Sony has announced two premium home cinema speaker systems designed to offer flexible, immersive audio.
First up is the HT-A7000, Sony’s flagship soundbar for 2021, costing £1200 ($1299, AU$1699). The 7.1.2 system, which is Dolby Atmos and DTS:X enabled, features two upward-firing drivers, two beam tweeters and five front speakers. There’s a built-in dual subwoofer for bass, but there’s also a choice of two optional wireless subs: the SA-SW5 300-watt wireless subwoofer priced at £700 ($700, AU$999) or the 200 Watt SA-SW3 costing £400 ($400, AU$599).
Sony says that the HT-A7000 can create virtual surround sound calibrated to your room's acoustics, though if you find it lacking, you could also add the SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers for £450 ($350, AU$649).
There is, however, a very impressive spec sheet to go with this premium price point. Both the HT-A7000 and HT-A9 (below) have support for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X and HDMI 2.1 features, including 8K video, Dolby Vision and 4K@120Hz. For streaming, there’s Chromecast built-in, Apple Airplay and Bluetooth, as well as support for 360 Reality Audio and hi-res music, plus compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The second package is an intriguing new wireless surround system called the HT-A9, consisting of four light grey, cylindrical, wireless speakers, each measuring around 30cm in height and controlled by a small hub.
Sony claims you can position the omnidirectional HT-A9 units anywhere within your available space (so long as each one is near a power socket) and its Sound Field Optimisation technology will use the dual microphones in each speaker to measure their relative position. From this location information, Sony says the HT-A9 can generate the sound field of up to twelve ‘phantom speakers’ and completely encircle your room in 360 spatial sound.
The HT-A9 will be priced at $1799 (AU$2299), which is about £1300, and again can be enhanced by the addition of the SW-SW3 or SA-SW5 wireless subs.
All models are set for release in September 2021.
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