Sony has announced two new high-end home theater audio systems. Both of which will include HDMI 2.1 passthrough ports that offer full support for features like Dolby Vision HDR, eARC, 4K gaming at 120Hz, 8K video, and more.
First up is the HT-A7000 Dolby Atmos 7.12-channel soundbar. It is priced at $1,299.99 and has two HDMI 2.1 inputs. It can run on both a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and play each console fully. The A7000 is positioned as Sony’s latest flagship soundbar and has two up-firing speakers for Atmos, five front speakers for wider surround, and two beam tweeters. There’s a built-in dual subwoofer.
People are still in the early days of future-proofed HDMI 2.1 soundbars, but they’re starting to appear. A similar Atmos bar, the Cinema 1200, is being just announced by Klipsch. It also has two HDMI inputs, includes a bundled subwoofer and surrounds, and is priced at $1,699.
Sony’s A7000 can tune itself for a room’s acoustics by using a remote microphone to measure the width and height of a room and optimize the sound profile. It supports hi-res audio, 360 Reality Audio and is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Chromecast, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa.
The 2nd audio system is called the HT-A9, and it consists of a control box unit and four wireless speakers. According to Sony, the four cylinder-shaped speakers can be placed anywhere in the room. The sound field optimization will take their position into account when tuning the audio performance.
The company has also included these “360 spatial sound mapping technology,” which can supposedly “create up to twelve ‘phantom’ speakers from just four speakers by synthesizing sound waves based on the positional information.” It is priced at $1,799.99.
Each speaker measures a bit over 12 inches tall. The A9 has just one HDMI input rather than two on the soundbar, but the control box also has an aux port and ethernet jack that allows compatible Sony TVs to act as the center channel. Each speaker needs its power outlet, as does the control box, so a total of five outlets will be there. According to Sony, both HT-A9 and HT-A7000 will start shipping sometime between September and October.