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Sony debuts Bravia Theater line of Dolby Atmos soundbars and speakers

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Sony didn’t announce any new home theater audio gear at CES, so it was only a matter of time before the company would reveal its latest soundbars and speakers. Today, the company unveiled its new Bravia Theater line, a moniker that the company’s soundbars and living room speakers will carry for the foreseeable future. Sony is ditching the HT-XXXX naming scheme, which should be less confusing for all parties. For the initial offering, the company has two new Dolby Atmos soundbars, a four-speaker surround system and a wearable neckband speaker.

At the top of the list sits the Bravia Theater Bar 9. This is Sony’s new flagship soundbar, but the company says it’s 36-percent smaller than the former premium model, the HT-A7000. Inside, a 13-speaker setup includes three tweeters, four woofers, two beam tweeters, two up-firing and two side-firing drivers. The slightly smaller Bravia Theater Bar 8 houses 11 total speakers, lacking the the two beam tweeters from the Bar 9. Sony says the Bar 8 is 30-percent smaller than the unit it replaces, the HT-A5000.

Both soundbars feature very similar spec sheets, including support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 360 Reality Audio and Hi-Res audio content. The pair will also gain IMAX Enhanced capabilities with a pending update, but that feature will require additional wireless rear speakers and a subwoofer. Connectivity is the same on both models with one HDMI input and one HDMI output (eARC). HDMI 2.1 is supported, so you can expect 4K/120 passthrough and all the other perks that standard affords.

A closeup of the front corner of a black Sony soundbar.

Sony Bravia Theater Bar 8 (Sony)

There’s also a host of Sony-specific features on both soundbars. That list includes Sound Field Optimization for room calibration and 360 Spatial Sound that places virtual speakers around a space for more immersive audio via virtualization. Acoustic Center Sync combines the speakers of a Bravia TV with either of these soundbars for a more realistic cinema experience where it sounds like the audio is coming directly from the screen. The soundbars also support Voice Zoom 3 from Sony’s Bravia TVs, a tool that uses AI to recognize human voices and amplifies them so it’s always heard clearly.

The Bravia Theater Bar 9 and Bravia Theater Bar 8 are compatible with Sony’s current rear satellite speakers and subwoofers. Those include the SA-RS5 and SA-RS3S speakers and the SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 subs. Unfortunately, there’s no bundle option, so on top of a $1,400 (Bar 9) or a $1,000 (Bar 8) soundbar, you’ll have to shell out hundreds more for a better setup. At the very least, you’ll want a subwoofer, which will currently cost you either $350 (SW3) or $620 (SW5).

A living room with a TV and four speakers, two beside the TV and two on a shelf behind a couch.A living room with a TV and four speakers, two beside the TV and two on a shelf behind a couch.

Sony Bravia Theater Quad (Sony)

And then there’s the Bravia Theater Quad. This four-speaker set replaces the HT-A9 that Sony introduced in 2021. Instead of four cylindrical units, the company opted for flat, square designs this time, which will allow you to mount them on a wall more easily. Like the A9, there’s a separate box that holds all of the necessary connections. You’ll get HDMI 2.1 here too, with one input and one output (eARC).

Inside of each speaker, there are four drivers: one tweeter, one mid-range, one woofer and one up-firing unit. That’s a total of 16 across the set, and Sony says you can add on either the SW3 or the SW5 subwoofer for more low-end thump. The Sony-developed features from the new Bravia Theater Bars are here as well, including 360 Spatial Sound, Sound Field Optimization, Acoustic Center Sync and Voice Zoom 3. Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 360 Reality Audio and Hi-Res tunes are in the mix too, and IMAX Enhanced will arrive later via an update (you’ll need a sub to use it). The Bravia Theater Quad is the priciest of the bunch, setting you back $2,500 for the initial set without a bundled subwoofer.

Lastly, Sony has a new neckband speaker for “open-air yet personal listening.” The Bravia Theater U ($300) supports Dolby Atmos when paired with a compatible Bravia TV. Two of the company’s X-balanced speakers power the device, which supports 360 Reality Audio on its own. There’s also 12-hour battery life, multipoint Bluetooth and a built-in mic for calls.

Sony says the Bravia Theater Bar 9 and Bar 8 will be available for preorder this spring from Amazon and other retailers. Ditto for the Bravia Theater U. The Bravia Theater Quad is available for preorder now.

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