Sony’s new 3.1-channel Dolby Atmos soundbar is like a Sonos Beam but with DTS:X

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Sony has introduced its newest soundbar, the HT-S2000. A slim and compact (31.5  x 2.5 x 5 inches, W x H X D) mannequin with a primary black look, the soundbar is the corporate’s first to work with Dwelling Leisure Join, a brand new app that guides customers via preliminary setup and can be utilized to regulate quantity, choose sound modes, and extra.

At $499 (round £415 / AU$735), the HT-S2000 is priced the identical because the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), a mannequin we rank as one of the best small soundbar with Dolby Atmos on our record of the best soundbars. Will the brand new Sony displace the Beam (Gen 2) on our record? Let’s see what it’s received.

The HT-S2000 is a 3.1 mannequin with left, proper, and middle audio system plus twin built-in subwoofers. A five-channel amplifier delivers 250 watts whole. Each Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are supported, with Sony’s Vertical Encompass Engine and S-Power PRO Entrance Encompass digital processing used to ship immersive audio from the three.1-channel bar.

A brand new sound upmixer constructed into the HT-S2000 lets it ship 3-D encompass from common 5.1 channel and stereo content material. In Sony’s phrases, it does this by way of an algorithm that “extracts particular person sound objects relying on their localization and reallocates them, leading to three-dimensional encompass sound.”

Ports on the HT-S2000 are restricted to a single HDMI eARC (similar because the Sonos Beam). Music streaming is carried out by way of Bluetooth, and there’s additionally a USB port for plugging in storage gadgets loaded with music information.

Additionally much like the Sonos Beam, the HT-S2000 will be expanded on to create a full encompass sound system by including Sony’s non-obligatory wi-fi rear audio system (SA-RS3S) and wi-fi subwoofer (SA-SW5 / SA-SW3). And when used with a suitable Sony Bravia XR TV, soundbar settings will seem on the set’s Fast Settings menu, letting you management it utilizing the TV distant.

Evaluation: Does the brand new Sony soundbar’s DTS:X benefit make it a greater Sonos Beam? 

A grievance some customers have in regards to the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and Arc soundbars is that there’s no built-in decoding for the lossless DTS:X and DTS-HD Grasp Audio codecs. As a substitute, you’re compelled to depend on the lossy model of DTS when taking part in films with DTS soundtracks.

With built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X help, the brand new Sony HT-S2000 would seem to have a bonus over the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), which prices the identical and, with no up-firing audio system, additionally delivers immersive audio soundtracks by way of digital processing.

Nevertheless, getting DTS:X bitstreams to the Sony soundbar received’t be as simple as you would possibly assume. With the TV’s HDMI eARC port linked to the Sony’s single HDMI port, it should help DTS:X passthrough to route soundtracks in that format from a linked Blu-ray disc participant via to the HT-S2000. There are TVs able to doing this (Sony makes a few of them), however actually not all.

So, should you occur to have a suitable TV, the HT-S2000 would seem to have a bonus over the Beam (Gen 2) in terms of DTS:X. However taking a look at Sony’s specs for its new soundbar, it seems that Bluetooth is the one strategy to stream music, and whereas handy, that’s not precisely the best-quality possibility for music listening. The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) allows you to stream lossless music over Wi-Fi, and it and lots of different soundbars allow you to forged it wirelessly utilizing a protocol like AirPlay .

Does that in itself put Sony’s new soundbar at a drawback? Not precisely, since most individuals use their soundbars primarily for watching films and TV reveals. Music listening is certainly a secondary use-case, and in most conditions Bluetooth shall be enough to get the job completed. 

Simply how nicely Sony’s new 3.1-channel Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundbar sounds with films and likewise with music streamed by way of Bluetooth is one thing we stay up for listening to, and one thing we might get an opportunity to do when Sony finally declares a delivery date for the HT-S200.


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