT-S200F will be an overall better choice thanks to the extra bass, especially for the marginal price difference.

Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080

The Sony HT-S200F is a bit better overall than the Yamaha Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080. The Yamaha has two built-in subwoofers, which gives it a very dark sound profile, while the HT-S200F is a bit better-balanced and neutral. The Sony is also smaller and easier to fit in your setup, on top of being a bit better-built, although still cheaply made. On the other hand, the Yamaha ATS-1080 has a Full HDMI In port, which the Sony lacks, and it also supports DTS.

Sony HT-X8500

The Sony HT-X8500 is a slightly better performing soundbar overall than the Sony HT-S200F. While both soundbars have similarly decent build qualities, the HT-X8500 supports Atmos, even though it has to downmix this content into stereo in order to play it. It also has a Full HDMI In port, and it can do HDR10 passthrough as well as 4k @ 60Hz passthrough too. However, the HT-S200F is smaller, so it's able to fit in between the legs of a 55" TV. It can also reach its max volume with less thumping and compression artifacts.

Samsung HW-T450

The Sony HT-S200F is a slightly better performing 2.1 setup than the Samsung HW-T450. The Sony is slightly better built, and it's smaller in size. It also has a dialogue enhancement feature as well as an HDMI ARC input so it supports Dolby Digital. However, the Samsung is slightly more neutral and balanced, it has both a subwoofer and treble level adjustment feature, and it supports DTS via its Audio Optical In.

Bose Soundbar 700

The Bose Soundbar 700 is noticeably better than the Sony HT-S200F. The audio reproduction of the Bose is accurate and it also provides one of the widest soundstages we've tested. The bar is sleek and very well-made. It also gets louder than the Sony and performs quite better with surround content as well. Also, the Bose 700 can be upgraded with a sub and satellites, which will help its overall sound performance as well.

Roku Smart Soundbar

The Sony HT-S200F and the Roku Smart Soundbar are similarly-performing budget soundbars, but depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The Roku gives you access to Roku's media player. It also supports Wi-Fi wireless playback, and you can play Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus content thru its ARC port, unlike the Sony. However, if you want to use your soundbar as a hub between devices, you may prefer the Sony because it has an HDMI Out port. The Sony is also better-built, and it has less compression at max volume.

AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth

The Sony HT-S200F is an overall better-performing soundbar than the AmazonBasics 2.1 Channel Bluetooth. Although similarly priced, the Sony is slightly more expensive but it outperforms the AmazonBasics, especially for dialogue and TV shows. It can't get as loud as the AmazonBasics but at its max volume, the Sony still performs well. Just like the AmazonBasics, the Sony doesn't have a very wide or immersive soundstage.

Sony HT-X9000F

The Sony HT-X9000F is a slightly more versatile soundbar than the Sony HT-S200F. It has a bit better build quality, and its sound profile delivers more bass and treble. It has seven EQ presets, its surround performance is slightly better, and it even supports Atmos content by downmixing it, which is unique in a 2.1 channel setup. It also has a Full HDMI In port, and it can pass through high-quality signals. However, even though the HT-S200F can't get as loud, it has fewer thumping and compression artifacts at max volume. It also has a slightly better performing phantom center channel.

TaoTronics TT-SK026

The Sony HT-S200F is a better performing 2.1 channel soundbar than the TaoTronics TT-SK026. It has a more neutral sound profile, it can downmix surround content, and it also has a shared HDMI ARC/Out input. The Sony can even play Dolby Digital content and it has a power-saving mode.

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