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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.

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

Sony

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.

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Exploded view of the Sony HT-A7000

Sony

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.