I've never had a piece of equipment as nice as the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar. It's the kind of thing anyone creating a home cinema would want to own, but as a result of its fantastic sound and optimization capabilities, it is very pricey - the kind of price that's unattainably expensive for someone such as myself.
However, if you've got the budget and are looking to take your home gaming and theater setup to IMAX levels, then this is the soundbar for you. Keep in mind that the HT-A7000 is just the soundbar, and you'll need to buy one of two subwoofers (either the SA-SW5 or the SA-SW3) and the SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers to get the complete immersive experience. Doing so will cost you close to $2,500.
In short, the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar, subwoofer, and rear satellite speakers offer the best in-home sound system I've ever heard. Truly, this is some next-level stuff and a clear sign of what kind of products Sony wants to make going forward. If you're looking to impress guests and get fully immersed in a movie, game, or TV show, the Sony HT-A7000 soundbar should be on your radar.
Design & Features
Here are the specs for the soundbar and accessories sent to GamesRadar for review:
Size (Soundbar only): 51.25in x 3.25in x 5.63in
Weight: 19lb 2oz
Power Output (soundbar): 500W
Power Output (subwoofer): 300W
Power Output (rear speakers): 100W
Audio Formats: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Dual mono, DTS, DTS HD High Resolution Audio, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS ES, DTS 96/24, DTS:X, LPCM
The Sony HT-7000 soundbar is very large - so big, in fact, that I can't fit it on my TV stand (one which houses a 65-inch TV, for reference). If space is an issue for you - like it is for those of us living in tiny Brooklyn apartments - the 19lb behemoth may not be a good choice. The SA-SW5 subwoofer is also rather large and will take up a nice, square chunk of your room's space. Unsurprisingly, the SA-RS3S satellite speakers are also quite big. This means you'll really need a spacious living room to make the entire setup work.
The Sony HT-A7000 is a 7.1.2 channel soundbar with two up-firing speakers, five front speakers, a built-in dual subwoofer, and two beam tweeters. It also has Bluetooth capabilities, 500W of power output, and both 8K and 4K passthroughs. An on-screen user interface lets you easily adjust the HT-A7000, like running Sound Field Optimization that will ping noises around your space to virtually reproduce the surround sound field. The HT-A7000 can integrate with your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and has WiFi, built-in Chromecast, Spotify Connect, and Apple Air Play capabilities.
The SA-SW5 retails has a suggested retail of $699.99. The SA-SW5 has 300W output, an 180mm driver, and can wirelessly connect to the HT-A7000, with an omnidirectional block design like the soundbar.
It's important to note that Sony is offering a second, more compact (and cheaper) subwoofer option called the SW-SW3 that retails at $399.99. I can't speak to its quality, but if you don't feel like spending the extra $300 on the SA-SW5, it may be a good option for you.
The SA-RS3S satellite speakers have a suggested retail price of $349.99 and boast a total of 100W power output and the same omnidirectional block design. They come with wall mounts in case you're looking to attach them to the walls - which is a heckuva lot nicer than what I did with them (they're resting on my end tables).
All three devices are sleek and matte black, with rounded edges that add to the low-profile look. The subwoofer has a cool gloss-black base that adds a little mid-century modern flair to the set.
I've never had a soundbar that sounds anything like the Sony HT-A7000. The soundbar easily fills the room, the satellite speakers made me jump several times while watching Fear Street, and the subwoofer made playing Fortnite feel like I was in the middle of an immersive experience tailored by Epic Games.
It's easy to optimize the soundbar and its accessories so that the entire system is pushing out sound that's perfect for your room. After I moved the soundbar's location I was able to re-optimize it and could clearly hear a difference. Speaking of, setup was incredibly easy except for when I had to connect the subwoofer and satellite speakers via Bluetooth - every time one would connect the other would drop off. That could be because of other Bluetooth devices I had on in the room, but just be aware. Aside from that connectivity issue, the HT-A7000 is ready to plug in and go out of the box.
Streaming Spotify through the Sony HT-A7000 gave me a chance to blast Ariana Grande's discography while cooking dinner several times a week - much to my neighbor's dismay. The vocals were crispy, the bass thumpy, and the overall sound is like nothing I've ever heard before. Yes, the HT-A7000 and option subwoofer and rear speakers can easily be considered the best soundbars for TV or the best gaming sound system.
Overall - should you buy it?
If you can afford it - sure. The Sony HT-A7000 with the subwoofer and rear speakers is a banger of a sound system that's unlike anything I've heard before - and I wasn't even accessing its full power because I could only place the dang thing on the floor. If you want to do your best John Hammond from Jurassic Park impression and "spare no expense" then this is the kind of soundbar that will have friends and family members talking for years.
And if you have a Sony Bravia gaming TV, the HT-A7000 will make your entire setup feel like something out of MTV's Cribs. Team it with one of the best TVs for PS5 or best 120Hz 4K TVs and you'll have quite the envious gaming and entertainment setup.
However, if this is out of your price range - and it is for most people - just getting the soundbar on its own probably isn't worth it without the additional satellite devices. Sure, it sounds great, but there's nothing in the world that can convince me it sounds like $1,299 worth of great.
Note: All three devices sent to GamesRadar to review are not yet available for order, but Sony believes they will be available at authorized dealers in either September or October 2021.