Big, bold sound mated with a plethora of connectivity options, but it is the handiest half-a-surround device
- Magnificent sound exceptional
- Loads of connections
- Convincing Atmos effect
- Not complete surround
- Rather steeply-priced
Atmos soundbars have been around since Yamaha released the YAS-706 lower back in 2015, and because of that, the market for products featuring Dolby’s object-based surround-sound tech has taken off. Initially the only hold of the extremely wealthy home theatre buff, there’s now a healthful desire for equipment to be had at greater workable costs. The Sony HT-ST5000 sits in the center of the price scale, aiming to attract audiophiles in addition to domestic cinema nuts.
Sony HT-ST5000 evaluate: What you need to recognize.
As with most soundbars of its ilk, the Sony HT-ST5000 is a piece of a beast. It’s so extensive, in truth, that if your TV is smaller than 49in, it’ll stick out awkwardly at the sides. It’s simply low-profile sufficient – at 80mm on top – now not to influence your view of your TV if it’s sitting in an AV unit, even though. The HT-ST5000 might supply Atmos sound, but you don’t get rear speakers in the container as with some rivals. Instead, you only get the soundbar, an infrared far-flung control, and a substitute beefy Wi-Fi subwoofer.
Sony HT-ST5000 assessment: Price and opposition
The Sony HT-ST5000 isn’t always reasonably priced. In reality, at £1,499, it’s £2 hundred more costly than our present-day favorite Atmos speaker – the Samsung HW-K950. This speaker setup incorporates several rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer for the overall surround-sound impact. Next, you have the Samsung HW-K850, an Atmos soundbar that omits the rear speakers for a cut in charge, and the LG SJ9, which has a similar setup. In this light, the Sony HT-ST5000 seems instead light on functions.
Sony HT-ST5000 review: Connectivity, functions, and usefulness
One thing you can’t accuse this soundbar of, even though, is a lack of connections. Flip it over, and you’ll find extra inputs and outputs than on maximum soundbars. There are 3 HDMI inputs and one ARC-enabled HDMI output, all of which help the full 4K passthrough. There’s additionally a USB port at the right-hand side of the bar for playback of documents from flash storage or portable tough disks. There are optical and coaxial S/PDIF digital inputs, too, and an analog 3.5mm input.
As for wireless, there’s an equally remarkable array of connectivity alternatives. There’s Bluetooth right here, clearly, but unusually, there’s also help from Sony’s exquisite LDAC codec, which provides audio at bitrates of up to 990Kbits/sec. That’s some distance in extra of the bit fee that lavatory-widespread Bluetooth or maybe AptX HD is capable of, and the coolest news is that every person with an Android O or Sony Xperia cellphone must be qualified to use it. You can move documents through Spotify Connect, too; there’s support for both Google Cast (even though audio handiest) and Google Home, and, in case you’re that way willing, the song can be streamed to the soundbar from the community garage thru DLNA or from domestically stored documents with the accompanying Sony Music Center app.
It’s also viable to pair your cellphone top-notch quickly with the soundbar via NFC. The bar even has a Bluetooth transmit facility, so you can use it to relay audio for your wireless headphones if you’re listening late at night time. The only great factor lacking from the HT-ST5000’s Wi-Fi function set is Apple AirPlay help. Still, given the wide range of different connections available, Apple devotees need to be able to discover a way to connect their devices. As for audio-record and surround-sound widespread support, that’s similarly stunning. But, again, Atmos takes a center degree of the route, and despite starting with launching without it, Sony has now also delivered DTS:X support, so it’ll play whatever top-rate movie soundtrack you care to throw at it.
And despite the seeming complexity, the Sony HT-ST5000 is pretty easy to use. Admittedly, the provided far-flung isn’t perfect in the eye. The length of a rather chunky cereal bar is affected by buttons big and small, and there’s a kaleidoscope of differently colored buttons scattered across it. However, the whole lot is, without a doubt, labeled, and the white-on-black OLED display on the front of the bar is easy to study and sensibly laid out. For more complex settings, meanwhile, the HT-ST5000 displays a sequence of menus in your TV display.
Sony HT-ST5000 assessment: Sound great
The price of the material grille on the front and the full volume of the HT-ST5000’s driver array are bare. Three 63mm full-variety coaxial drivers are arrayed throughout the front of the soundbar, with any other 4 in addition, ordinary 63mm drivers flanking the central driving force to boost the center channel, and there are a couple of upwards-dealing drivers at both stops to bop sound waves off your ceiling.
The wireless subwoofer is big, providing a downwards-dealing with driving force and dimensions of 403mm on the top and 248mm in width. Total amplification across each soundbar and sub runs to an impressive-searching 800W. Unfortunately, it took some time to figure out how to get Atmos operating efficiently with my Xbox One X – weirdly, you have to turn off HDMI audio and set the choice to “Speaker” rather than “HDMI + Speaker” – and there’s also no indication on display as to whether or not the speaker is processing Atmos or now not, that’s traumatic.
But, after you’ve executed that and altered the settings to “in shape” the soundbar to your room, it reproduces Atmos soundtracks with positional precision and an experience of the area that’s undoubtedly remarkable. Moreover, the reputable Dolby Atmos check disc, designed especially to show off what such systems ought to provide, actually demonstrates that that is a highly successful machine: within the helicopter demo, for instance, you may listen to the chopper move from left to right across your room, and the sound does seem to come from above the TV.
Moving to my series of Atmos-enabled Blu-ray discs, the HT-ST5000 performs just as impressively. Soundtracks are reproduced with a huge sense of scale, impact, and strength. There is wonderful depth and area, desirable tool separation and sound staging, plus a candy treble that makes the listening track natural satisfaction. The bass from that big subwoofer is especially marvelous, turning in low notes and explosions with greater management and weight than the Samsung HW-K950.
Perhaps what’s most mind-blowing about this soundbar, even though, is the extent of control you’ve got over the sound. When you first install the Sony, you specify wherein the soundbar and subwoofer are located inside the room relative to your seating function. Set your room’s ceiling top so Atmos works optimally. And it’s also feasible to tweak the stages of the sub and the upward- and forward-firing drivers until you get things simply right. What you don’t get with the Sony HT-ST5000 is audio that extends behind you and to the sides because it does with Samsung HW-K950. When you’re spending £1,500 on a domestic theatre soundbar, that isn’t very pleasant.
Sony HT-ST5000 overview: Verdict
And that’s the only large criticism I have of the Sony HT-ST5000. While it sounds astounding and is rammed with connectivity options, the truth that it doesn’t encompass the rear audio system inside the box is a chunk of a kick in the tooth, particularly while it costs £1,500. So, while it sounds top-notch and grants Atmos convincingly (within its obstacles), in case you spend an awful lot on a soundbar, I’d recommend you to remember the Samsung HW-K950. It gives you a much greater immersive film-watching experience, even if its subwoofer isn’t pretty as meaty.
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