Sony's latest Dolby Atmos soundbar could be a serious Sonos Beam Gen 2 competitor

Sony HT-S2000 Dolby Atmos soundbar
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has unveiled the HT-S2000, a mid-range Dolby Atmos soundbar that could spell trouble for Sonos. According to Sony, it will provide immersive, cinematic sound with its 3.1 channel set-up and duo of sound-enhancing features. Interestingly, this isn't a part of Sony's popular HT-A series of soundbars which includes the Award-winning HT-A7000, and instead appears to sit just below the HT-A3000.

Sony is using a three-driver arrangement with a dedicated centre channel, which it says will provide "clear dialogue", while the built-in subwoofer is set to serve up some "punchy bass". Sony says that together these create a clear, spacious and room-filling sound that's enhanced with its X-balanced Speaker Units which allow for louder sound pressure and enhanced vocal clarity with minimal distortion.

Despite being billed as a Dolby Atmos soundbar, the S2000 doesn't feature any upward-firing drivers, instead relying on Sony's Vertical Surround Engine for overheard sound and S Front Pro for side-firing sound, which allows the soundbar to reproduce three-dimensional audio via Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Sony states that the HT-S2000 is even capable of upmixing stereo content over Bluetooth and wi-fi streaming into surround sound using an algorithm that analyses a track in real time. 

Sony HT-S2000 Dolby Atmos soundbar connectivity and app

(Image credit: Sony)

The HT-S2000 is also launching alongside the new Home Entertainment Connect app, which will separate soundbars (and most likely other home cinema equipment) from Sony's existing Music Centre application. This new user experience reportedly makes the soundbar set-up easier than ever and can be used to adjust the settings, troubleshoot, control volume, update the soundbar and more. In terms of connectivity, the S2000 features optical and HDMI eARC for wired connections alongside the aforementioned Bluetooth and wi-fi wireless options.

You can also pair the S2000 with Sony's existing range of wireless home cinema speakers and subwoofers to expand your soundbar into a 5.1 arrangement; this includes the SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 wireless subwoofers and the SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers.

The Sony HT-S2000 is expected to release this June for £449 (around $555 / AU$845), putting it in direct competition with the five-star Sonos Beam (Gen 2) which currently retails for £499 / $499 / AU$799. The Beam Gen 2 also does not feature any upward-firing drivers, although it does trade the subwoofer for an additional two drivers for a 5.0 arrangement, so we're keen to see how the two soundbars compare.


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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.