Almost as if on cue after similar recent announcement from other companies, Sony has rolled out a feature-packed home cinema Dolby Atmos soundbar called the HT-A5o00 at a price of $899.99. That’s $400 less than the company’s flagship soundbar, the HT-A7000.
The HT-A5000’s price point happens to be identical to that of the new Bose Smart Soundbar 900 Cult of Mac wrote about last week, and not far above a typical price for the similar Sonos Arc. All of them feature Dolby Atmos sound with up-firing speakers, among other premium features.
Sony HT-A5000 soundbar
Sony’s HT-A5000 doesn’t lose too much at its lower price point from its fancier sibling, the HT-A7000. It has fewer drivers for its speakers, not to mention fewer speakers overall. But it has built-in support for AirPlay 2, Bluetooth audio, Spotify Connect and Chromecast.
The HT-A5000 is also less than half the weight of the HT-A7000 (10 pounds versus 26 pounds) and shorter, which may make it look more at home with TVs that aren’t massive, say, sets in the 40- to 55-inch range.
However, the flipside on those characteristics is that the smaller, lighter H-A5000 may not combat vibration at high volume as well as the pricier model does.
1 HDMI 2.1 passthrough, not 2
Another difference between Sony’s first-string and second-string soundbars is in the number of HDMI 2.1 passthroughs. The 7000 series has two and the 5000 series has one. But that’s enough to support 8K video (4K at 120 Hz) and Dolby Vision, the company said.
Neither soundbar supports a variable refresh rate or auto low-latency mode found in some high-end soundbars.
Both the HT-A7000 and the HT-A5000 feature acoustic optimization to automatically set the device to produce the best sound for the room it’s in. Sony’s Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force Pro front surround technology provide solid height effects and immersive surround sound.
The HT-A5000 allows optional rear surrounds ($349.99) and two subwoofer choices, just like the HT-A7000. Add-on like that also add to the price, of course, so it’s a good thing the HT-A5000 starts at $400 less than the HT-A7000.
Sony said the HT-A5000 will ship in early fall.
Where to buy: Sony and other retailers