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Sony debuts two Dolby Atmos home theater systems with 8K passthrough

The high-end Sony HT-A9 features four identical wireless satellites, while the HT-A7000 is a single soundbar.

Please, don't put the A9 system together like this

Sony has announced two new high-end home theater systems, the HT-A9 and the HT-A7000 soundbar, which feature Dolby Atmos and Sony's 360 Reality Audio.

The most unusual of the two systems, and therefore the most "Sony," is the $1,800 HT-A9. The A9 consists of four identical speakers, vaguely resembling the Amazon Echo Studio, and they all connect wirelessly to a central HDMI control box. The company sees the system as a bridge between a soundbar and an AV receiver/surround sound system.

The A9 speakers can be placed almost anywhere around the room as each unit incorporates dual microphones to measure its relative height and position.


Exploded view of the Sony HT-A7000


The more traditional, $1,300 HT-A7000 is a single soundbar that offers "7.1.2-channel" decoding, and it includes dedicated height and side-mounted speakers plus an onboard sub. The HT-A7000 is designed to replace the HT-ST5000 that came out in 2017, but that model had a wireless subwoofer included.

Both systems offer HDMI eARC connectivity (with 8K HDR, 4K 120fps and Dolby Vision passthrough) plus Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect

While neither of these offer a subwoofer, which is unusual for $1,000-plus systems, users can opt to add the $400 SW-SW3 or $700 SA-SW5 subwoofers. The wireless SA-RS3S rear speakers will also be available for $350.

Changes to Sony's home theater lineup have been slow in recent times -- for instance, alongside the HT-ST5000, the company's STR-DN1080 receiver is still available after more than four years on the market.

The two systems and add-ons will be available in the fall of 2021.