Sony India’s audio head takes a shot at ‘budget’ soundbars, calls them a ‘compromise’
San thinks that soundbars that are priced lower than ₹10,000 don’t deliver a ‘complete’ audio experience that a user expects from a home theatre setup.
Sony might not be an active player in the Indian smartphone market but it's still making strides when it comes to audio products. Last week we saw the Japanese tech firm launching its HT-S20R home cinema system in India at the best buy price of ₹14,990. This also makes it one of the most affordable setup including a soundbar in the market. But is the firm trying to go lower in the segment and compete with the likes of Xiaomi, which already has a ₹5,000 soundbar available in the market?
In an interview with Sony India's audio head, Hino San, Hindustan Times tech asked about Sony's plan to launch a cheaper soundbar in the country and what it thinks about brands that have soundbars available in the sub-₹10,000 segment. San thinks that soundbars that are priced lower than ₹10,000 don't deliver a 'complete' audio experience that a user expects from a home theatre setup.
"That is challenging if we go to that segment we will have to compromise quality and we might as well have to go for a single soundbar. The customer in this price range wants the entire home theatre feel with speakers and subwoofer. This is the reason why we came up with HT-S20R. To bring down the quality of sound is not the aim of Sony, we want the best surround experience. This is why S20 is the entry segment which has everything. The customer buying this range of sound bar does not want to compromise with just a bar and want it all for the complete cinematic feel and experience," said San in the interview.
The comment comes soon after Sony launched its ₹14,990 setup that includes a soundbar along with a sub-woofer and two rear speakers. Some key features are 5.1 channel surround sound, 400-W total power output, Dolby Digital technology and easy setup.
For what's worth, the closest competition Sony HT-S20R could face is from Samsung's 5.1 channel HT-J51100K setup that doesn't have a soundbar but includes a front speaker, centre speaker, surround speakers and a subwoofer, all of which deliver 1000 watt power output and support Dolby Digital Plus with Dolby True HD. Other popular brands also have a home thear in the similar price segment but don't offer as 'complete' setup as the Sony HT-S20R.
We can only wait and see how much can Sony flex itself to eat the 'budget' audio product market.