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The 6 Best Sony TV Soundbars

If you‘ve invested in a great TV, you owe it to yourself to pair it with a high-quality soundbar to truly unlock its full entertainment potential. Even the best built-in TV speakers can‘t match the power, clarity and immersion of a well-engineered soundbar. And when it comes to premium soundbars that seamlessly integrate with your TV, Sony is one of the top brands.

As an audio enthusiast who has tested numerous soundbars, I‘ve been consistently impressed with Sony‘s offerings. They deliver excellent sound quality, easy connectivity, and smart features to level up your viewing experience. So I wanted to share my picks for the best Sony soundbars you can buy in 2023, from budget-friendly to premium models.

But before we dive into the products, let‘s discuss why you‘d want a soundbar in the first place. The simple fact is that as TVs get thinner, there‘s less room to fit quality speakers inside. So while picture quality keeps getting better, audio often remains lackluster. A soundbar solves this by providing bigger, more powerful speakers in a compact package you can mount under your TV.

With a soundbar, you‘ll immediately notice clearer dialogue, punchier bass, wider soundstage and a more cinematic feel for movies and shows. Plus, many soundbars now support advanced 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X that add height effects for a truly enveloping sound. For gaming, soundbars can provide a competitive edge with better directional audio and enhanced immersion.

So if you‘re convinced you need a soundbar, here are my recommendations for the best Sony models to consider, starting with my top overall pick:

Best Overall: Sony HT-A7000
For the ultimate home theater sound, the flagship Sony HT-A7000 is in a class of its own. This 7.1.2 channel soundbar delivers a stunningly realistic and detailed soundstage, thanks to its Vertical Surround Engine technology and up-firing speakers that create a dome of sound around you.

Supporting both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D formats, the HT-A7000 does an incredible job placing sound effects overhead and around you, making it feel like the action is happening right in your living room. Dedicated center speakers ensure dialogue is always crisp and clear above the background.

The HT-A7000 also packs in plenty of connectivity, including two HDMI 2.1 inputs for 4K 120Hz and 8K passthrough. That means it‘s ready for next-gen gaming on PS5 and Xbox Series X. You also get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect for easy music streaming from your phone.

Other niceties include auto room calibration, variable subwoofer adjustment, built-in voice assistants, and an intuitive control app. If you can stomach the premium price, the HT-A7000 is hands-down the most immersive and feature-packed Sony soundbar.

Best Mid-Range: Sony HT-G700
You don‘t need to spend a fortune to massively upgrade your TV sound. For the best bang for your buck, the Sony HT-G700 hits the sweet spot with a winning combination of great performance, essential features and reasonable price.

This 3.1 channel soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to create an expansive soundfield that exceeds its size. Sony‘s Vertical Surround Engine technology does an impressive job simulating overhead speakers for immersive 3D audio. While not as detailed as pricier models, the HT-G700 still delivers rich, dynamic sound for any content.

The included wireless subwoofer provides deep, powerful bass you can feel in action scenes and music. It integrates seamlessly with the soundbar and is easy to position anywhere in your room. Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream your favorite tunes right from your phone.

With HDMI ARC, optical input and USB connections, the HT-G700 plays nice with any TV setup. Touch sensitive buttons and an ergonomic remote make daily operation a breeze. If you want excellent Atmos and DTS:X sound at a mid-tier price, the HT-G700 is my top recommendation.

Best Budget: Sony HT-S350
Soundbars under $300 are hit or miss, but the Sony HT-S350 is a definite hit. While you won‘t get fancy features like Atmos or Wi-Fi at this price, the HT-S350 nails the essentials with great sound, easy setup and solid connectivity.

Its simple 2.1 channel configuration belies the big, dynamic sound it delivers. With 320W total power and a meaty wireless subwoofer, the HT-S350 can easily fill small to medium rooms with rich audio. Sony‘s S-Force Pro virtual surround technology does a convincing job widening the soundstage for more immersive movies and shows.

There are various sound modes optimized for different content, from Cinema to Music to Night mode. The included remote lets you tweak the subwoofer and dialogue levels to your liking. And with Bluetooth, HDMI ARC and optical inputs, you can feed the HT-S350 audio from pretty much any source.

If you‘re on a limited budget or just want a no-frills soundbar that delivers satisfying sound, the Sony HT-S350 is a can‘t-miss option. It‘s one of the best performing soundbars under $300 and an excellent value overall.

Best Premium: Sony HT-A5000
If price is no object, the Sony HT-A5000 is a tour de force in premium soundbar performance. Building on the HT-A7000 with an even more robust 5.1.2 channel configuration, it delivers breathtaking Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound that rivals much pricier multi-speaker setups.

Inside the sleek cabinet are 5 front speakers, 2 up-firing speakers, and dual built-in subwoofers that work in concert to create an expansive, highly detailed soundstage. The dedicated up-firing speakers do a fantastic job rendering height effects in Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks, placing you in the middle of the action. And the subs provide deep, articulate bass you can feel in your chest.

While pricey on its own, the HT-A5000 is designed to be paired with Sony‘s optional surround speakers and subwoofer for the ultimate surround sound experience. It has all the latest tech like HDMI 2.1, 8K and 4K 120Hz passhrough, making it ideal for PS5 and Xbox Series X gaming.

Other standouts include auto room calibration, variable sound modes, built-in Chromecast and AirPlay 2, and integration with Google Assistant and Alexa. For discerning audiophiles who want uncompromising Atmos and DTS:X performance in a single soundbar solution, the Sony HT-A5000 is worth the premium.

Best Value: Sony HT-A3000
Sitting right in the middle of Sony‘s soundbar lineup in price and features, the HT-A3000 strikes an attractive balance that makes it arguably the best value of the bunch. Released in 2022, it benefits from Sony‘s latest acoustic innovations and packs in many of the same technologies as its pricier siblings.

The HT-A3000 boasts a 3.1 channel design with 3 front speakers, dedicated center channel, and integrated dual subwoofers. With 250W total power, support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and Sony‘s Vertical Surround Engine, it delivers dynamic and immersive sound that punches way above its weight.

There‘s also Sony‘s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology that optimizes the acoustics for your room with the help of an included microphone. The result is a well-balanced sound field that maintains clarity and impact from every seat. It‘s especially effective at elevating music playback, providing a realistic simulation of live performances.

Connectivity is another strong suit, with an HDMI 2.1 port for 8K, 4K 120Hz and eARC, an HDMI 2.0 input, optical input, USB and Bluetooth 5.0. Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect are also built-in for seamless music streaming. With easy setup and an intuitive control app, the HT-A3000 is a breeze to integrate into your existing system. It‘s my pick for the best all-around value in Sony‘s soundbar lineup.

Best Built-in Subwoofer: Sony HT-X8500
Typically, to get really impactful bass from a soundbar, you need a separate subwoofer, either wired or wireless. But the Sony HT-X8500 packs dual built-in subwoofers into its trim cabinet, delivering surprisingly powerful and deep bass for its size.

Supporting Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the HT-X8500 creates an enveloping 7.1.2 soundstage using Sony‘s Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force Pro Front Surround technology. While not as immersive as soundbars with up-firing speakers, it still provides a noticeable sense of height and precision.

The integrated subwoofers are the star of the show, providing room-shaking bass that you can feel in action movies and music without needing to make room for an extra sub. This makes the HT-X8500 an excellent choice for smaller spaces like apartments or bedrooms where you want big sound without a lot of components.

It‘s also a breeze to set up with a single HDMI ARC connection to your TV. Additional HDMI input and optical input provide flexibility for connecting other devices. 7 optimized sound modes let you quickly tune the soundbar for any content, from movies to news. And with Bluetooth connectivity, you can wirelessly stream your music right from your phone.

If you want a simple, compact soundbar that delivers Atmos and DTS:X sound with satisfying bass, the Sony HT-X8500 is a great option, especially if you don‘t want to fuss with a separate subwoofer.

How to choose the best Sony soundbar for you
With so many great Sony soundbars to choose from, you may be wondering which one is right for your needs and budget. Here are the key factors to consider when making your decision:

Size – Consider the width of your TV and the space you have available on your TV stand or mount. Most Sony soundbars are between 31-58 inches wide to pair with 46-85 inch TVs. Make sure to measure your space and check the dimensions before buying.

Channels – The more drivers a soundbar has, the better it can simulate surround sound. A simple 2.1 channel soundbar provides good stereo separation and bass, while a 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 channel soundbar with Atmos and DTS:X can create a highly immersive 3D soundfield. More channels generally sound better but also cost more.

Subwoofer – To get the most impactful bass, look for a soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer, either built-in or as a separate wireless unit. This will provide deeper, more defined low frequencies you can feel. If you‘re tight on space, a soundbar with built-in subs like the HT-X8500 is a good alternative.

Connectivity – Nearly all soundbars connect to your TV via HDMI ARC or optical input. But for the best sound quality and future-proofing, look for at least one HDMI 2.1 input, which enables advanced features like eARC, 4K/120Hz and 8K passthrough. Wi-Fi, Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth are also useful for music streaming.

Price – Sony‘s soundbar prices run the gamut from around $200 to over $1,500. In general, the more you spend, the better the sound quality, bass response, surround effects and features. Decide your budget based on the level of performance you want. For most people, something in the $400-$800 range like the HT-A3000 or HT-G700 will be the best value.

The benefits of using a Sony soundbar
I‘ve tested and owned many soundbars over the years across all major brands. And time and time again, I‘ve been impressed with the performance and refinement of Sony‘s offerings. Even their entry-level models deliver satisfying, room-filling sound that‘s a clear step up from built-in TV speakers.

Watching movies with a Sony soundbar is a revelation, with crystal clear dialogue, precise surround effects, and rumbling bass that draws you into the story. The soundstage is expansive and immersive, making it feel like you‘re in a high-end theater. This is especially true with their Atmos and DTS:X enabled models that add a thrilling sense of height.

For music, Sony soundbars deliver dynamic, full-range sound with sparkling clarity and deep, textured bass. Whether streaming from your phone or playing lossless tracks, you‘ll hear more detail and emotional impact in your favorite songs. Many Sony models also use digital signal processing and unique driver configurations to create a convincing simulation of live music venues.

Gaming is also greatly enhanced with a Sony soundbar, putting you in the center of the action with detailed directional audio and bone-rattling explosions. Their integration with PlayStation 5 is especially seamless, automatically configuring the best audio settings. And with HDMI 2.1, you‘ll be ready for 4K/120Hz and 8K gaming.

I appreciate the simplicity and polish of Sony‘s soundbars across the board. From setup to everyday use, everything works smoothly without any fuss. The control apps are intuitive and responsive. And the build quality and finishes are top notch with understated minimalist design that complements any décor.

When you invest in a Sony soundbar, you‘re getting uncompromising audio quality, innovative features and reliable performance that will level up your entertainment for years to come. If you have a compatible Sony Bravia TV, the synergy is even better, with one remote to control everything.

Ultimately, a soundbar is the single most impactful upgrade you can make to your TV viewing experience. And with Sony‘s impressive lineup covering all price points, it‘s never been easier to find one that fits your budget and surpasses your expectations. Whether you choose my top pick HT-A7000, the value-leading HT-A3000, or any model in between, you can‘t go wrong with a Sony.