It’s been a big week for soundbar announcements. After Bose unveiled its Dolby Atmos-equipped Smart Soundbar 900, Sony has followed suit with its similarly capable HT-A5000 soundbar.
The new HT-A5000 is a more affordable alternative to the HT-A7000 Sony announced a couple of months back. The good news is, it includes many of the same features for a significantly lower price point.
So, 5.1.2 channel Dolby Atmos is on board, as is support for Sony’s own 360 Reality Audio technology. The DTS:X audio tech is also available.
Sony says the “front speakers and up-firing speakers, combined with Sony’s unique signal processing, reproduce “vertical” audio meaning the HT-A5000 soundbar can position sound in a vertical space.”
Optional additional speakers are compatible, but Sony says there’s no need for in-ceiling speakers. The S-Force Pro Front Surround feature promises a wide horizontal spread.
The array includes a pair of up-firing speakers, a built-in full subwoofer and the front speakers, which Sony says includes its X-Balanced Speaker Unit. Meanwhile, Sony is pledging punchier bass and greater vocal clarity because the rectangular shape is able to maximise the area of the speaker diaphragm.
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As with most top soundbars, there’s environmental awareness, meaning sound can be optimised for the shape and layout of your room. Sony is promising support for High Resolution Audio along with the proprietary 360 Reality Audio tunes that are available through Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net and Tidal.
In terms of video support, it’s compatible with 8K HDR with Dolby Vision as well as 4K/120fps passthrough.
The £800 HT-A5000 soundbar is out in early 2022. That’s £400 cheaper than the HT-A7000.