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Sony HT-S350 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Dec 14, 2021 at 04:56 pm
Sony HT-S350 Picture
6.4
Mixed Usage
7.1
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.5
Music
5.8
Movies
Channels
2.1

The Sony HT-S350 is a simple 2.1 setup released in 2019. It comes with Sony's S-Force Pro Front Surround technology, which is advertised to replicate an immersive surround sound experience without the need for dedicated rear speakers. While this feature sounds decent with surround content like movies, unfortunately, it isn't ideal for stereo content like music and TV shows. You can't turn this feature off, either. Its sound profile can reproduce voices pretty clearly, but the audio is also dark and muddy. There aren't a lot of sound customization features available like bass and treble adjustments, either.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

The Sony HTS350 is acceptable for mixed usage. Out-of-the-box, it has a dark and muddy sound profile that lacks the deep thump and rumble in the bass range. Vocals and lead instruments are pretty clear, but they can also sound a bit dark. It has to downmix surround content into stereo, which doesn't sound very immersive. Also, there's no support for Dolby Atmos content, and you can't turn off its S-Force Pro Front Surround mode.

Pros
  • Gets pretty loud.
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • Can't turn off its surround sound mode.
7.1 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sony HT-S350 is decent for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its balanced mid-range reproduces voices pretty clearly, although they can also sound a bit dark. There's a TV EQ preset that doubles as a dialogue enhancement mode, too. However, there's no discrete center channel, so voices aren't anchored to a pinpoint location in the soundstage.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Auto-volume mode.
Cons
  • Can't turn off its surround sound mode.
  • Mediocre center channel performance.
6.5 Music

The Sony HT-S350 is fair for music. Its sound profile has a balanced mid-range that can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly, but it's also quite dark and muddy due to the lack of bass and treble. You can customize its sound with its subwoofer level adjustment, but there aren't a lot of other customization features like bass and treble adjustments. While it gets loud, there's also a bit of compression at max volume. Also, its S-Force Pro Front Surround mode isn't ideal for stereo content, like most music.

Pros
  • Gets pretty loud.
  • Subwoofer level adjustment.
Cons
  • Can't turn off its surround sound mode.
  • Compression at max volume.
5.8 Movies

The Sony HT-S350 is sub-par for movies. This setup struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed movies. It supports surround content, but it has to downmix it into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. There's no support for Dolby Atmos content, either. Its S-Force Pro Front Surround mode sounds decent with movies, but you can't turn it off.

Pros
  • Gets pretty loud.
Cons
  • No Atmos support.
  • Can't turn off its surround sound mode.
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.5 Music
  • 5.8 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 24, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  2. Updated Sep 27, 2019: Review published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Sony HTS350 is a pretty plain bar. It has a metal grille that covers the front face and most of the sides, while the top has a faux-leather texture which feels nice. The rest is made of solid plastic.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer has a port in the front. There's a metal grille protecting the speaker above it. The sides and the top are made mainly of wood, while the port is made of plastic.

Design
Style - Satellites
Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 35.5" (90.2 cm)
Height 2.5" (6.3 cm)
Depth 3.5" (8.9 cm)

The Sony HT-SD35 is a little wide and might not fit between the legs of many 55 inch TVs. On the upside, it's not too tall, and you shouldn't have issues placing it in front of the TV, as it won't cover the bottom part of the screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 7.5" (19.0 cm)
Height 15.0" (38.0 cm)
Depth 15.4" (39.1 cm)

The subwoofer has the size of an average desktop PC. It pairs wirelessly to the bar, and you shouldn't have issues placing it anywhere in the room as long as you can plug it in.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Universal (holes on back)

The back of the bar is plastic and has one opening for the input ports. The power cable is permanently attached to the bar.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer is metal. The power cable connects at the bottom, so you can easily hide it, and it won't be in the way. At the top of the back, you'll find the pairing button.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony HT-S350 has a good build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, and there's a metal grille around the sides that helps protect the drivers inside. There's also a faux leather material on the top of the bar, which feels nice. The sub is mostly made of wood and plastic, and there's a metal grille on the front.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • Manuals
  • Remote and batteries
  • Optical cable

Sound
6.6
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.34
Std. Err.
4.56 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
56.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
16.7 kHz

The Sony HT-S350's stereo frequency response is okay. Its sound profile is dark and muddy due to the lack of low-bass and the underemphasized treble. Its mid-range is still quite balanced, so vocals and lead instruments are reproduced fairly clearly. However, this setup uses Sony's S-Force Pro Front Surround sound to create a more immersive sound, and you can't turn this feature off. While movies sound pretty decent on the bar, this feature isn't really ideal for stereo content like music.

6.6
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
8
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
-0.34
Std. Err.
4.56 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
56.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
16.7 kHz

If you prefer a more neutral sound profile, we recommend using the Sony HT-SD35 with its default settings. Out-of-the-box, its subwoofer level is set to eight.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.64 dB

The Sony HTS350 has a decent soundstage. Its soundstage is perceived to be a tad bit larger than the bar, but this is probably due to the always-on surround mode called S-Force Pro Front Surround. The focus of the soundstage is great and objects are easy to pinpoint, but the always-on surround makes those objects a bit stretched in the soundstage.

7.6
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
95.5 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.53 dB

The Sony HTS350 has a good stereo dynamics performance. It can get loud, making it suitable for listening in large rooms and crowded environments. However, when pushed to its maximum volume, there are some pumping and compression artifacts in the bass range. This is mostly noticeable with bass-heavy music.

7.6
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.38
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.97

At a normal listening volume, the THD performance of this soundbar is good, resulting in a clean and pure audio reproduction. However, when using the bar at the maximum volume, there's a big jump in THD. This shouldnโ€™t be too audible for most, and you probably wonโ€™t notice it with real-life content.

6.3
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
-1.70
Std. Err.
4.44 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
95.5 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.39
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.47

The Sony S350 is a 2.1 soundbar setup, which means it doesnโ€™t have a dedicated center speaker. It uses the left and right speakers to create a sound in the center, which will sound more diffused and less clear compared to a discrete center. When sending a 5.1 surround sound signal, it will downmix it to stereo, although it might sound a bit wider due to the always-on surround mode. Overall, voices still sound fairly clear and accurate, and the bar gets loud enough for most people.

2.9
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-1.54
Std. Err.
6.85 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
92.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.64
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.40
7.1 Rears
No

The Sony HTS350 has poor performance with surround channels. The 2.1 configuration of the soundbar won't result in the most accurate and clear representation of surround objects in the soundstage. Everything is downmixed to stereo and doesnโ€™t feel as real as a discrete surround experience offered by home theater speakers. The overall sound profile is fairly dark as this soundbar lacks detail in the treble range. 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)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A
5.6
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
No
Treble Adjustment
No
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Sony HTS350 has a disappointing selection of sound enhancement features. You can customize its sound using its subwoofer level adjustment, and it also comes with some EQ presets, including 'Cinema', 'Music', 'Standard', 'Game', 'News' and 'Sports'. Unfortunately, there aren't any bass or treble adjustments. It also lacks room correction, so it may sound different depending on the room you're listening in.

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

The Sony HT-S350 has a very basic selection of physical inputs. It can connect to your TV through HDMI ARC and to one external device by Optical Audio in, but that's all. There is no Full HDMI In so it can't act as a hub between different devices. Also, you can't play back music stored on a USB.

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

You can decode surround sound over ARC with this bar, thanks to its Dolby Digital support, but it will be downmixed to 2.1. Unfortunately, the bar can't decode DTS or any higher-end format like Dolby Atmos, and this means that more advanced object-based surround sound formats won't be played back. On the upside, Dolby Digital content is very common on streaming platforms like Netflix and on most Blu-ray discs.

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

The Sony HT-SD35's audio format support via optical connection is mediocre. The Dolby Digital surround sound format is supported, which is good as it's widely available in the content of streaming platforms or Blu-ray discs. The unsupported DTS format isn't widely available on its own, as it's the fallback for the higher quality DTS-HD MA found on many Blu-ray discs. If you're looking for a 2.1 setup that supports DTS via optical, check out the Samsung HW-T450.

6.5
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
98 ms
Optical
113 ms
Full HDMI In
N/A

The Sony HT-S350 soundbar has a passable latency performance. It has fairly high latency, so your visuals appear on the screen a bit before you hear the corresponding audio. This delay is most noticeable with lip-synching. That said, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.

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

The Sony HT-S350 soundbar supports Bluetooth connectivity, letting you wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar. However, it doesn't support other formats like Wi-Fi or Apple AirPlay, which may disappoint some users.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
No
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
No
HDR10 Passthrough
No

Since there isn't a Full HDMI In port, the Sony HT-S350 can't relay the video signal of any external device to your TV.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects to the bar wirelessly. You just need to plug it into a power outlet to get it to work.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The interface or the Sony HT-S350 is very basic and consists of only three lights that flash when you change the settings.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On the top side of the bar, there are a few touch-sensitive buttons that control the basic functions. You can power the bar, select TV mode, change the volume, or pair with a Bluetooth device.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote control is slim and can control all the functions of the bar. It has some preset modes and can control the volume of the subwoofer independently but can't act as a universal remote.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Additional Features
App
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
Acts As A Remote
No
Controls Soundbar's Settings
No
Casts Device Files
No
Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Sony HTS350 soundbar enters a 'Standby' mode after some time of inactivity. Thanks to HDMI CEC support, you can use your TV's remote to control the soundbar.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony HT-S350 comes in one color variant: 'Black'. You can see the label for the subwoofer of the model we tested here. Some retailers sell a version of this soundbar known as the Sony HT-SD35, which appears to be the same bar but with a different name.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Sony HT-S350 is a very simple 2.1 setup. Unfortunately, you can't turn off the S-Force Pro Front Surround mode, which isn't ideal for listening to stereo content like music and TV shows. Its dark and muddy sound profile isn't suitable for some listeners, and there aren't a lot of customization features available. It's still decent for TV shows, but you can find more versatile options at this price point.

See our recommendations for the best soundbars under $200, the best soundbars under $300, and the best budget soundbars.

Samsung HW-A550

The Samsung HW-A550 is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some users may prefer. It also comes with a graphic EQ and bass and treble adjustments for sound customization and a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-A450

The Samsung HW-A450 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung reproduces a more extended low-bass, and some users may prefer its more neutral out-of-the-box sound profile. It's also more customizable thanks to its graphic EQ, and it has a better surrounds performance. However, the Sony is better built with an ARC port, and it has a better center channel performance.

Samsung HW-T650

The Samsung HW-T650 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung has better soundstage and center channel performances, and it comes with a Full HDMI In port. It comes with bass and treble adjustments. It also has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some users may prefer.

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The HT-G700 is a 3.1 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content and comes with a Full HDMI In port, unlike the HT-S350. It also has better center and surround performances, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. That said, the 2.1 HT-S350 has a better stereo soundstage.

Samsung HW-A650

The Samsung HW-A650 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung is better-built, with more sound enhancement features like a graphic EQ as well as bass and treble adjustments. It has better center and surround performances, too. Also, some listeners may prefer its more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box.

Samsung HW-Q60T

The Samsung HW-Q60T is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung is a 5.1 setup that's better-built with better center and surround performances. It also has more sound enhancement features, including bass and treble adjustments as well as a graphic EQ. Also, some listeners may prefer that its default sound profile is more neutral than the Sony's.

Samsung HW-T450

The Samsung HW-T450 is a better soundbar for mixed usage than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung reproduces a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in your audio. It also has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some listeners may prefer. That said, the Sony is better built and comes with an HDMI ARC port.

Samsung HW-T550

The Samsung HW-T550 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung has a better surrounds performance, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. Some listeners may prefer its more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and there's even a graphic EQ to help you customize its sound. However, the Sony has a better center channel performance.

Polk Audio SIGNA S2

The Polk Audio SIGNA S2 is a noticeably better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350. Its sound profile is better balanced, although a bit excited. However, it's not as well-built as the Sony. The Sony also performs slightly better at max volume, but its bass and detail-lacking sound signature might not be worth it for most.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Samsung is better built, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better center and surround performances as well as a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. It even comes with a graphic EQ and a Full HDMI In port, unlike the Sony.

Sonos Arc

The standalone Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better-built and offers better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It supports Dolby Atmos content, offers built-in voice assistant support, and comes with a room correction feature. That said, the 2.1 Sony comes with some EQ presets for sound customization, unlike the Sonos.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The 3.1.2 Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the 2.1 Sony HT-S350. The Samsung is a better-built setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. Also, its default sound profile is more neutral and balanced.

Yamaha YAS-209

The Yamaha YAS-209 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Yamaha has a better surrounds performance, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. Some listeners may also prefer that it has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. Unlike the Sony, it has built-in voice assistant support and a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. That said, the Sony is better built.

Sony HT-S200F

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sony HT-S200F or the Sony HT-S350. Both are 2.1 setups with similar overall performances. The HT-S200F is a smaller standalone bar with an integrated sub. Even though the HT-S350 has a dedicated subwoofer, it can't reproduce a more extended low-bass. That said, it does have a better soundstage than the HT-S200F.

Sony HT-X8500

The Sony HT-X8500 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The HT-X8500 has a better surrounds performance, and it also supports Dolby Atmos content. That said, the HT-S350 is better built with a better soundstage. Some users may also appreciate that it comes with a dedicated sub, though it doesn't reproduce a more extended low-bass than the HT-X8500.

Sony HT-Z9F

The Sony HT-Z9F is better than the Sony HT-S350. The HT-Z9F is better built with Dolby Atmos support. It has better center and surround performances, and there are more wireless playback options to choose from. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and some listeners may prefer its more neutral default sound profile.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

The JBL Bar 5.1 Surround is better than the Sony HT-S350. The JBL is a 5.1 setup that can reproduce a more extended low-bass than the Sony. It has better center and surround performances, too. That said, the 2.1 Sony is still a solid choice for vocal-centric content like TV shows. It even has a better soundstage than the JBL.

LG SN6Y

The LG SN6Y is better than the Sony HT-S350. The LG is a 3.1 setup that has better center and surround performances. Some listeners may also prefer its more neutral sound out-of-the-box. Unlike the Sony, it has DTS support, and there are even more sound enhancement features like bass and treble adjustments.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350, even without its separate sub and satellites. The Sonos has a noticeably more neutral sound and a wider soundstage. It also has a dedicated center channel, which makes voices and dialog clearer and easier to understand. However, it doesn't have any HDMI ports. Also, only the Sony supports Bluetooth.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Sonos is a standalone 5.0 setup with a small, compact design. Unlike the Sony, it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and a room correction feature. The Sony does get louder, though.

Vizio V Series V21-H8

The Vizio V Series V21-H8 is a better overall soundbar than the Sony HT-S350. The Vizio has a better-balanced sound profile with a lower-extended bass than the Sony, and it also has more sound enhancement features thanks to its bass and treble adjustments. The Vizio also comes with AUX ports, and it supports DTS content, unlike the Sony. However, the Sony is better built and seems a bit more durable.

Vizio V Series V51-H6

The Vizio V Series V51-H6 is better than the Sony HT-S350. The Vizio is a 5.1 setup that comes with discrete satellites. It isn't as well-built as the 2.1 Sony, but it offers better center and surround performances. It can also reproduce a more extended low-bass. Some users may also prefer its more neutral, balanced sound out-of-the-box.

Samsung HW-N450

The Samsung HW-N450 is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350. Its overall sound performance is better and more versatile, especially since the Sony has an always-on surround mode, which makes it sound a bit muddy. The Samsung also has better connectivity options, as the Sony soundbar doesn't have a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-Q80R

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a noticeably better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350 in pretty much every aspect. It sounds better with all types of content, supports Atmos, can get louder, and compresses less. It also has more inputs and supports more audio formats, on top of having a dedicated center channel for better dialog in movies. On the other hand, the Samsung doesn't have a night mode like the Sony, and the Sony is smaller, which might be easier to fit into your home setup.

Samsung HW-R550

The Samsung HW-R550 is a better soundbar than the Sony HT-S350. It has a more accurate audio reproduction and overall sound profile. The bass of the Samsung is more extended as well. While the Sony can get marginally louder, it compresses noticeably more than the Samsung. The Samsung soundbar also has more inputs, since the Sony lacks Full HDMI Ins, and supports DTS, which the Sony doesn't.

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