Sony HT-A7000 soundbar review: Big, powerful and expensive

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 example. It’s far from perfect, and yet you’d kind of want it if budget wasn’t a constraint. This is Sony’s flagship soundbar at the time of writing, meaning it’s big, powerful and expensive.

Sony HT-A7000 price in India

The soundbar itself costs 1,49,990 rupees. But you can expand it further with an optional subwoofer and surround back speakers. Up to 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 with two surround speakers cost Rs 2,15,970, while the same trio with the SA-SW5 will set you back Rs 2,47,970 instead.

Sony Soundbar HT-A7000
The HT-A7000 is big. (Image credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The modular aspect of the HT-A7000 is certainly appreciated, but Sony could have bundled one of these optional accessories in the box given the soundbar’s premium price point.

Sony HT-A7000 design, hardware

The HT-A7000 is BIG. There is no getting around this fact. The whole looks like a towering monolith set up horizontally. Weighing in at nearly 9kg and measuring 1,300 x 80 x 142mm, it’s certainly not meant to be moved around on the fly or built for small TVs if you want to put it on a table next to you. For a completely unobtrusive experience, you’ll need at least a 55-inch, probably even a 65-inch TV with ample “ground clearance.” As a premium soundbar, it should be.

Sony Soundbar HT-A7000
It supports Dolby Atmos. (Image credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The bigger it is, the more interior space to accommodate tall riders (and more of them). It’s safe to say that Sony has made good use of every part of the property. The HT-A7000 has:

— two upward-firing speakers,

— two beam tweeters,

— five front speakers and

— a dual subwoofer.

Sony Soundbar HT-A7000
It has touch-sensitive controls on the top. (Image credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

All front-facing drivers are placed behind a metal grille. This one has a small – and handy – LED screen on one end. The upward-firing drivers sit behind a fabric grille. They’re broken in the middle by a mirror-like glossy command center area that houses touch-sensitive controls for play, pause, and the like. It’s prone to dust, fingerprints, and even scratches if you’re not too careful. The connectivity ports are all neatly tucked away on the back, away from prying eyes.

All in all, the HT-A7000 is well built. It’s not spicy or anything. Or cheesy. It’s aesthetically pleasing without going overboard. The corners are nicely rounded. The fit and finish are also exquisite. The building materials, first class. The optional accessories have also been designed to complement the central theme and motif of the soundbar. They connect to it wirelessly right away, but their power cords could be a bit longer.

Sony HT-A7000 features, performance

Sony Soundbar HT-A7000
It has two HDMI 2.1 ports. (Image credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

New-age home theater systems with high-end soundbars like the HT-A7000 are increasingly being designed to recreate a cinema-like sound experience at home (something similar is also happening on the smart home projector side from a visual perspective). This means that spatial audio, which is essentially sound coming from all sides to give you a sense of deep immersion, is a key differentiator or must-have today, as opposed to, shall we say, before a few years. Cinemas obviously have the “space” advantage and so it’s not easy to produce spatial audio – like Dolby Atmos – on a soundbar, regardless of its size and drivers, but as with any other technology, things improve by generation to generation .

The HT-A7000 is also a significant improvement over anything Sony has released before it. But there is still some room for improvement. The soundbar itself is powerful enough to produce 7.1.2 channel sound and for the most part it functions as one, especially for cinema (and gaming to an extent). Dialogue – which is nothing but the mids – comes out nice and clear, making movie watching a pleasure. It gets pretty loud too, with no visible distortion. The bass and treble could be a little better, but I can’t say they are lacking or lacking. The same goes for surround sound. While it’s better than any other competing soundbar in its class, the output – particularly that from the upward-firing speakers – could be better. The soundstage is impressive with excellent stereo separation.

Sony Soundbar HT-A7000
Subwoofer SA-SW5. (Image credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

This “optional” accessory is an absolute necessity if you want to get the best possible experience from this soundbar. The difference – be it in the spatial sound or in the bass – is noticeable.

One of the best things about any Sony product is how easy it is to use and set up. Setting up the HT-A7000 is no different. You can obviously benefit more from this if you have a compatible Bravia TV, but the soundbar works well with any smart TV as long as it has eARC. So it’s a plug-and-play affair, as simple as plugging in the power cord and plugging in the included HDMI cable – this is version 2.1, just like the PS5. The soundbar has its own convenient user interface for settings and a quick calibration tool that allows it to adapt to your room – both automatically and manually.

Sony Soundbar HT-A7000
VRR and ALLM are not yet supported. (Image credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The port selection is also exhaustive. You get two HDMI 2.1 (4K/120Hz), optical and aux ports, as well as Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi support. All major spatial audio formats including Sony’s own 360 Reality are supported. Speech-free Alexa and Chromecast are also supported.

Sony HT-A7000 | Should You Buy?

The HT-A7000 marks the higher end of the soundbar spectrum with top-notch specs and prices to match. It’s also future-proof, with 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 later. 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’ll cost you a lot of money, but for those who take audio seriously and only want the best, the HT-A7000 “ecosystem” offers enough for the investment.

Also read | Sony WF-1000XM4 review: The new gold standard in wireless audio

advantages disadvantage
Premium Dolby Atmos sound bar VRR and ALLM not yet supported
Modular A bit expensive
Easy setting
Many ports
feature rich
Rich audio Sony HT-A7000 soundbar review: Big, powerful and expensive

Chris Barrese

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