While top of the line soundbars pushing £1,000 almost always come with Dolby Atmos, the more affordably priced models often have to jettison the 3D surround sound format in order to hit the price point. Not so Sony’s new HT-G700 soundbar.
The HT-G700 is a 3.1 channel soundbar that uses clever audio processing to provide the Dolby Atmos experience by replicating the impression of height channels without the need for upward firing speakers. It costs approximately £450 ($599, €540)
In order to achieve this, Sony employs its Vertical Surround Engine which combines the soundbar’s three front speakers with audio signal processing to envelop the viewer in sound which is placed in both the vertical and wider horizontal planes in a 7.1.2 channel configuration.
Once of the advantages of having signal processing on board is the ability to upscale stereo audio feeds from TV shows and movies to fill out the 7.1.2 channels too, though using the Immersive Audio option which activates this might need a bit of trial and error to see whether the weather report really needs the height treatment.
Not only that but the HT G700 is also compatible with Dolby Atmos’s main rival in the 3D object based audio stakes, DTS:X, and has a dedicated centre speaker to make sure dialogue, even when delivered quietly, is always kept clear amongst the music and surround effects that are an essential part of the immersive experience.
There are also a number of sound modes to best suit the content and viewing/listening environment. So, Cinema will accentuate the theatre experience, Voice further enhances dialogue, while Night mode optimises the sound balance so you can hear clearly at low volume levels without disturbing others. Finally, Music mode helps extract the full detail of your favourite songs.
A wireless subwoofer with a large interior cabinet is included as part of the package so the low frequency effects can deliver a suitably deep bottom end.
Set up with TVs and audio sources is quick and easy too, with options for connection via Bluetooth or HDMI eARC/ARC.
Also released is the more affordable 5.1 channel HT-S20R soundbar which offers 400W of power over its channel configuration, which includes a subwoofer and rear surround speakers. The range of physical and wireless connectivity includes HDMI, optical or analogue inputs along with USB and Bluetooth for enjoying music.
Both models will be available in May, with the HT-G700 priced at approximately £450 and the HRT-S20R at approximately £250 (€300)
Are you looking for a Dolby Atmos / DTS:X surround sound solution at the more affordable end of the market? How does the G700 sound to you? What about full the 5.1 surround sound of the S20R for just £250? Let us know what you think of Sony’s latest soundbars in the discussion thread.
Source: Press release
Image Source: Sony