In the world of ultimate home entertainment, it’s either go big or go home. Either way, it’s a win-win for consumers especially when the product is a Sony. Take the HT-A7000 soundbar for instance. It’s far from being perfect, and yet, you’d somehow want it if budget is not a constraint. This is Sony’s flagship soundbar at the time of writing, which is to say it is big, powerful, and pricey.
Sony HT-A7000 price in India
The soundbar itself is priced at Rs 1,49,990. But you can expand it further with an optional subwoofer and rear surround speakers. As many as five combinations are possible. You can get it with a 200W SA-SW3 subwoofer for Rs 1,79,980 or the more powerful 300W SA-SW5 for Rs 2,11,980. A soundbar and SA-SW3 cum dual surround speaker setup will cost Rs 2,15,970 while the same trio with the SA-SW5, instead, will set you back by Rs 2,47,970.
The modular aspect of the HT-A7000 is surely appreciated but Sony could have bundled one of those optional accessories in the box considering the premium pricing of the soundbar.
Sony HT-A7000 design, hardware
The HT-A7000 is BIG. There’s no getting around this fact. The whole thing looks like a towering monolith placed horizontally. Weighing almost 9kg and measuring 1,300 x 80 x 142 mm it’s certainly not meant to be moved around on the fly or built for small TVs if you’re eying to put it next to one on a table. You’d need at least a 55-inch, probably even 65-inch TV with ample “ground clearance” for a fully unobtrusive experience. Being a premium soundbar, it ought to be this way.
The bigger it is, the larger the internal space to fit big drivers (and more of them). It’s safe to say Sony has put every bit of the real estate to good use. The HT-A7000 has:
— two upward-firing speakers,
— two beam tweeters,
— five front speakers, and
— a dual subwoofer.
All the front-firing drivers are placed behind a metal grille. This has a small—and convenient— LED screen at one end. The up-firing drivers sit behind a fabric mesh. They are interrupted in the middle by a mirror-like glossy command centre area which houses touch-sensitive controls for play, pause and the likes. It’s prone to accumulate dust and fingerprints and if you’re not too careful, even scratches. The connectivity ports are all neatly tucked away at the back far from prying eyes.
All in all, the HT-A7000 is built well. It’s not sharp or anything. Or tacky. It’s aesthetically pleasing without going overboard. The corners are nice and rounded. The fit and finish, too, is exquisite. The build materials, top notch. The optional accessories, too, have been designed to compliment the soundbar’s central theme and motif. They connect wirelessly to it, instantly, but their power cables could be slightly longer.
Sony HT-A7000 features, performance
New-age home theatre systems which include high-end soundbars like the HT-A7000 are being increasingly designed to replicate a theatre-like sound experience at home (something similar is happening on the smart home projector side as well from a visual perspective). This means spatial audio which is essentially sound you feel coming from all sides so as to give you a sense of deep immersion is a key differentiator or must-have feature, today, as opposed to say a few years ago. Theatres have the “space” advantage obviously and therefore pulling off spatial audio—like Dolby Atmos—on a soundbar regardless of its size and drivers, is not easy, but as is true for any other tech, things are improving gen-over-gen.
The HT-A7000, too, is a considerable improvement over everything that Sony has come out with before. But there is still some room for improvement. By itself, the soundbar is powerful enough to produce a 7.1.2-channel sound and it performs like one for the most part particularly for cinema (and to some extent, games). Dialogues –which is nothing but the mids—come out nice and crisp so movie-watching is a treat. It gets plenty loud, too, without any visible distortion. The bass and treble could be a bit better but can’t say that they’re lacking or leave you wanting. The same applies to surround sound. While it is better than any other competing soundbar in its class, the output –especially one coming out of the up-firing speakers—could be better. Sound stage is impressive with excellent stereo separation.
Those “optional” accessories are an absolute necessity if you’re eyeing the best possible experience on this soundbar. The difference – be it in surround sound or bass—is noticeable.
One of the best things about any Sony product is the ease of use and setup. Setting up the HT-A7000 is no different. You’ll obviously be able to benefit –more—if you have a compatible Bravia TV but the soundbar works well with any smart TV provided it has eARC. It’s a plug and play affair, then, as simple as hooking up the power cord and connecting the bundled HDMI cable—this is version 2.1 same as what you get with the PS5. The soundbar has its own handy settings UI and quick calibration tool to make it adapt—both automatically and manually— to your room.
The port selection is also exhaustive. You get two HDMI 2.1 (4K/120Hz), optical and aux ports in addition to support for Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi. All the major spatial audio formats including Sony’s own 360 Reality are supported. Voice-free Alexa and Chromecast are also supported.
Sony HT-A7000 | Should you buy?
The HT-A7000 marks the top-end of the soundbar spectrum with top-of-the-line specs and pricing to match. It is future-proof, too, packing support for the latest and greatest features and connectivity. At the same time, its modular aspect means there’s room to make it sound even better down the road. The soundbar is very capable, on its own, but you might want to invest in the optional accessories if you’re looking for the ultimate experience. It will cost you a lot of money, but for those who take audio seriously and seek nothing but the best, the HT-A7000 “ecosystem” offers enough bang for the investment.
Also Read | Sony WF-1000XM4 review: The new gold standard in wireless audio
|Premium Dolby Atmos sounbar||VRR and ALLM not supported yet|
|Plenty of ports|