I like soundbars. They take up less space compared to a conventional home theatre setup, but can deliver plenty of sound. The Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar, a 7.1.2 channel speaker, does this really well, and without the need of an additional subwoofer, too. That's because the subwoofer is integrated into the soundbar, freeing up additional space.
- Dimensions: 1300 x 80 x 142mm, 8.7kg
- Total power output: 500W
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, Optical audio input, analog audio input, USB Type-A, 2x HDMI and 1x eARC/ARC
Design-wise, the soundbar is a bit taller and bigger than other soundbars. The metal build feels premium. It packs 7.1.2 channels, which means it has seven main audio channels, one subwoofer, and two up-firing height channels. This means it can do Dolby Atmos, and Sony's 360 Spatial Sound (though you'll need to buy additional rear speakers, but more on that below). There's three HDMI ports (two standard ones and one eARC), 3.5mm analog jack, USB-A, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It supports Chromecast, AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect.
There's a cost to bundling the subwoofer into the soundbar, though. The bass isn't as rumbly, which you will feel when watching movies with lots of action, especially gunfire. Take for example, Netflix's 6 Underground, where the scene with the magnetic boat felt less impactful compared to the time I tested with the LG S95QR soundbar. To be fair, that's a 9.1.5 soundbar with rear speakers. That said, the HT-A7000 has a wide sound field with clear dialogue, and distinct height channels.
If you want to go all-out with the HT-A7000, you can. Sony also sells add-ons such as wireless speakers and subwoofers. Depending on your budget, you can choose a more powerful sub and up-firing rear speakers. Having rear speakers also enables Sony's 360 Spatial Sound Mapping feature. Meanwhile, adding the subwoofer has an immediate impact on performance, as the bass starts sounding a lot stronger. My cabinets were rattling, even with the cheaper Sony SA-SW3 200W subwoofer. If you own a compatible Sony Bravia TV, you can also pair the soundbar to use the TV's speakers to enhance the sound experience.
Priced at S$2,300-ish when discounted (usual price S$2,500), the Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar is expensive. However, it does deliver great sound without requiring a separate subwoofer. I do think you get better value with the LG S95QR soundbar though, which includes wireless up-firing rear speakers and a subwoofer for under S$2,000. Get the Sony from Shopee, Lazada, or Sony.
Note: Review unit provided by Sony.
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