Sony’s 5-star Dolby Atmos soundbar is getting a huge next-gen gaming upgrade

Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has announced plans to release a huge update to one of our favourite Dolby Atmos soundbars that’s sure to delight PS5 and Xbox Series X owners.

Specifically, Sony has announced plans to roll out VRR and ALLM features to its acclaimed HT-A7000 and HT-A5000 soundbars. 

Back when the bars were released, Sony stated that it was planning to add these capabilities via future firmware updates and it looks like that time is near.  

We’re most excited about the update to the HT-A7000 which performed better when we reviewed the two bars last October. During testing the HT-A7000 offered slightly better performance, which is why we gave it five stars and the HT-A5000 a still respectable 4 stars. 

Either way, the upgrade will be welcome for anyone on the market for a new Dolby Atmos soundbar for next-generation gaming. While we praised both models for their impressive Dolby Atmos performance, robust sound and rich set of features, we lamented the lack of VRR and ALLM support, so it’s great news to hear Sony will be remedying this.  

Both bars feature one or two HDMI 2.1 pass-through sockets currently capable of handling 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz, and Dolby Vision HDR – soon Sony will be adding VRR and ALLM to that list.  

Passing VRR information through the HDMI loop-through system of either bar means a VRR-capable screen can avoid screen-tearing and change its frame rate in sync with the shifting frame rate of any game. 

ALLM support will allow your console to communicate with a compatible display, whether it’s playing a game or video source so that it can automatically engage its fast-response Game preset, where appropriate. 

An exact date for these latest updates has not yet been announced, but we expect them to be rolled out very soon. We’ve reached out to Sony for more information and will report back as soon as we have more information.


Our picks for the best soundbars in 2023

Check out our Sony HT-A7000 review

And our Sony HT-A5000 review

Staff Writer

Ainsley Walker is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied music journalism at university before working in a variety of roles including as a freelance journalist and teacher. Growing up in a family of hi-fi enthusiasts, this naturally influenced his interest in the topic. Outside of work, Ainsley can be found producing music, tinkering with retro tech, or cheering on Luton Town.