Sony HT-G700 review: Room-filling sound at a premium price

Dolby Atmos soundbars have been about for a several many years but remained a relatively area of interest item right until now. Major providers these types of as Sonos and JBL, have only just announced their very first Atmos types in 2020, although other brand names merely present Dolby “compatibility”. The […]

Dolby Atmos soundbars have been about for a several many years but remained a relatively area of interest item right until now. Major providers these types of as Sonos and JBL, have only just announced their very first Atmos types in 2020, although other brand names merely present Dolby “compatibility”. The Sony HT-G700 is abnormal in this respect — it is really in a position to decode Dolby Atmos from suitable gadgets but not in a position to bodily recreate it. This is a strictly 3.1-channel soundbar, with no genuine rears or height speakers and no means to add them later. As an alternative it simulates both height and surround consequences from the Atmos stream, and does a damn fine occupation.

Like

  • Fantastic seem with flicks and music
  • Twin HDMI inputs, one with eARC
  • Wi-fi subwoofer

You should not Like

  • Rather highly-priced
  • Won’t be able to recreate real Atmos consequences
  • No expandability
  • Lacks Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming

Sony has been utilizing this form of electrickery for a although, most not too long ago with 360 Fact Audio on the Amazon Echo Studio, and the HT-G700 demonstrates the firm’s deep know-how. This soundbar would not give you pinpoint precision like a real Atmos rig but it is really fantastic at building a feeling of area that fills your area. The trouble for Sony, even so, is the existence of able Atmos speakers these types of as the Vizio SB36512-F6 and LG SL9YG ($540 at Amazon) that cost the same or even fewer although managing to include things like genuine height and rear-channel speakers.

If you never want a dwelling area-comprehensive of speakers, even so, the G700 is easy to established up and sounds fantastic. I only want the feature depend was a minor much more generous for the rate.

Sony HT-G700

Ty.Pendlebury

Design and features

The HT-G700 is a soundbar and wi-fi subwoofer combo which guarantees up to 7.1.two channel surround seem in accordance to Sony’s marketing and advertising. In simple fact most of individuals channels are emulated and not real Atmos surround seem — the bar has neither upfiring speakers nor rears. It only has 3.1 channels really worth of genuine speaker. 

Nevertheless it manages to outdo competing $700-moreover all-in-one types like the Sonos Arc and the Bose Soundbar 700 in one significant respect: the addition of the wi-fi sub. Sony states the sub is bigger than the the one on the model it replaces — the X9000F. It really is the dimension of a big briefcase and will come with a entrance-firing port to assist placement from a wall. 

The soundbar by itself is a gray slab which is around 39 inches broad and two and 5-eighth inches higher. It gives best-mounted controls which includes enter assortment and volume. It also will come with a blue LED display screen at the entrance of the device. 

Inputs include things like an HDMI in, a separate HDMI ARC/eARC output, digital optical, Bluetooth and USB. Contrary to the Sonos Arc the separate HDMI in gives you much more flexibility in the gadgets you can use — for illustration you would not will need a new Tv in order to hear Dolby Atmos streams from a 4K Blu-ray.  

Sony HT-G700

Ty.Pendlebury

Audio processing is one of the key drawcards of this item. Alongside with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding the Sony gives a number of fantastic presets which includes devoted Cinema and Songs modes utilizing Sony’s Vertical Surround Motor. It really is simulated audio of class — getting a 3.1-channel process — but it leverages technological know-how identical to what the corporation has utilised in soundbars these types of as the HT-S5000 and the STR-DN1080 ($498 at Amazon) (a feature then termed, I kid you not, Heart Speaker Lift Up).

The distant command is a thin candybar and is the sole way to command most of the soundbar’s features. It healthy properly in my hand and all the buttons have been within easy achieve.

Sony HT-G700

Ty.Pendlebury

Set your encounter to fun

When you structure a speaker that is only two inches higher it will come with some sonic shortcomings — ordinarily a throaty, boxy seem. Some providers like to compensate by producing the seem brighter, almost to the position of distraction, but not Sony. I uncovered the seem could be a minor hemmed in, which essentially fits most music playback, but hitting the Cinema preset unlocked the sonic fairground trip.

While the Sony HT-G700 can not do “suitable” Atmos it was able of a certainly entertaining performance. Participating in the Thanator Chase scene from Avatar in Cinema method definitely opened up the seem and manufactured it pull in advance of the much less expensive JBL Bar two.1 Deep Bass. The jungle came alive and the Sony punched the bass consequences property — from the thump of the elephant-like Hammerhead Titanothere to the tough hits of Jake’s equipment gun. The JBL was pleasant but failed to make the leap from the screen in the same way. 

With a motion picture like Spider-Guy: Into the Spider-Verse I read convincingly enveloping consequences. It brought to head the much more highly-priced HT-S5000 at occasions, with its means to toss its voice into areas that make you imagine there are speakers there. When I performed Mad Max Fury Road there was a spaciousness in the opening. There was width far too and the ominous voices have been capturing out of the eaves in my area.

Sony HT-G700

Ty.Pendlebury

I compared the Sony with the much less expensive JBL two.1 Bar for music. While the JBL sounded much more open, it was also far too vibrant. It was also tough to listen to in the very first several bars of George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord, but was better balanced the moment the bass guitar kicked in. The Sony was substantially much more fun to listen to. Likewise, the Sony exhibited a selected boxiness with male vocals these types of as Hearts a Mess by Gotye but it still had my toe tapping in time. Feminine vocals weren’t an situation.

I never have entry to CNET’s audio lab due to the coronavirus lockdown, so I wasn’t in a position to hear the Sony together with the Vizio SB36512-F6, my preferred Atmos bar for the cash. I sense that in a immediate contest, the Sony might have a sonic edge even if it can not do genuine Atmos. The Sony is much more adaptable, significantly in its means to seem fantastic with both music and flicks. The Vizio has much more features, but isn’t going to seem that fantastic with music.

Ought to you purchase it?

The key difficulties probable Sony purchasers will need to weigh are that the HT-G700 fees $100 much more than the Vizio SB36512-F6 ($387 at Amazon) bar and it isn’t going to present the same stage of features, especially “real” Dolby Atmos playback. If you can get above that, the Sony gives fantastic seem without the need of demanding a bunch of further speakers, which is a huge moreover. An additional reward is the all-significant next HDMI enter, which the forthcoming Sonos Arc lacks.

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