Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos all-in-one soundbar packs plenty of punch (AV review)

The Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos all-in-one soundbar is its premium offering. It works best with compatible Sony TVs, which can also use those speakers.

Let’s define some terms before we get to the Sony HT-A7000 review.

The soundbar is 7.1.2. Physically this refers to:

  • Left front-firing 46 x 54mm (1.X.X)
  • Centre front-firing (1.X.X)
  • Right front-firing (1.X.X)
  • Left side-firing beam tweeter 16mm x 1 (1.X.X)
  • Right side-firing beam tweeter x 1 (1.X.X)
  • Left front-firing surround (1.X.X)
  • Right front-firing surround (1.X.X)
  • Subwoofers x 2, 51 x 97mm (X.1.X – only one Dolby Channel)
  • Left up-firing x 1 (X.X.1)
  • Right up-firing x 1 (X.X.1)

If you do the math above, you get 7.1.2 using 11 x 33W speakers/amps. Sony claims that its S-Front Pro Front Surround, Sound Field Optimisation, and Vertical Surround Engine technologies (Sony marketing speak for phantom speaker phasing) offer a wide soundstage for a 7.1.2 listening experience.

Enter psychoacoustic – phantom speakers

Being an all-in-one, it relies on psychoacoustics – bouncing the height speakers off the ceiling and the surround speakers off nearby side walls. This works if you have the right room with adjacent left and right walls and a standard ceiling height.

In this case, you need the soundbar and the optional:

Regrettably, we don’t have these for the review. Suffice it to say that the soundbar alone attempts to create a 7.1.2 front-centric sound bubble out to about 2-3m from the TV, but there is no real Dolby Atmos immersive rear sound experience. The additional rears and sub-woofer would cure this.


Australian Review: Sony HT-A7000 all-in-one soundbar

WebsiteProduct Page
Startup Guide
RRP 14/2/24It costs $1495, but you can negotiate on speaker/sub bundles.
FromSony Online, Sony Stores, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, JB Hi-Fi and major CE Retailers
Warranty1-year ACL
Made inAssembled in Malaysia
InboxSoundbar, remote control, 2 x AAA batteries, wall mount brackets, HDMI 2.1 cable, S-Centre cable, and AC power cable.
CompanySONY is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. As a major technology company, it operates as one of the world’s largest consumer and professional electronic products manufacturers, the largest video game console company, and the largest video game publisher.
MoreCyberShack Sony news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed. You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First impression – substantial

The Sony HT-A7000 soundbar uses a high-quality ABS frame with a front metal speaker grille. The touch-capacitive, quite reflective glass top and fabric up-firing speaker covers are classy, but they are a dust and fingerprint magnet. It is substantial at 1300 x 80 x 142 mm x 8.7kg. It can be wall-mounted with the supplied brackets.

My only gripe is the almost impossible-to-see front LED readout, which ironically has a remote-controlled dimmer button that makes it darker or off. On that note, the remote control RMT-AH509U (after the quality Bluetooth on the Sony XR-A95L QD-OLED – the undisputed OLED class leader at a price) is a clunky, infrared, non-backlit, black plastic job.

 For a change, we read the manual first because this soundbar has tonnes of software features, including:

  • On-screen setup (the home button works with compatible Sony TVs) and includes Watch (different video inputs), Listen (shows different audio inputs and Spotify client) and Setup.
  • Multiple input ports (see Ports later)
  • S-Centre option to use TV speakers as well (see S-Centre later)
  • Bluetooth 5.0 and Chromecast (can be used for receiving (Rx) to play music or transmit (Tx) to headphones).
  • Wi-Fi for voice assistance, Apple AirPlay, 360 Reality Audio, Spotify, Sony Music Centre App and network music playback (DLNA)
  • USB Playback
  • Presets Auto, Cinema, Music, Standard, Voice, Immersive AE (faux spatial sound from 2.0 audio input), and Night.
  • Dolby Atmos is automatically recognised and replaces the last pre-set.
  • Sony 360 Audio requires a sub-woofer and dedicated rear speakers.

Ports – Pass+

  • HDMI in 2.1 eARC (pass through 4K@60Hz 10-bit 4:4:4. 4K@120Hz with ALLM/VRR for PS5 and suitable PCs.
  • 2 x HDMI in HDCP 2.3. We can’t find the HDMI version, but expect it to be 2.1 as it supports 8K@24fps
  • 3.5mm Audio in
  • S-Centre out
  • Optical in (no S-Centre)
  • USB 5V/.8A/4W for audio – MP3, AAC, WMA, LPCM, FLAC, DSF, DSDIFF, AIFF, ALAC, Vorbix and Monkey’s Audio.
  • Missing: Ethernet

Sound inputs – Pass+

HDMI (all three) support PCM to 7.1, Dolby Surround and DTS surround to 7.1, Dolby Atmos (mixed to 7.1.4), and DTS:X (7.1.2). Optical in supports PCM, Dolby Digital 2.0, and DTS 6.1.

S-Centre – Pass

Compatible Sony TVs can use their 2.0 speakers as a discrete centre channel. While it makes dialogue appear closer to the person speaking, it also impacts the soundbar’s overall sound quality. We preferred not to use it.

DSEE – Digital Sound enhancement engine – Pass+

It upscales compressed digital music files in real-time. Dynamically recognising instrumentation, musical genres, and individual elements of each song, such as vocals or interludes, to restore the high-range sound lost in compression. It works very well.

BT – Pass+

Select Receive (Rx) for streaming audio to the device or Transmit (Tx) toi connect headphones. The codecs are SBC, AAC, and LDAC. The maximum line of sight distance is 30m (practically about 10m).

Wi-Fi 5 AC 2.4/5Ghz half-duplex – Pass

This is solely for firmware updates and to enable Google or Alexa Home control using an external speaker. Using the soundbar as a multi-room speaker, you can stream higher-resolution sound over Wi-Fi.

Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 – Pass+

Both are supported for audio content.

Latency – Pass+

Latency is below the threshold (50-60ms), where you need to adjust for lip-sync. It is a tad high for PS5 and consoles that should connect directly to the TV’s HDMI 2.1 ports.

Power – Pass+

Rated at a maximum of 65W, it averaged about 20W at moderate listening levels.

How does the Sony HT-A7000 sound? Pass+

There is a conundrum here because the soundbar does different things with different audio sources.

  • BT Music 2.0, no DSEE was as good as the original lossy content.
  • BT Music 2.0 with DSEE make a significant difference, adding subtle nuances to the content – smoother and fuller, perhaps.
  • Wi-Fi Spotify client allows you to select the best bandwidth and it has excellent reproduction. You can also
  • use Hi-Res streams (not tested)
  • Stereo PCM 2.0, like Free-to-Air TV, is accurate and has excellent left/right separation. The 2D sound stage is slightly wider than the soundbar.
  • Immersive AE stereo 2.0 adds some front-centric faux height and surround, extending the sound stage. If you had the rear speakers, you would use this setting for general TV viewing.
  • Surround sound up to 7.1 (Dolby variants excluding Atmos) widens the sound stage but has no real 3D height and very limited 2D surround (unless you have the right room).
  • Dolby Atmos up to 7.1.2 produces a front-centric sound bubble about 2-3m in size from the front of the TV. If you are inside that, you will hear some 3D height and 2D surround. As expected, there are no rear surround effects.

Native sound signature – Exceed

We use a white noise generator to push the soundbar to the max. It has decent low-bass from 30-50Hz (although our review unit had some speaker grille vibration), building mid-bass from 50-100Hz and then flat to 5kHz, where it dipped slightly to avoid harshness. It was flat from 8-20kHz.

This is the nirvana for soundbars – neither adds nor subtracts from the original music. The presets can recess bass, mid or treble but not increase them. For example, clear voice recesses bass and treble, leaving 1-4kHz as the dominant frequency.

The sub-woofers did not provide room-shaking bass – buy the wireless sub if you want that. Mid-bass (50-100Hz) added ‘oomph’ – thumps were not whumps. High-bass (100-200Hz) was clean and satisfying. Mids were clear (for clear voice), and treble added the sense of air of being there. Very listenable.

The maximum volume was 85dB, which is quite loud enough. It had excellent left/right separation, regardless of content.

More at How to tell if you have good music – sound signature is the key

CyberShack’s view – Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos is an excellent all-in-one soundbar

Sony has done a great job with this all-in-one soundbar – no wonder it is still its premium model despite being launched in 2021 (nothing wrong with that). Add this to any TV with HDMI 2.1 eARC (and forget about S-Centre) to materially enhance your listening pleasure.

But to an audio and videophile, it is not class-leading. Why?

No all-in-one can hope to match the audio experience of a 7.1.4 soundbar with dedicated rear speakers and a thumping big sub-woofer. Sure, you can add these, and you will get a vastly better 3D spatial TV sound experience. Regrettably, we could not test that.

The conundrum is that in spending the extra money for the full kit, it brings you into the realm of our top Dolby experiences.

Buy if you are after a good quality all-in-one soundbar and don’t really care about real Dolby Atmos.

Sony HT-A7000 competition

Again, with the math, the $1495 soundbar with the complete kit will set you back over $3,000.

We would be remiss not to mention that there are excellent soundbars at under $2,000 with discrete rear speakers and up to 11.1.4 channels for a superb Dolby Atmos and surround sound experience (these can all upmix 2.0 to 7.1 to surround).

Sony HT-A7000 rating

We have to rate it as a $1495 all-in-one soundbar even though it can be expanded with two types of dedicated rears and a sub-woofer.

Our best advice is that if you have a room that supports psychoacoustics, it is one of the better all-in-ones.

  • Features: 90 – This is jam-packed with sound tech and on-screen setup. Nothing is missing. It works best with a compatible Sony TV but is brand-agnostic.
  • Value: 80 – The Catch 22 is that it competes with some excellent soundbars with dedicated rear speakers and large sub-woofers. If you add the extra speakers, etc., it is out-classed by Sonos Arc and possibly Bose.
  • Performance: 80 – It would be higher if we rated it solely as a soundbar to add an extra dimension to TV speakers. But as an all-in-one, it depends heavily on the psychoacoustic room qualities. Even so, the 3D bubble is too front-centric, and any limited DA effects are only 2-3m from the TV, which limits seating options.
  • Ease of Use: 90 – we like the on-screen setup and autocalibration.
  • Design: 85 – At 80mm (90mm as measured with feet) high, it can interfere with TV infrared controls. However, it looks quite attractive.

Sony HT-A7000 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos all-in-one soundbar

$1495 for the soundbar and aroubnd $3,000 for the whole kit.







Ease of Use





  • It is a Sony, and it has an excellent neutral sound signature.
  • HDMI 2.1 eARC and 2 x HDMI 2.1 input
  • DSEE's lossy music upscale is excellent.
  • Materially adds to TV sound and clear voice.
  • Wide soundstage using Immersive AE.


  • Remote control – comprehensive but average.
  • The LED display is not bright or informative enough.
  • D DA or DTS:X sound bubble is quite front-centric and only covers 2-3m from the TV.
  • It needs dedicated rear speakers and a sub-woofer to achieve realistic Dolby Atmos.
  • Not enough low bass for any room-shaking effects.