Sony has just introduced two new high-end home theatre audio systems, both of which contain HDMI 2.1 pass through ports and complete support for 8K TV, 4K gaming at 120Hz, Dolby Vision HDR, eARC, and other features.
The HT-A7000 Dolby Atmos 7.1.2-channel soundbar is first up. The soundbar costs $1,299.99 and has two HDMI 2.1 connectors, so you could theoretically plug in both a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series X and play both to their maximum capability.
The A7000 is Sony’s newest premium soundbar, including two up-firing Atmos speakers, two beam tweeters, and five front speakers for a broader surround experience. There’s a built-in twin sub-woofer, but if you want more bass, you can upgrade to a separate sub-woofer; Sony has a 300-watt wireless sub-woofer for $699.99 and a 200-watt sub-woofer for $399.99. Wireless rear surrounds are also available at $349.99 from the company.
We’re still in the early stages of future-proofing HDMI 2.1 soundbars, but they’re on the way: Klipsch recently announced the Cinema 1200, a comparable Atmos bar. Although the $1,699 Price tag includes an included sub-woofer and surrounds, it also offers two HDMI inputs.
Sony’s A7000 can tune itself for a space’s acoustics, employing a microphone on the remote to “measure the height and width of a room” and optimize the sound profile, as has become fairly standard for premium soundbars. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Chrome-cast, Spotify Connect, and Apple Airplay 2. It also supports 360 Reality Audio and high-resolution audio.
Each speaker stands a little more than 12 inches tall. The A9 only has one HDMI input rather than the two on the soundbar, but it does have an Ethernet jack and an aux port, allowing compatible Sony TVs to serve as the center channel. This should result in exceptional voice clarity.
One disadvantage is that each speaker, as well as the control box, need its own power outlet, for a total of five outlets.