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CNET First Look
Sony's HT-ST5000 Atmos sound bar sounds beautifulThe Sony HT-ST5000 is a high-end sound bar that offers Wi-Fi music streaming and excellent movie playback.
The Sony HT-ST5000 is part of a small group of sound bars that try to do the seemingly impossible, generate surround and hide effects from a speaker that sits underneath your TV. Given the modest dimensions of this system, the Sony does better than most, with a very natural performance regardless of the content. And yet the biggest drawback is its price. At $1500, it's more expensive than our current favorite, the Samsung HWK950. Plus, it lacks surround speaker. But there's a whole lot the Sony does right. It's attractively designed, with these distinctive coaxial drivers, and they work in tandem with these top mounted drivers, which do a good job of bouncing effects off your ceiling. There's no such thing as future proof these days, but the Sony is at least up to date, with three HDR compatible HDMI ports. The speaker also offers wi-fi streaming with Chromecast built in, which lets you cast from Spotify or your phone to the speaker or around your house. Of course the speaker also does bluetooth. The Sony only supports Dolby at most and not rival format DDSX but there is a whole lot more content for Dolby right now anyway. With the large dedicated sub woofer the Sunbird is able to put in a convincing performance with movies and music. Dialog is clear and base effects are felt just as well as they're heard. Music is perfectly natural sounding, which is something that is very hard to pull off with any sound bar.