It’s difficult to break away from the masses when it comes to soundbars here in 2021. Over the past half-decade, so many soundbars have been sold and made into Black Friday/super sale fodder that making a device that stands out from the crowd must be a monumental task in and of itself. Sony seeks to do so with the Sony HT-A5000 premium soundbar. This soundbar works with 5.1.2 channel Dolby Atmos tech with DTS:X support and a Vertical Surround Engine.
This soundbar includes front-firing speakers, like most high-end soundbars you’ll find in stores today. The big differentiator here is in the up-firing speakers this soundbar employs. With up-firing speakers combined with front-firing speakers, dual subwoofers, and two beam tweeters to bounce sound off the side walls, this speaker has the ability to deliver surround sound that makes the “surround sound” of the past sound far less fantastic.
With Sony’s signal processing and this variety of speakers, the A5000 soundbar “can position sound in a vertical space.” This speaker works with Sound Field Optimization to intelligently measure the height and width of the room. The setup system shows the user the optimal placement for (sold separately, optional) subwoofer and rear speakers. Sound Field Optimization also “optimizes the sound perfectly to the room layout” with or without optional add-on speakers.
In total you’ll find 7 X-Balanced Speaker Units: Front Left, Front Right, Center, Up Firing left and right, and Subwoofers (right and left of the center speaker).
This soundbar works with Spotify Connect, Apple Airplay 2, Wi-fi connectivity, Bluetooth, and Google’s Chromecast. This soundbar also works with 360 Reality Audio with such systems as TIDAL, nugs.net, Deezer, and Amazon Music HD. This speaker also works with OK Google (voice assistant) and Amazon Alexa (with a firmware update). You’ll find HDMI 8K, 4K/120 pass through, eARC, and HDMI 2.1 support.
The Sony HT-A5000 will be released (available to order) in “early fall” 2021. You’ll be able to find this soundbar at authorized dealers for a suggested retail price of around $900 USD.