Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Oct 15, 2021 at 10:19 am
Sony HT-A7000 Picture
7.3
Mixed Usage
7.6
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.0
Music
7.2
Movies
Channels
7.1.2

The Sony HT-A7000 is a premium 7.1.2 setup released in 2021. It's advertised to support S-Force Pro Front Surround and Vertical Surround Engine technologies for a more immersive listening experience. Its default sound profile is pretty neutral with a touch of extra punch in the bass, making it suitable for listening to most types of audio content. However, it doesn't get very loud. Also, in our subjective listening tests, we found that it's best to adjust the EQ preset based on the content you're listening to, which could be annoying for some users.

Note: You can upgrade this soundbar with a subwoofer and satellites, sold separately. These results represent the standalone bar, but we plan to test the full setup. We'll update this page with a link to the full setup once we complete our testing process.

Our Verdict

7.3 Mixed Usage

The Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is satisfactory for mixed usage. Thanks to its balanced, neutral sound profile, it's suitable for most types of audio content, and there's even a little extra punch in the bass. However, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump in the low-bass. Also, its surround and Atmos performances are disappointing. That said, you can always upgrade this setup with a dedicated sub and satellites.

Pros
  • Lots of wireless playback options.
  • Room correction feature.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.6 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Sony HT-A7000 soundbar is good for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its discrete center channel can more accurately localize voices to a pinpoint location within the sound image, and its balanced frequency response reproduces dialogue clearly and accurately. There's even a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices more clear and crisp. However, it doesn't get very loud, which can be disappointing.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Lots of wireless playback options.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
7.0 Music

The Sony HT-A7000 is decent for music. It has a room correction feature called Sound Field Optimization that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the acoustic characteristics of your room. Its frequency response is neutral, with a bit of extra boom in the bass, making it suitable for most music genres. However, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in genres like EDM and hip-hop. There also aren't a lot of sound customization options.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Good stereo soundstage.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lacks low-bass.
7.2 Movies

The Sony HT-A7000 is decent for movies. Its neutral sound profile helps reproduce dialogue clearly and accurately, but it lacks low-bass, so you don't feel the deep rumble in action-packed scenes. It supports surround and Atmos content, though its performances are disappointing overall. Also, it doesn't get very loud.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Good stereo soundstage.
Cons
  • Doesn't get very loud.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • 7.3 Mixed Usage
  • 7.6 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.0 Music
  • 7.2 Movies
  1. Updated Oct 22, 2021: Updated App box.
  2. Updated Oct 20, 2021: Added more information about Sound Field Optimization.
  3. Updated Oct 15, 2021: Review published.
  4. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Sony HT-A7000 is the manufacturer's flagship 7.1.2 setup released in 2021. It's advertised to support Sony's Virtual Surround Engine and S-Force Pro Front Surround technologies, which help create a more immersive listening experience. You can also upgrade this setup with a subwoofer and satellites, sold separately. Its main competitors include the Sonos Arc, the Sony HT-A9, and the Samsung HW-Q950A.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Sony HT-A7000 is a sleek soundbar with a high-end design. It's mostly made of high-quality plastic with a metal grille on the front. However, unlike the Sony HT-ST5000, you can't remove the front grille to expose the speakers. That said, the grille is transparent enough that you can see the speakers behind it. There's also a glass top and fabric covering the up-firing drivers on top.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The Sony HT-A7000 has two subwoofers integrated into the bar. They're located to the left and the right of the center speaker. You can also purchase a dedicated subwoofer, sold separately.

Design
Style - Satellites

You can purchase satellites from the manufacturer separately.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 51.2" (130.0 cm)
Height 3.1" (8.0 cm)
Depth 5.6" (14.3 cm)

The Sony HT-A7000 is a very wide soundbar, meaning it won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. It's a bit taller than some of the other bars we've tested, but it shouldn't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Proprietary

The back of the bar has some openings for the power cables and the inputs. You can also wall-mount the bar using the universal holes on the underside. However, the included brackets seem to be designed specifically for this bar, so the mounting is proprietary.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Integrated
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
8.5
Design
Build Quality

The Sony HT-A7000 has an impressive build quality. It's mostly plastic, which feels solid and durable, and the metal grille in front helps protect the drivers inside. On top, there's a glass plate that gives it a more premium feel. The fabric covering the up-firing drivers on top is a bit loose, but it seems to be of good quality overall. It's large and heavy, but it feels premium.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
1.6 m (5.1 ft)
Digital Optical Cable Length
N/A

  • Manuals
  • TV center speaker mode cable
  • AC power cord
  • HDMI cable
  • Remote
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • 2x screws
  • 2x Wall mounting brackets

Sound
7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard Surround
Slope
-0.65
Std. Err.
3.39 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
52.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

Update 10/20/2021: Added additional information about the room correction feature.

The Sony HT-A7000 has a decent stereo frequency response. Its frequency response is pretty neutral, with some extra punch in the bass range. It should be suitable for listening to most types of audio content, though it struggles to reproduce the thumpy, rumbling low-bass found in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies.

We also tested the Sony HT-A7000 using its Sound Field Optimization room correction feature, which automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the acoustic characteristics of your room. It also comes with a room calibration feature that asks you to manually enter your room's dimensions before calibrating the bar. We found that the bar was slightly louder with its Auto Calibration feature than with the Manual Calibration feature, but the frequency response curves were identical. While these results may be unique to our testing room, we feel that the Auto Calibration will be sufficient for most users.

Note: We performed all of our sound tests with the bar set to 'Standard Surround' mode. During our subjective listening tests, we found that the 'Music' preset was better suited to listening to music, as sound seemed less diffused. If you're interested, you can see our sound test results for the 'Music' preset here and here. Its surround performance isn't as impressive as the 'Standard Surround' mode.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard Surround
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
-0.65
Std. Err.
3.39 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
52.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Sony HT-A7000 has a subwoofer level adjustment feature that lets you choose between 'MIN', 'MID' (default), and 'MAX'. If you prefer a more neutral sound, we recommend using its default settings.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
3.04 dB

The Sony HT-A7000 has a good stereo soundstage performance. Its soundstage is perceived to be quite wide thanks to its S-Front Pro Front Surround technology, which uses front-firing speakers to reproduce the sound field. However, its focus is just average, and sound objects seem to come from a more general area rather than an accurate, pinpoint location. If you want a setup with a better soundstage, see the Sony HT-A9.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
89.5 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
2.17 dB

The Sony HT-A7000 has a decent stereo dynamics performance. It doesn't get very loud, so it isn't suitable for filling up large rooms or crowded parties. There's also a bit of compression present when you push it to max volume.

7.7
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.37
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.75

The Sony HT-A7000 has a good stereo THD performance. At a normal listening volume, the amount of distortion is within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. However, there's a jump in THD when you push the bar to max volume. It may not be too noticeable with real-life content, though.

8.0
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.38
Std. Err.
3.50 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
87.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.37
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.15

The Sony HT-A7000 has a great center channel performance. Its discrete center channel helps to more accurately localize voices to a pinpoint location within the sound image. Its frequency response is quite neutral, especially in the mid-range, so voices are reproduced with clarity and detail.

5.2
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Phantom (Front Firing, Bar)
Slope
-1.54
Std. Err.
4.72 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
86.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.70
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.09
7.1 Rears
No

The Sony HT-A7000 has a disappointing surround performance. It uses front-firing speakers in the bar to represent surround objects, but this doesn't sound as clear or real as a discrete setup. Its frequency response is also bass-heavy, which may be overwhelming for some users.

You can also use the 'Immersive AE' button to activate the up-firing drivers alongside the side-firing drivers when listening to surround content. However, we performed this test with this feature turned off. You can't adjust this feature when listening to Atmos content.

4.8
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
0.75
Std. Err.
6.74 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
77.1 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
2.16
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.48

The Sony HT-A7000 has a disappointing Atmos performance. The up-firing drivers in the bar bounce sound off the ceiling and back down towards you to simulate height. However, these channels don't get very loud, and their frequency response is a bit bright.

We performed our sound tests with the bar set to 'Standard Surround' mode. However, during our subjective listening tests, we found that the 'Cinema' mode adds a bit more height when listening to Atmos content. That said, the bar's performance isn't as impressive as some of the other bars we've tested, as there's some detail missing in scenes. You also can't adjust the Immersive AE option when listening to Atmos content.

8.4
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Yes
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
No
Treble Adjustment
No
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
Yes
Rear Level Adjustment
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Sony A7000 has an impressive set of sound enhancement features. There are some EQ presets to help you customize its sound, including 'Standard Surround', 'Music', 'Cinema', and 'Auto Sound'. Based on our subjective listening tests, we recommend adjusting the preset to match the content you're listening to.

When you connect the bar to your TV via HDMI, you get access to a separate menu that lets you turn on the Sound Field Optimization room correction feature, which you can see here. It automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the acoustic characteristics of your room. You can also turn the up-firing drivers on and off using the 'Immersive AE' feature, and the manufacturer says that it supports Acoustic Center Sync when paired with a BRAVIA TV.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
2
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
RCA In
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
1

The Sony A7000 comes with lots of physical inputs. There are two Full HDMI In ports, meaning you can use the bar as a hub between different devices. You can also play files directly via USB or an older device.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
Yes
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Yes
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Yes
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Yes

The Sony A7000 soundbar has incredible audio format support via ARC. It supports standard surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and object-based and lossless formats like Dolby Atmos.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
Yes
5.1 PCM
Yes

The Sony HT-A7000 also has fantastic audio format support via Full HDMI In. It supports all audio formats we test for, including object-based and lossless formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Sony HT-A7000 supports Dolby Digital and DTS content via Optical. These common surround sound formats are often found on Blu-rays and streaming platforms.

8.2
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
48 ms
Optical
54 ms
Full HDMI In
60 ms

The Sony HT-A7000 has a great latency performance. It has fairly low latency, so the audio you hear is mostly in sync with the video you see. As a result, it's suitable for watching videos and movies over these connections. However, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary.

10
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes

The Sony HT-A7000 lets you wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar over all the wireless playback formats we test for. The manufacturer also says that it supports Spotify Connect.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

The Sony HT-A7000 supports high-quality passthrough, including Dolby Vision Passthrough. When connected between your TV and your PC, text on the screen appears crisp and clear.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The Sony HT-A7000 has a small interface that shows the inputs and settings you're on.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On top of the bar, there are touch-capacitive buttons. They let you power the bar on/off, change the input, activate Bluetooth, access music services like Spotify, and adjust the volume.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote is similar to the ones that come with other soundbars from the manufacturer. It's large, with lots of buttons to let you control its features.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No

The Sony HT-A7000 doesn't have built-in voice assistant support. Instead, you need to pair a third-party device with voice assistant capabilities to the bar to control it with your voice. The manufacturer says that it supports Alexa and Google Assistant devices.

Additional Features
App
App Name Sony Music Center
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Some
Casts Device Files
Yes

Update 10/22/2021: We previously reported that the Sony Music Center app lets you control all of the bar's features. However, Sound Field Optimization is only available when you're connected to a TV.

The Sony Music Center app acts as a remote and lets you control some of the soundbar's features. You can use it to change the input, adjust the sound settings, and even play music from your mobile device.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Sony HT-A7000 has a standby mode that powers it off after a period of inactivity. It also supports HDMI CEC, meaning you can control its basic features with your TV remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

This soundbar is available in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

These results aren't valid for the full setup with the subwoofer and satellites, sold separately. We plan to test the full setup soon, and we'll update this review with a link when our testing process is complete.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Sony HT-A7000 is a 7.1.2 setup with a premium design. Thanks to its S-Front Pro Front Surround and Vertical Surround Engine technologies, it offers a wide soundstage for an immersive listening experience. Compared to other soundbars in its price range, it doesn't get very loud, and it lacks some low-bass.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best Sony soundbars.

Sonos Arc

The standalone Sonos Arc is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup with better soundstage, center, surround, and Atmos performances. It also reproduces a slightly more extended low-bass. However, the Sony is better built. Unlike the Sonos, it supports DTS content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Sony HT-A9

The Sony HT-A7000 is slightly better than the Sony HT-A9. These setups have very different designs, as the HT-A7000 is a long standalone bar while the HT-A9 is a small box with four satellites. The HT-A7000 is better built with a discrete center channel. However, the HT-A9 has better soundstage and Atmos performances.

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Samsung is an 11.1.4 setup that comes with a sub and satellites. It gets louder, and it has better surround and Atmos performances. There are even more sound enhancement features, such as a graphic EQ. It also reproduces a more extended low-bass. However, the Sony is better built. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites for better performance.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is a bit better for mixed usage than the Sony HT-A7000. The Bose has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It also gets louder, albeit with a bit more compression at max volume. However, only the Sony supports DTS content and has a Full HDMI In port.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub, and it can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also gets louder, and it has better surround and Atmos performances. It even has some more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. That said, the Sony is better built. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites for better performance.

Sony HT-ST5000

The Sony HT-ST5000 is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The HT-ST5000 comes with a dedicated sub, so it's able to reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also has better Atmos and surround performances. However, the HT-A7000 has more sound enhancement features, such as room correction and Acoustic Center Sync for users with Sony BRAVIA TVs. You can also upgrade this setup with a sub and satellites for better performance.

JBL Bar 9.1

The JBL Bar 9.1 is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The JBL is a 5.1.4 setup that comes with a dedicated sub and satellites included. It has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It also gets louder, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. That said, the Sony is better built. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites for a better performance.

Sony HT-Z9F

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Sony HT-Z9F or the Sony HT-A7000. The HT-Z9F is a 3.1 setup with a dedicated subwoofer included. It gets louder than the HT-A7000. However, the HT-A7000 is better built with a better soundstage. It also has more sound enhancement features, like room correction, and you can even upgrade it with a sub and satellites sold separately.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam and the Sony HT-A7000 are two very different setups. The Sonos is a very compact 3.0 setup with a better stereo soundstage. It's a suitable upgrade over your TV speakers, but if you like to watch a lot of movies, you may prefer the Sony. The Sony is better built with a better surround performance, and unlike the Sonos, it supports Atmos content. It also has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Samsung HW-Q90R

The Samsung HW-Q90R is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub and satellites included. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it gets louder. It also has better surround and Atmos performances. However, the Sony is better built with more wireless playback options. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites for a better performance.

Sony HT-G700

The standalone Sony HT-A7000 is marginally better for mixed usage than the Sony HT-G700. The HT-A7000 is a premium 7.1.2 setup that's better built. It also has better soundstage and surround performances, and it supports more wireless playback options. There's also a room correction feature. However, only the 3.1 HT-G700 has a dedicated sub included. It can reproduce a slightly more extended low-bass. That said, you can always buy a sub for the HT-A7000 separately.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Samsung is a 9.1.4 setup with a dedicated sub and satellites included. It has better surround and Atmos performances, and it gets louder. It can also reproduce a more extended low-bass. When it comes to sound enhancement features, your personal preferences may play a role in which bar you prefer. The Samsung has a graphic EQ, whereas the Sony has room correction and auto-volume features. The Sony is also better built, and you can upgrade it down the line.

Bose Smart Soundbar 700

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Bose Smart Soundbar 700 or the Sony HT-A7000. The Bose is a 3.0 setup with a better soundstage. It also gets louder than the Sony. However, unlike the Bose, the Sony supports Dolby Atmos content and has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. It also offers a better surrounds performance.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

The Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Sonos is a 5.1.2 setup with a sub and satellites. It reproduces a more extended low-bass, and it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It also gets louder, albeit with a bit more compression at max volume. However, only the Sony has a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough. Also, you can upgrade it with a sub and satellites sold separately.

Samsung HW-Q700A

The Samsung HW-Q700A is a bit better for mixed usage than the Sony HT-A7000. The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup that comes with a dedicated subwoofer. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it has a better Atmos performance. If you want a graphic EQ for sound customization, check out the Samsung, while the Sony is a good choice for users who want a bar with room correction. The Sony is also better built with a better surround performance. You can also upgrade it with a sub and satellites for a better performance.

LG SN10YG

The LG SN10YG is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The LG is a 5.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub included. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, and it gets louder. Also, its Atmos performance is better. That said, the 7.1.2 Sony is better built. You can also upgrade it with a dedicated sub and satellites that are sold separately.

Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

The Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar is better than the standalone Sony HT-A7000. The Sennheiser is a 5.1.4 setup with better center, surround, and Atmos performances. It gets louder than the Sony, and it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It also has a graphic EQ, which some users may prefer for sound customization. However, the Sony is better-built, and it has a better stereo soundstage.

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