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The Sony HT-S20R 5.1 surround set is a budget option with two faces

This HT-S20R proves that realizing surround sound at home does not have to cost the highest price. But what exactly can you expect from such a low-priced system and what does it add to your gaming experience? We’ll figure it out.
Sony HT-20R 5.1 €186.87


HDMI, optical , mini jack

Surround sound:

Yes, 5.1

Subwoofer: Yes

Extras and details: System is fully wired

The Sony HT-S20R is a full 5.1 system with separate rear speakers and a subwoofer. This means that this surround set is fully compatible with Dolby surround sound without any form of


. As mentioned, the system is a real budget option. You can already purchase this complete surround setup for 199 euros.

Build Quality

The low price is reflected in the build quality of the soundbar. Everything is made of plastic and although the system is fairly sturdy and the rear speakers look sleek, it all feels a bit lighter than you would expect. In addition, the subwoofer has a sloppy finish at the back with a panel full of large screws, a ventilation grille and visible edges of raw MDF of the housing.

The subwoofer is the heart of the setup: all available inputs can be found on the back of this closet. The number of connection options is limited: there is a mini jack input, HDMI input and an optical port. You can also connect your phone or laptop wirelessly, via Bluetooth, to the soundbar for streaming music. All speakers, including the soundbar, must be connected to the subwoofer via cables. The cables that run to the rear speakers are long enough to possibly lay around and hide along a plinth. Yet this system feels more like a set that you put on your game attic instead of in the middle of your living room.

Of course, the HT-S20R comes with a remote control that allows you to switch between the different listening modes: Cinema, Voice, Night and Music. The Cinema mode provides some extra sub-layer in the sound, while the Music mode puts more emphasis on the mid-range. Voice ensures that the soundbar puts more emphasis on the mid-highs and in the Night mode, the lows and the dynamic reproduction are reduced a bit, so that you do not cause any noise nuisance.

Because the entire system is wired, setting it up is a breeze. Simply plugging the correct cable into the correct input is enough. Good to know: is that you don’t get an HDMI cable with it – you have to buy that yourself. Making a Bluetooth connection is also very fast and the connection is very stable. The HT-S20R also thinks along with you: if there is still an active Bluetooth connection that does not play audio, and the television is switched on, the soundbar will automatically choose a different input. Of course this is no higher math, but for a soundbar within this price range it is a pleasant surprise.

The sound

This system sounds, especially with the eye on the price, not undeserved at all. When listening to music, it is noticeable that there is a somewhat boxy sound hidden in the soundbar itself. This means that more aggressive and modern (pop) music sometimes sounds a bit distant and hollow. The sub is well balanced with the rest of the system, but can certainly also thunder when needed. As a whole, the system creates a decent sound field, although it is noticeable that little real details of individual parts or instruments can be heard.

Do you want to play on this system , then it is best to put the soundbar in Cinema mode. This ensures that the sub-layer is slightly emphasized and that the soundbar sounds less pointed. This makes the rear speakers more involved in the listening experience, which is beneficial for the translation of the in-game world. However, don’t expect very precise localization, but rather a large, somewhat smeared listening field, which feels quite convincing. However, the lack of definition means that you cannot follow in-game audio cues very precisely. The HT-20R is therefore best suited for slower RPGs or narrative action games.

When watching a film on HT-20R is striking that the system lacks some impact in a really large room. The sound field is convincing, but during spectacular over-the-top moments it’s just not big enough. That confirms the feeling that the build quality and cabling initially evokes – that the system is ideally suited for your gaming attic – once again.

In conclusion

The Sony HT-S20R performs very well in the audio field in relation to its price. With this system you can enjoy music in the background and the listening field is large enough to convincingly create an in-game world. It lacks real precision in the localization and detail rendering. In addition, you have to pay for the low price with a number of design concessions: the entire system is wired and the subwoofer is not nicely finished at the back. Nevertheless, this 5.1 system is a great budget option for the gamer with a gaming setup that is not in the middle of his living room.

For a comprehensive overview of all technical specifications regarding this product, please refer to the Sony website, or view the official spec sheet

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Adrian Ovalle
Adrian is working as the Editor at World Weekly News. He tries to provide our readers with the fastest news from all around the world before anywhere else.

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