Sony HT A9 impressions?

Associate
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£1600 but has no sub so extra £500 or £700 on top if you want those. Reckon end of year though you will be able to pick it all up for £2k or less to match the Sonos package of the arc, sub + rears.
£2150 as a package with the big sub from Sony centre. I think that is reasonable vs separates.
Yeah agree with both here. With only 1 of us having actually tested this it's very hard to agree or disagree with its value fairly. However reviews and impressions I've read or watched have been universally positive with no one saying it feels too expensive for what it provides. Yes it's a lot but so is sonos and honestly all mid to high end sound system equipment.
I feel like it's at least worth getting to try out and sending it back if it seems underwhelming, but from what people have said I doubt it
 
Man of Honour
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This system should be 50% cheaper it's very overpriced

You can't even buy an 11.2 AVR for the price of the A9, let alone enough speakers to replicate what the Sony A9 does. While I doubt it could replace a 7.1.4 set up in dedicated home theatre, it would defintely be something I'd consider to replace my 5.1.2 in my living room. I can imagine it giving me a far more immersive sound bubble than my current system and be even more wife friendly.
 
Soldato
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If I didn't already have the Sonos arc, rears and sub, then I'd pull the trigger on this myself. However, trying to convince the wife to change it all as isn't even worth the hassle :cry: Hopefully if this kicks off and they iron out some of the bugs I've read on other forums, then further down the line there might be a version 2 with more speakers then I'll look to swap then. Although, still slim chances of extra front channels coming on the Sonos and upfiring rears which would then sway me to add those instead.
 
Associate
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If I didn't already have the Sonos arc, rears and sub, then I'd pull the trigger on this myself. However, trying to convince the wife to change it all as isn't even worth the hassle :cry: Hopefully if this kicks off and they iron out some of the bugs I've read on other forums, then further down the line there might be a version 2 with more speakers then I'll look to swap then. Although, still slim chances of extra front channels coming on the Sonos and upfiring rears which would then sway me to add those instead.
Yeah depending on when I get to move next year it might end up being worth it to wait for a next gen one.....but hopefully I can move before then and get this after a price reduction or 2!
 
Caporegime
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I think I'll be going with this over the latest Samsung Soundbar when I upgrade, will be adding the subwoofer though.
 
Associate
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Seems to be lots more reviews coming through and overall very positive impressions. Spare change basically saying it's far better than any soundbar! :D
 
Soldato
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I have yet to see it for sale where I am, when I do though I expect it to be expensive - about the same price as a decent 5.1 system.

And about half the user reviews on the Sony website complain that the audio cuts out every couple minutes - the "joys" of wireless audio and it has a 3 out of 5 star average user review score.

According to the Rtings review, the center channel is as expected, terrible out of the box and the only way to improve it is to unfortunately use a Sony TV and then you have to try and ignore the fact that one of your channels has significantly lower audio quality and frequency response curve than the others which is jarring to the ears
 
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Associate
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I have yet to see it for sale where I am, when I do though I expect it to be expensive - about the same price as a decent 5.1 system.

And about half the user reviews on the Sony website complain that the audio cuts out every couple minutes - the "joys" of wireless audio and it has a 3 out of 5 star average user review score.

According to the Rtings review, the center channel is as expected, terrible out of the box and the only way to improve it is to unfortunately use a Sony TV and then you have to try and ignore the fact that one of your channels has significantly lower audio quality and frequency response curve than the others which is jarring to the ears
Reviews seem way better than that. With the cut outs they released a firmware update the other week which seems to have resolved it.

Seems the only TV that works well as a centre is the A90J though.

The real test of how good the phantom centre is will be Tenet lol.

I have one on back order but I am at the back of their queue so will be a few months into next year at the very least until I get mine.
 
Associate
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Reviews seem way better than that. With the cut outs they released a firmware update the other week which seems to have resolved it.

Seems the only TV that works well as a centre is the A90J though.

The real test of how good the phantom centre is will be Tenet lol.

I have one on back order but I am at the back of their queue so will be a few months into next year at the very least until I get mine.
Damn that long?? Good to hear about the firmware update though, didn't know about that. Has it broadly fixed the issue for people or are others still complaining about the cut outs? Let us know your experiences when you eventually get yours!
 
Soldato
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It's always funny to see people talk about reviews but they don't even understand >90% of them are nothing more than outsourced marketing content and not actual reviews, particularly in the A/V space. That someone as blatantly a marketer as A Robinson is considered a trustworthy reviewer is that much more amusing (and sad). Does it not raise any alarm bells when the guy says with a straight face that those puny speakers count as 2 (4.0.4) when it's already well established how sub-par even separate upfiring atmos speakers are? Just lol. Another tell tale sign of a bullsnicker when it comes to any atmos reviews is when they say things like "I can hear things I never heard before and it sounds like that's what was og intended" - but have they actually played the content on an actual atmos system and isolated just the atmos sounds? Of course not, but they want to believe it so they allow themselves to hallucinate the details & then pass it on as factual. (here's some tests like that if you don't know what I mean: https://youtu.be/Nx4vve3UGUg?t=363)

The issues I see with the HT A9 are typical ones you'd get with soundbar systems in general, namely that it only makes sense from a style/convenience standpoint. The audio quality/price is absolutely awful.
When it comes to native Atmos content the problem is that the actual source material itself is trash for it (i.e. the dedicated atmos sounds are very lacklustre or outright missing) and if you want to fake it, i.e. upmix it through the AVR then it's down to having a very high-end AVR and/or using Auro 3D (which makes it even more expensive). That's if you shell out for the actual blu-rays to begin with, if we're talking streaming then it's an even bigger mess and even less worthwhile. Furthermore if you don't have in-ceilings then the quality of the experience is yet FURTHER degraded, and of course most movies/shows don't have much more than a 5.1 mix usually, particularly going back before ~2016.
So then if you leave out the "atmos factor" of the HT A9 because as stated above it's mostly a placebo and not anything of real quality, and even if it were the content for it is not really there that much, then all you're left with are 4 lousy speakers (+ the media box) that don't come anywhere near the audio quality of a set of separates even half the cost of the HT A9.
Truthfully even the style/convenience point doesn't make much sense because you could actually find better designs from some soundbars if you really care about your interior décor that much.

Imo people should ask themselves if they really know how much Atmos brings to the table before jumping in, and then to figure out how much of that they get with something like this Sony. I think for most people considering this they'd actually be much better off with just a decent 5.1 dedicated system. If I had to buy something that gave great value now I'd first look at something like...
  • Wharfedale Diamond 12.0 (x4) -> £400
  • Wharfedale Diamond 12.C -> £229
  • BK P12-300SB-DF -> £415
  • Denon AVR-S660H -> £499 (though truth be told here you can find something much cheaper SH, being "only" 5.1 gives you a lot of options)
If you wanted to you could optimise that further but I'd have no issues recommending that setup to anyone right off the bat and I think you'd get a much better experience from it than the HT A9. I think what it is really is that these kind of products like the A9 are for people who just want to go into the store & pick something up and not think about it too much. It's all about convenience.
 
Soldato
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Always the case though. Wasn't meant to be a comparison for a dedicated separates wired system. Pretty much most will sound better, but it's the convenience of a wireless system and the ease which makes it more appealing these days. However, I don't agree with the Atmos comments... Maybe going back a few years, but now you can easily notice the difference in sound stage on a modern disk playing in Dolby Atmos (True HD), to DD 5.1 and does enhance the experience even on a soundbar. Hardly anyone will stick ceiling speakers in their living room and only a small % of people will have a dedicated cinema room to be able to do this.

The technology for them is also getting better and I reckon it's only a matter of time before wired separates become a thing of the past or just for true audiophiles.

LG have just dropped their new soundbar for 2022.

https://www.trustedreviews.com/news...world-first-and-is-coming-to-ces-2022-4192223
 
Associate
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I'll be able to compare once I actually get my hands on it. I suspect that's a few months from now though.

I've got the Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar and all that does is give you an impressive wall of sound at the front with some height but it's subwoofer is impressive. Definitely doesn't simulate surround, that's for sure. It's all I could accommodate at my last house.

On the other hand I've watched and heard a tonne of material at my dad's and he has a Denon x4700 and a 7.1.2 package made up of Kef T305 speakers and a pair of Kef Ci160ER in ceiling speakers. Blows the soundbar out of the water as you'd imagine, a completely different league.

Be interesting where these speakers will stack up in comparison. As you say there are not really any reviews out there that you can really call objective but user/forum reviews of those lucky enough to have managed to taken delivery of one seems to be decent.
 
Associate
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It's always funny to see people talk about reviews but they don't even understand >90% of them are nothing more than outsourced marketing content and not actual reviews, particularly in the A/V space. That someone as blatantly a marketer as A Robinson is considered a trustworthy reviewer is that much more amusing (and sad). Does it not raise any alarm bells when the guy says with a straight face that those puny speakers count as 2 (4.0.4) when it's already well established how sub-par even separate upfiring atmos speakers are? Just lol. Another tell tale sign of a bullsnicker when it comes to any atmos reviews is when they say things like "I can hear things I never heard before and it sounds like that's what was og intended" - but have they actually played the content on an actual atmos system and isolated just the atmos sounds? Of course not, but they want to believe it so they allow themselves to hallucinate the details & then pass it on as factual. (here's some tests like that if you don't know what I mean: https://youtu.be/Nx4vve3UGUg?t=363)

The issues I see with the HT A9 are typical ones you'd get with soundbar systems in general, namely that it only makes sense from a style/convenience standpoint. The audio quality/price is absolutely awful.
When it comes to native Atmos content the problem is that the actual source material itself is trash for it (i.e. the dedicated atmos sounds are very lacklustre or outright missing) and if you want to fake it, i.e. upmix it through the AVR then it's down to having a very high-end AVR and/or using Auro 3D (which makes it even more expensive). That's if you shell out for the actual blu-rays to begin with, if we're talking streaming then it's an even bigger mess and even less worthwhile. Furthermore if you don't have in-ceilings then the quality of the experience is yet FURTHER degraded, and of course most movies/shows don't have much more than a 5.1 mix usually, particularly going back before ~2016.
So then if you leave out the "atmos factor" of the HT A9 because as stated above it's mostly a placebo and not anything of real quality, and even if it were the content for it is not really there that much, then all you're left with are 4 lousy speakers (+ the media box) that don't come anywhere near the audio quality of a set of separates even half the cost of the HT A9.
Truthfully even the style/convenience point doesn't make much sense because you could actually find better designs from some soundbars if you really care about your interior décor that much.

Imo people should ask themselves if they really know how much Atmos brings to the table before jumping in, and then to figure out how much of that they get with something like this Sony. I think for most people considering this they'd actually be much better off with just a decent 5.1 dedicated system. If I had to buy something that gave great value now I'd first look at something like...
  • Wharfedale Diamond 12.0 (x4) -> £400
  • Wharfedale Diamond 12.C -> £229
  • BK P12-300SB-DF -> £415
  • Denon AVR-S660H -> £499 (though truth be told here you can find something much cheaper SH, being "only" 5.1 gives you a lot of options)
If you wanted to you could optimise that further but I'd have no issues recommending that setup to anyone right off the bat and I think you'd get a much better experience from it than the HT A9. I think what it is really is that these kind of products like the A9 are for people who just want to go into the store & pick something up and not think about it too much. It's all about convenience.

There's always one guy who doesn't understand the brief and goes on a tirade about their irrelevant personal opinion. It's basically meme worthy - you've wrote the longest post in this thread with recommendations that are just not relevant to people that are eyeing up this kind of system.
 
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