Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar Review, Price with Dolby Atmos

The Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar comes with a pedigree. It follows the Sony HT-ST5000 as the company’s new de facto flagship sound bar and it carries an air of distinction. What helps elevate the Sony HT-A7000 above its competitors is its integrated up-firing speakers that help it support true Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, with a sprinkling of Sony’s new 360 degree reality audio distribution hurl in too.

At this price point we wish some of those optional extras were simply covered in the box and that the height channels lead to a more convincing sound stage, but what’s on offer is a strong, room-filling sound bar that richly deserves a place amongst the best sound bars.

Review, Price with Dolby Atmos

Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar Price and Release Date

The Sony HT-A7000 sound bar debuted at the tail-end of 2021, effectively replacing the older Sony HT-ST5000 model that had long been on our best sound bar list.

As for price, the Sony HT-A7000 comes in at $1,399 / £1,299 / AU$1,699 – and that’s just for the sound bar. If you want to add a subwoofer and rear speakers, it’ll cost you an extra $300 / £449 / AU$599 and $350 / £449 / AU$649 respectively. The more expensive subwoofer, the SA-SW5, costs $698 / ‎£699 / AU$899 on its own, so be prepared for that.

For a sound bar, that’s a lot of money — especially if you plan to buy all the extras that go with it. Overall, it’s not a terrible price if it’s going to be your home cinema purchase for the next decade, but most people will want a more flexible option at this price point.

Features Of Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar

If you have a TV with an eARC port, you should have no problem setting up the HT-A7000. It’s as simple as plugging in the power cord and running an HDMI cable between the TV and sound bar. That being said, if you want a more in-depth setup and calibration process, Sony makes it relatively easy by building a basic UI into the sound bar.

The most basic step you can take to improve a sound bar’s sound quality is to run a basic room calibration test. It only takes 20 seconds and will help you know how far the sound bar is from the wall and which channels need extra power.

You can manually adjust those settings for yourself in Sony’s handy UI, but most people should just be fine with automatic calibration. This UI is where you can select other origins for audio. The sound bar obviously supports HDMI, but also 3.5mm aux, Bluetooth audio, USB devices, Spotify, Chromecast, Amazon Alexa and 360 Reality Audio via Deezer, Tidal and Amazon Music.

This is a very wide selection of sources, and allows for some flexibility in terms of what you want to connect. Speaking of music, Sony has incorporated its DSEE Extreme upscaling tech into the sound bar to help restore details lost in the wireless transmission process. This is something we’ve seen in the company’s flagship WH-1000M4 headphones, but not in a sound bar.

Body and Design

Roughly 51 inches long and three inches tall, the Sony HT-A7000 is a nice big bar. It’s the right size to fit under a Sony X95J TV or one of Sony’s new OLED TVs, but it could easily block the IR sensor on other manufacturers’ TVs or collide with the legs. In short, it’s a long bar and probably not the best partner for any screen under 55 inches.

The good news is that big bars like this often pack big drivers to get into them – and that’s what’s happening here. Inside the HT-A7000 are two up-firing speakers for overhead sound, two beam tweeters and five front speakers and a subwoofer that handles bass for a total output of 500W.

Covering all these speakers is a mish-mash of textures and materials. The front has a metal grill that covers all the front firing drivers and a small LED screen, while up top you’ve got a fabric mesh that covers the up firing drivers. The top also has a glossy finish where you can find the touch-capacitive control buttons.

The included remote is easy to use, although if you connect the sound bar via HDMI to your TV or AV receiver, you’ll be able to use your TV’s remote, which we highly recommend. Below the Sony TV is the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar.

Audio Performance

On its own, the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is capable of producing a 7.1.2-channel sound. While this sounds like a lot of sound output – and it certainly is – it’s mostly focused around the mid-range unless you go in and manually change the EQ.

Out of the box, without adding any additional hardware, all you’ll hear is solid and clear dialogue. During our tests, we were able to have conversations clearly regardless of the source, even when we changed the TV’s sound mode to something more dynamic, such as movie sound mode on a Sony TV.

The double woofers at the front of the bar provide some oomph – especially when you crank the volume above the 60% mark – but in no way replace what a separate subwoofer can provide. The same can be said for the up-firing speakers and drivers responsible for the surround sound, which comes out a bit weaker than we’d like.

We also noticed that the sound bar cut out once or twice during our two-week test period. This would happen without rhyme or reason and would momentarily stop the audio before resuming – however, it was definitely annoying whenever it happened.

In terms of stereo imaging and soundstage, there’s a lot to like about the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar – it’s a very musically talented sound bar. By checking out some 360 Reality Audio music, you’ll get a real room-filling sound with a clear idea of where all the instruments are located.

Firing up some Spotify, we were impressed with the sound bar’s power and again that strong mid-range. Trebles could have been a little clearer and the bass – while easy to listen to – didn’t have the same depth that a separate sub can provide.

Overall, we think most people will be satisfied with the sound quality the sound bar delivers, but there’s obvious room for improvement in whatever Sony designs next.

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