At CES 2019, Sony has added the 2.1 HT-X8500 soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support to its line-up. A HT-S350 is a more affordable option.
Sony 2019 soundbars
Sony will – at least for now – keep HT-ST5000 as its flagship soundbar. At CES 2019, the company is adding a 2.1-channel HT-X8500 model that it claims can deliver some of the benefits of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
- ”This 2.1ch single soundbar delivers object-based cinema sound which puts you in the middle of the action. Thanks to Sony’s unique Digital Signal Processing technologies such as Vertical Surround Engine, up to 7.1.2ch surround sound can be experienced from the X8500 without the need for extra speakers.”
While claims of virtual surround sound rarely hold up, Dolby likes to point out that object-based audio can also improve the listening experience on less capable systems. If you want the full experience you need discreet speakers and a more comprehensive setup.
Sony confirms that HT-X8500 supports HDMI eARC, which enables lossless audio output or passthrough via a eARC-capable TV. In addition, it supports bluetooth for music streaming.
The Japanese company is also adding the 320W HT-S350 to its soundbar line-up. It comes with a wireless subwoofer. It does not support object-based audio.
Sony HT-X8500 will be available from the end of March 2019 while HT-S350 will launch in May. Pricing was not announced.