This impressive 2.1 soundbar system features a simple HDMI connection and voice enhancement so the dialogue is easier to hear. Additionally, there are seven sound modes, which include movies, music, gaming, and more, to make this a highly versatile sound system.
This unit is sometimes promoted as a 7.1.2 sound system, but that is only a simulation; all the sound comes from a 2.1 system (stereo speakers and a subwoofer).
Although there aren't many bells and whistles with this product, it does offer voice-enhancement technology to help make the dialogue easier to understand. Additionally, the S-Force PRO Front Surround technology helps to deliver a more immersive listening experience.
The subwoofer may not feature the chest-pounding resonance some viewers were hoping to experience.
Easy to pair Bluetooth or NFC-enabled mobile devices with the soundbar to play music. Offers multiple input options for easy connections. Includes a "sofa mode," allowing the subwoofer to be placed behind a sofa without sacrificing sound quality. Nice-looking hardware.
Sound quality isn't at the top of the market. Some setups may suffer from audio lag.
Can deliver the sound quality that you want to have with 4K video. Sound bar hardware is slim and will look good displayed in your living room. Creates excellent sound throughout the audio range. May add more wireless speakers later to the system.
Extremely high price point. Quality of wireless connection may drop unexpectedly.
Includes 7 speakers and 3 tweeters in the soundbar. Delivers excellent audio quality. Wireless technology will work in multiple rooms. Offers 3 HDMI inputs to allow for connection of several devices. Can mount the hardware to the wall easily.
You'll pay quite a bit extra to have the type of audio quality this kit delivers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Every year, televisions seem to get thinner and thinner, which makes finding a spot to place a TV in your home a lot easier. But there is a drawback to ultra-thin TVs – their streamlined silhouettes often mean sacrificing sound quality. If you want your TV’s sound to match its picture quality, there is a solution: a high-quality soundbar from Sony.
Sony offers such a wide range of soundbars, though, that finding the best option for your home entertainment system can be difficult. You have to choose the right type, connections, number of channels, and other features to make sure that the soundbar enhances your television viewing. With Sony’s many soundbar options to sort through, shopping can get a little overwhelming.
That’s where BestReviews comes in. With our top recommendations and handy shopping guides, it’s easy to find the best products for you. For everything you need to know about Sony soundbars, just keep reading.
A soundbar is an all-in-one speaker that provides high-quality sound for your TV. Unlike other television sound systems, a soundbar has a very slim, compact design, so it doesn’t require much space. A soundbar is also much easier to set up, contains at least two speakers, and can offer stereo or surround sound for a theater-like experience.
Sony offers two main types of soundbars: active and passive.
Sony active soundbars are the most common option. These soundbars contain built-in amplifiers, so they’re self-powered. You simply plug the soundbar into your television, cable box, or other entertainment device, and you’ll have high-quality audio for your favorite TV shows and movies.
Sony passive soundbars are similar to most speaker systems because they need a separate receiver to operate. They typically require more time to set up and can be more difficult to use, too. However, some home theater aficionados prefer passive soundbars for their higher sound quality.
Powerful, versatile, and compact
The Sony HT-CT800 2.1 Channel 350W 4K HDR Soundbar System offers theater-quality sound for your home with support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. It also allows you to stream audio to different rooms of your home. Best of all, this Sony soundbar’s ultra-slim, compact design means you can place it discreetly near your TV without worrying about it taking up too much space.
Soundbars are designed to be slim and compact, so they don’t take up much space in your entertainment center. Nearly all Sony soundbars are 40 inches in length or less and less than three inches in width. A Sony soundbar will fit in front of your television without obstructing your view or looking too bulky.
Not exactly sure what a subwoofer is? It’s a speaker that helps produce the low bass frequencies that really round out the audio. Because of a soundbar’s streamlined design, it usually can’t reproduce lower-frequency sounds on its own, so a subwoofer is included. The subwoofer may be a separate unit or built into the soundbar.
Not all Sony soundbars feature a subwoofer, though. For high-intensity action movies and video games, a subwoofer is often integral for outstanding sound quality, so look for a Sony model that features at least 2.1 channels.
Make sure that nothing is blocking the front or sides of your Sony soundbar. That can muffle the sound and distort the audio.
To get the most out of a Sony soundbar, it should have all the necessary connections or inputs to allow you to connect the video and audio sources that you prefer. Let’s take a look at the connections to look for when shopping for a Sony soundbar.
HDMI: Modern televisions, Blu-ray players, cable boxes, and other home entertainment devices usually use an HDMI connection to connect to the soundbar. Sony soundbars typically offer up to three HDMI connections, so you can connect your TV and up to two other devices at the same time.
Analog: If you have an older television or home entertainment device, it likely requires an analog connection to connect to the soundbar. Sony offers soundbars with analog inputs so you can hook up your analog TV to the soundbar.
Optical digital connection: An optical digital connection on a Sony soundbar is another way to connect a television, cable box, Blu-ray player, or portable music device to the soundbar. You can find Sony soundbars that offer at least one optical digital input for easy connection.
USB: If you choose a Sony soundbar with a USB port, you can insert a USB storage device like a flash drive into the soundbar to access media files for playback.
Bluetooth: If you’re interested in wireless connections, many Sony soundbars support Bluetooth. This allows you to wirelessly stream audio from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to the soundbar. Some models even offer two-way Bluetooth so you can stream music from the soundbar to Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
For the best-sounding audio, you should choose a Sony soundbar that offers multiple amplifier channels. Some models only offer 2.1 channels, which includes two channels in the front and a separate subwoofer. This type of soundbar can enhance your television’s audio quality, but it isn’t suitable for surround sound. For the sharpest audio possible, opt for a Sony soundbar with five or seven channels, which includes a subwoofer and rear speakers for the fullest, richest sound.
Easy-to-use, feature-packed soundbar
The Sony HT-CT290 2.1 Channel 300W Soundbar System makes it easy to enjoy surround sound in the comfort of your living room. You can stream music from your computer, phone, or tablet via Bluetooth, and the wireless subwoofer that boosts the audio quality can be placed anywhere in the room. This Sony soundbar also has a USB port to allow you to access audio files from USB storage devices, as well as multiple HDMI ports. We also love the wall-mountable design that allows you to maximize space.
For multi-channel Sony soundbars with rear speakers, it’s often a good idea to choose a model that includes wireless speakers. Wireless speakers offer much more versatility in terms of where you can place them, so you’re able to achieve true surround sound for your living room or family room.
To provide as much flexibility as possible when setting up your soundbar, some Sony models offer Sofa Mode. This feature allows you to place the soundbar’s subwoofer horizontally beneath your couch, so you’ll really be able to feel the low bass frequencies when you’re watching your favorite action movie. Sofa Mode also allows you to place the subwoofer in a vertical position next to your sofa or another piece of furniture.
If you have a 4K television, it’s important to choose a Sony soundbar that’s compatible with 4K video. These soundbars have a pass-through that can send the 4K high-definition signals to your television, so your picture quality stays pristine.
The volume for most Sony soundbars can be controlled with your television remote.
Bluetooth-compatible Sony soundbars have access to over 100 streaming music apps.
The price of a Sony soundbar varies based on the number of channels, whether it includes a subwoofer or speaker, and its special features. In general, you can expect to pay between $130 and $1,500.
Sony soundbars with 2 to 2.1 channels and no subwoofer or a built-in subwoofer usually range from $100 to $200.
Sony soundbars with 2.1 to 5.1 channels and a separate subwoofer or speaker usually range from $200 to $800.
Sony soundbars with 5.1 to 7.1 channels and a separate wireless subwoofer or speakers usually range from $800 to $1,500.
Q. Which type of Sony soundbar offers the best audio quality?
A. While Sony active soundbars are often more convenient to use and set up due to their built-in subwoofer, speakers, and/or amplifiers, they don’t provide the crispest audio. With a separate subwoofer or speaker system, a passive Sony soundbar offers better sound quality. If you choose a Sony model that comes with a wireless subwoofer or speakers, you’ll get the improved audio quality but a convenient setup, too.
Q. Do Sony soundbars support Dolby Atmos and other immersive audio formats?
A. Many Sony soundbars are equipped with Dolby Atmos and/or DTS:X compatibility, which allows them to provide theater-quality surround sound. Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbars are identified by three numbers. The third number indicates how many upfiring speakers the soundbar includes to bounce sound off the ceiling. For example, a 2.1 Sony soundbar has two channels and one subwoofer. A 7.1.2 Sony soundbar has seven channels, one subwoofer, and two upfiring speakers.
Q. Can I connect additional wireless speakers to a Sony soundbar?
A. You can add extra speakers to some Sony soundbars for a true surround sound experience. However, you can’t add speakers to many lower-end models, so check the soundbar’s product specifications if you’re interested in using additional speakers.
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