With Sony Vertical Surround Engine and Sony S-Force PRO Front Surround, the new Sony HT-A7000 is said to deliver virtual surround sound from all directions for an immersive audio experience.
Sony Corporation describes the new Sony HT-A7000 as nothing less than the new flagship in the field of soundbar systems, and says that it offers outstandingly realistic surround sound, using technologies such as Sony Vertical Surround Engine and Sony S-Force PRO Front Surround.
Of course, the company particularly recommends the interaction of the new Sony HT-A7000 with TVs of the Sony BRAVIA Series, because who connects a Sony BRAVIA TV via Acoustic Center Sync with the Sony HT-A7000, can look forward to a fascinating audiovisual all-round experience, according to the manufacturer.
Sony HT-A7000 for virtual surround sound
The task of the new Sony HT-A7000 is to deliver at least virtual surround sound from a single source. However, this soundbar is designed to solve this very realistically with a variety of features so that immersive surround sound can actually be enjoyed in the living room.
For this purpose, two upfiring drivers are used, i.e. two speakers that work upwards to reproduce a height effect via reflections on the ceiling. Two beam tweeters and five front speakers are supposed to enable a wide surround sound and a dual subwoofer is responsible for the bass.
We already mentioned that the upfiring speakers are responsible for the impression that the sound comes from above via sound reflections on the ceiling. They rely on Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine for this task.
The beam tweeters, on the other hand, illuminate the side walls of the room, delivering the sound impression of rear surround speakers. This room-filling sound is of course supported by another DSP-based signal processing, namely Sony S-Force PRO Front Surround.
Sony Corporation states that the upward-facing speakers, built-in subwoofer, and front speakers feature a Sony X-Balanced Speaker Unit, whose unique rectangular shape maximizes diaphragm area. This increases sound pressure and ensures punchier bass and clearer voice reproduction.
Of course, the DSP-based signal processing first requires calibration in order to be best matched to the individual room. This is done with a built-in measuring microphone. It is interesting that this sound field optimization, as Sony Corporation calls it, not only works with the soundbar alone, but also in combination with optionally available subwoofers and dedicated surround speakers, but more on that in the following.
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Sony 360 Reality Audio
The new Sony HT-A7000 is of course just as equipped for Dolby Atmos as it is for DTS:X when it comes to playing movies. However, surround is also once again coming into focus for music, and Sony Corporation is clearly one of the pioneers here. Sony developed 360 Reality Audio, a format that is already offered by some streaming providers.
Unpack, connect and you’re ready to go, that’s the promise from Sony Corporation. In the simplest case, the Sony HT-A7000 is connected to the TV via HDMI, which supports HDMI eARC. The soundbar has a USB, an optical and an analog audio input, as well as a corresponding HDMI input and output. In addition, an S-CENTER OUT is available especially for the connection with compatible Sony BRAVIA TV sets. The soundbar supports all current formats such as 8K HDR, 4K/120 Hz and Dolby Vision.
Optimal for Sony BRAVIA Series TVs?
When the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is connected to a Sony BRAVIA TV with Sony Acoustic Center Sync and the included cable, both the soundbar and the TV become the center speaker of a home theater system, according to the manufacturer. This is to ensure that dialogue is perceived exactly from the position where people are on the screen. Action and sound are thus said to be precisely aligned, making the viewing experience much more intense.
Thanks to the integrated user interface, the soundbar settings are automatically displayed in the quick settings menu of the Sony BRAVIA TV. This makes it easy to control sound modes, sound field and volume.
Control also possible via voice
Speaking of control, the new Sony HT-A7000 naturally comes with a suitable remote control, but it can also be controlled via HDMI CEC with the TV’s remote control.
If you integrate the system into the network, which is primarily done via the integrated WiFi module, voice control via Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa is also available.
If the Sony HT-A7000 is connected to the network, music streaming is also available. Besides Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect are also supported. The manufacturer explicitly emphasizes that the new Sony HT-A7000 even supports hi-res audio and can also play Sony 360 Reality Audio, as we already mentioned. Streaming services like TIDAL and Deezer as well as Amazon Music HD offer such content.
If you want to use lossy compressed audio data, Sony offers DSEE Extreme, an AI-based technology that can reconstruct signals lost through compression.
Optional expansion options
If the soundbar alone is not enough, you can flexibly expand it. For example, the Sony SA-SW3 subwoofer and Sony SA-SW5 are available, which can be integrated “wirelessly”. While the Sony SA-SW3 model with 200 watts of power fires a 160 mm driver and has a bass reflex system, the Sony SA-SW5 relies on 300 watts of output power and a 180 mm driver including passive radiator.
An additional expansion option is available with the Sony SA-RS3S rear speakers. This allows dedicated surround speakers to be added to the Sony HT-A7000 for a realistic surround sound experience. These can also be controlled wirelessly and deliver 100 watts. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that these surround speakers can not only be placed anywhere, but also mounted on the wall.
Elegant in appearance – Omnidirectional Block design.
The Sony HT-A7000 as well as the optional speakers just mentioned are said to have been designed according to an overarching Omnidirectional Block concept, which gives them a uniform look according to Sony Corporation. The manufacturer speaks of refined rounded edges and an appearance resembling a single, solid block. The combination of different material textures is said to emphasize a look that fits perfectly into any living ambience.
The new Sony HT-A7000 is available immediately from retailers. The recommended retail price is stated by the manufacturer at € 1,299. For the optional subwoofers, you have to factor in €499 in the case of the Sony SA-SW3 subwoofer and €799 in the case of the Sony SA-SW5. The Sony SA-RS2S rear speakers, which are also offered as an option, are listed with a price of € 499.
Getting to the point
The new Sony HT-A7000 is supposed to be the flagship soundbar system from Sony Corporation. It is designed as a 7.1.2-channel system and relies on a special driver design for immersive surround sound in the living room, as well as DSP-based signal processing with Sony Vertical Surround Engine and Sony S-Force PRO Front Surround. This allows Dolby Atmos content to be reproduced as well as DTS:X and Sony Reality 360 Audio.
|Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar € 1.299,-
Sony SA-SW3 Subwoofer € 499,-
Sony SA-SW5 Subwoofer € 799,-
Sony SA-RS2S Rear Speaker € 499,-