We've currently reviewed 8 Sony soundbars. Sony produces sturdy, well-built soundbars. They tend to excel in dialogue reproduction but their lack of sound enhancement features can be a drawback if you want a touch more bass or treble in your mix. As Sony produces soundbars for several price points, soundbars at each level will range in features.
The Sony HT-ST5000 is the best Sony soundbar that we've tested so far. Providing 7.1.2 channels of audio with just a soundbar and subwoofer, it supports virtually all audio formats and has a fairly well-balanced sound profile for most audio genres. Although wide and heavy, this soundbar is well-built and stylish. It can produce deep, rumbling bass well-suited for action films and EDM music, while its center channel can help make voices sound more natural. It's also got a lot of inputs, including eARC, and it supports virtually all audio formats, including Dolby Atmos. If you like to stream audio from your phone or other wireless devices, you'll be able to use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Chromecast.
On the downside, it offers limited sound enhancement features. Instead of being able to adjust the bass and treble, there are only a few EQ presets. Its surround sound performance is disappointing and there's noticeable distortion at max volume. However, if you're looking for something with a lot of connectivity and audio format options, this soundbar is a great option.
The Best Sony soundbar for dialogue that we've tested to date is the Sony HT-Z9F. This 3.1 setup reproduces dialogue clearly and accurately, which is great for your favorite podcasts, and you can further improve it with its dialogue enhancement feature. It has a lot of connectivity options, and it supports all common audio formats including DTS and Atmos. Although it lacks a bit of low-bass, it has a balanced sound profile that should be suitable for most audio genres. If you prefer a different sound, there's a few EQ presets which may better enhance your experience. This soundbar can get loud, making it well-suited for large rooms or crowded environments like a house party. As it supports eARC, you can even play the most advanced object-based surround signals as well as high-quality lossless formats. You can wirelessly stream to the bar using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi if you prefer.
On the downside, this soundbar doesn't have a lot of sound enhancement features, and you won't be able to adjust bass or treble. There's also no room correction feature, which is a little disappointing. Although it supports Atmos content, due to its configuration, it uses Sony's Vertical Surround Engine to simulate an Atmos experience, which isn't as immersive as soundbars with upward-firing speakers or with dedicated satellites. That being said, if you're looking for a Sony soundbar that reproduces clear dialogue, this one is still a good choice.
The best cheap Sony soundbar that we've tested so far is the Sony HT-S100F. This simple entry-level soundbar performs well for its price point and it feels decently well-built. It has a metal grill and a faux-leather texture that are nice touches, lending it a more premium look and feel. Although it has a fairly neutral but still slightly muddy sound profile, this soundbar does a good job of reproducing dialogue content. Voices and speech sound clear and accurate, which is great for your favorite TV show or podcast, and you can use the Dialogue Enhancement feature to further improve vocal clarity. It can also get loud enough for most uses and it performs well at max volume.
Without a dedicated subwoofer, this soundbar lacks bass. There's no way to customize this sound profile either as there are no preset EQs available. Just like the Sony HT-S200F, this soundbar also doesn't support DTS. Nevertheless, if you're on a tight budget but are looking for a step up from your TV's integrated speakers, this soundbar is a good option.
Sony makes a wide range of soundbars at several price ranges, so it's easy to find one that works for your budget. Although this range is fairly large and available features vary across it, Sony soundbars are generally well-built but ordinary in overall sound performance. When compared to Samsung soundbars, Sony isn't as well-rounded in performance. Some models can also struggle to produce a deep, rumbling bass suitable for movies or music. Since most Sony soundbars lack bass and treble adjustments, the basic preset EQ offered in their place may not be enough customization for some users. However, these soundbars are well-suited for dialogue-centric content; they may not perform as well as the Vizio, they'll still be more than adequate for everyday use.
Sony is a well-known brand offering a variety of soundbars across several price points. Overall, they're sturdy and well-built. They're also well-suited for reproducing dialogue, which is great for your favorite TV shows and audiobooks. On the downside, if you don't like their default sound profile, Sony only provides preset EQs making it challenging to fine-tune your audio experience.