Sony HT-ZF9 Soundbar Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Soundbars, Soundplates & Soundbases' started by Phil Hinton, Oct 17, 2018.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. BOFH_UK

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      Interesting idea but gotta say I'm not convinced. Having Atmos & DTS:X support is nice but at this price point I'd expect a bit more in the way of actual speaker channels. Feels like it's kinda stuck in no-man's land a bit between 'normal' soundbars and the high end stuff like the Samsung N950.

      On that note, and this is hardly exclusively a Sony problem, why on earth are soundbars costing £500, £1000 or more only coming with two HDMI ports? Doubly so when they're being sold as Atmos setups! It's surely not that unusual for even modest rigs to have three Atmos-capable sources (say a console, Blu-ray / UHD player and a streaming service) and, at least in my experience, passing Atmos via ARC is hit and miss at best. Feels like a proper step back from a couple of years back when Yamaha were doing such a good job with their beam steering setups.
       
    3. Scotland11

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      I've been waiting for this review for a while and it's pretty much what I expected. At my price point it leaves me deciding between this and a Sonos Beam. Trade off being addtional HDMI ports and Atmos/DTS on the Sony versus the full house integration of the Sonos with blu-rays bit streamed by Xbox One S to DD and a £250 saving.
       
    4. Scotland11

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      I guess they must assume most people's TVs will pass DD+ via ARC.

      Between Sky Q, BT YouView+, Xbox One S & Apple TV I have a range of Atmos capable devices but unfortunately my B6 doesnt't pass DD+ via ARC. If it did, I'd only need the Xbox connected directly to the sound bar.
       
    5. Clem_Dye

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      A lack of HDMI inputs is a nuisance, for sure. No mention in the review if they pass a signal when the bar is in standby. Do they? Sony TVs pass DD5.1 via external HDMI inputs, so I guess pairing this with a Sony TV is the best bet.

      Clem
       
    6. davidcrofter

      davidcrofter
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      Looked at this earlier in the year and you really need to add the rear speakers for starters and even then you are just getting a 5.1 system. The overhead effects simply don't work - all you get is a wider soundstage. The DTS-X and Atmos processing aren't much use if you can't reproduce it with the actual soundbar.

      Then of course we get to cost - adding the rear speakers takes it to near £900 which is just too expensive for basically an average 5.1 soundbar.
       
    7. djkutasi

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      I haven't heard this, but doubt that the "virtual height magic" could work. :(

      Maybe worth considering if the space is really an issue... or well... if you have space for this Sony you should have room for a "larger" Samsung K950 as well and that is actually have upward firing speakers for the same "street" price.
       
    8. Scotland11

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      From the review:
      Having tested this briefly in John Lewis, which I would say were less than ideal conditions, I felt a sence of immersion with sounds appearing from the sides and above. For someone like myself with a small room and the sofa against the wall (no room for rear speakers) this could be ideal. Plus this supports DTS-X and DTS-HD Master Audio whereas the K950 I think only goes as far as DTS 5.1. The size of this soundbar is also more attractive than the Samsung which looks a bit of a monster.
       
    9. ghostof82

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      I'm having such a hard time choosing a soundbar. I'm limited to about 1000mm which makes this Sony ideal, and the Atmos etc is a bonus as my tv and UHD player are compliant although I know its a but daft with just 3 speakers, but really, I'll never live in a house with 7 speakers all round me in ceiling etc. But I don't know. I wish LG and Samsung had less cinerama-like huge Atmos soundbars which are too big for my space. Somebody here on this forum once commented that soundbars are all about compromise and they were absolutely right.
       
    10. Jonnyb320

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      I have this sound bar, and am really impressed. I’m constrained by marital cohesion as to what I could have, and this fits the bil. It’s small and unobtrusive, yet produces big sound.
      I’m sure there are better sound bars out there, but this is compact, fully loaded, does a really good job of adding “height” to the sound stage, and within budget.
       
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