Sony’s flagship 7.1.2 channel soundbar adds a whole new dimension to movie nights and gaming sessions.
There was a time when setting up a surround sound system with proper grunt required a central amp, numerous speakers, a subwoofer, metres of wire, and enough room to properly balance the acoustics.
Soundbars have made the above superfluous, and the Sony A7000 has incorporated all of the above and more into a compact surround solution that Sony nicely describes as an “omnidirectional block.” Yes, this top-end soundbar is a slab of pure audio nirvana with 500W output that will transform your living room into a cinema auditorium or concert hall with little effort and technical savvy required to install it.
Sound Field Optimisation calibrates set up straight out of the box, utilising built-in intelligent microphones that map the room to optimise the soundscape accordingly. This lets the soundbar determine exactly where to best bounce the audio from walls and ceiling, creating the most immersive surround sound experience possible according to the geography of the room.
A 7.1 surround experience formerly required a centre speaker, two front, two side, and two rear. Now we have Dolby Atmos for overhead audio, necessitating two ceiling mounted speakers. But the Sony A7000 has incorporated all of that in one compact piece of audio tech, with two up-firing speakers, two beam tweeters, five front speakers and a built-in subwoofer for deep rumbling bass.
Add Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force PRO Front surround, and virtual surround has never sounded so authentic. Access your noisiest action or sci-fi film and you’ll be convinced that those gunshots are being fired from over your shoulder, or that Star Destroyer is roaring overhead.
Surround sound also used to come with the caveat of a film’s cacophonous sound design or score drowning out the dialogue if not properly calibrated. That’s where Acoustic Centre Sync comes into play – precisely aligning action and dialogue so you won’t miss a word.
Or course you can add additional wireless rear speakers and an external subwoofer for extra oomph, although your neighbours might hate you for it.
Connectivity is simple, too, with a range of options including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, built-in Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Apple Airplay 2. The Chromecast option lets you stream your music and podcasts from your chosen device via a simple Tap and Cast function, with Hi-Res audio enhancing your music playlists. And Wi-Fi connection lets you hook into audio devices in your smart home network for further easy access to tunes.
Moreover, HDMI eARC provides easy connection to your TV, and there are two HDMI inputs for direct connection to devices like a 4K UHD Blu-ray player.
Perfect for an apartment, audiophiles will love this compact surround system’s wide and high soundstage and authentic-sounding Dolby Atmos. Very highly recommended.