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Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Product Profile and Review

The Wireless Speaker with a Little Something Extra

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Photo of Front View with Included Accessories

Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Photo of Front View with Included Accessories

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Photo of Connections

Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Photo of Connections

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Photo of Remote Control

Sony SA-NS400 Network Speaker - Photo of Remote Control

Photo (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Sony SA-NS400 is a self-powered speaker that connects to a home network and can play music content streamed from compatible Sony HomeShare devices or a PC. In addition, the Sony SA-NS400 also provides an analog stereo input for the connection of an additional audio device, such as a portable media player, CD player, or audio cassette deck.

Product Overview

The Features and Specifications include SA-NS400:

1. Wireless self-powered single-piece speaker system.

2. 360 degree sound projection via four 2-way speakers and one built-in subwoofer - Bass reflex design.

3. Stereo mini-jack auxiliary input.

4. Network Connectivity - Wireless via WiFi or Wired via Ethernet/LAN. (WPS compatible). DLNA certified.

5. Ability to played streamed content sent from compatible Sony HomeShare devices or compatible PCs and media servers.

5. Wireless credit-card size remote control provided.

6. Dimensions (WxHxD mm) : 9 1/2" × 10 3/4" × 7 3/8" (240 × 273 × 185 mm).

7. Weight: 9 lb 10 oz (3.9kg).

8. Included Accessories: AC power adapter (with attached 43" DC cord that plugs into the speaker), a 6 1/2 foot detach AC power cord (connects the AC adapter to the wall outlet), 2 foot Ethernet/LAN cable, remote control.

9. User Manual, Quick Start, Wi-Fi Utility CD-Rom, , product registration card, and warranty.

10. Suggested Price: $249.99

Setup

Setting up the SA-NS400 is pretty straightforward if you are familiar with adding devices to your home network through either a wired or wireless router. Setup steps are provided for network setup where PCs using either Windows 7, Vista or XP operating systems. If you have never added a device to a home network, just take the time to read the read instructions before getting started.

It must be noted that even if you are going to end up using the wireless network connection option, the initial setup does require that you physically connect the SA-NS400 directly to your router using an ethernet cable. Once setup is complete, you then have the option of staying with the wired connection or disconnecting the ethernet cable and going wireless.

Performance

Once setup is complete, the SA-NS400 is probably one of the easiest audio components to use. If you are using the wireless connection option, you can place it just about anywhere in your house or office that has good WiFi signal access and is close to an AC power outlet. The credit card-size remote allows you to access all the need access and playback control functions, but there are also some basic controls on the bottom of the front of the unit.

You can access and play music two way on the SA-NS400. The first way is to stream music from the network, such as from a PC and/or a compatible host device, such as the Sony NAS-SV20i Network Audio System/Server provided for this review. The second way is to plug in an audio source device, such as a portable media player, CD or audio cassette player.

The sound quality of the system is actually pretty good. The 360 degree sound concept projects a balanced soundfield throughout the room, which is great if you are listening to music while performing other tasks. On the other hand, for sit-down stereo listening the stereo separation is rather narrow - which is not all-together unexpected given that all the speakers are housed close together within a single housing.

A couple of features worth noting are the "Party" and "Bookmark" functions. When using the the SA-NS400 in a network that contains a host device, such as the Sony NAS-SV20i Network Audio System/Server mentioned previously. If the NAS-SV20i is on in another room, you can press the "Party" button on the SA-NS400 remote and play what the NAS-SV20i is also playing.

You also have independent volume control of both the host device and the SA-NS400. In other words, if you just want sound to come out the network speaker in the room you are in, you can turn the sound down to inaudible in one room and turn the volume way up the network speaker in another. You also have access to playback controls of the host device via the SA-NS400's remote control.

The other practical function is the "Bookmark" function. When playing music content, you can bookmark up to 30 music selections. The bookmarks are stored on the main network server (your PC). When you want to play them back at a later time, all you have to do is press the "Call" button on the SA-NS400's remote and the device where the content is stored is on, will playback the content in the order the bookmarks are listed.

Final Take

The Sony SA-NS400 is interesting twist on the wireless speaker concept. Instead of receiving an audio signal sent via a wireless transmitter connected to a preamp output on audio processor or home theater receiver, it receives the audio feeds from a compatible Sony media player/server, the via the PC/internet network setup in your home. Provided you can conveniently access an internet router via ethernet or wirelessly, you move the SA-NS400 from to room, depending on your need at the moment. Sony refers to this concept as "HomeShare".

With is unique 360 degree sound dispersion, the sound quality is room filling and quite good, but stereo imaging is rather narrow.

The Sony SA-NS400 is great music entertainment option.

Official Product Page

 

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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