Sony unveils HT-G700 and HT-S20R sound bars: 7.1.2 virtual surround sound or 5.1 system at a low price
After true wireless and portable speakers, Sony is now tackling the sound bar with two new models: the HT-G700, a bar with virtual surround compatible with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X, and the HT-S20R, offering a compact 5.1 system.
The new HT-G700 joins the family of Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-compatible virtual surround sound bars. The HT-G700 joins the HT-ZF9 and HT-X8500, which are scheduled for release in 2018 and 2019 respectively. It is a 3.1-channel system that offers 7.1.2 virtual surround sound spatialization with S-Force Pro Front Surround and Vertical Surround Engine processing. It is hoped that the immersive experience will be at least as good as the HT-X8500 has been able to deliver.
The HT-G700 measures 980 x 64 x 108vmm and weighs 3.5 kg, while the housing measures 192 x 387 x 406 mm and weighs 7.5 kg.© Sony
Contrary to the ZF9, the HT-G700 is exempt from network functionalities via Wi-Fi or RJ45. The connectivity of this new reference is based on that of the HT-X8500. We find Bluetooth (5.0, compatible with SBC and AAC codecs), an HDMI input, an HDMI eARC/ARC output and a Toslink optical input. The new bar 3.1 from Sony is notably able to decode Dolby Atmos and DTS:X streams (you can find the complete list on the manufacturer’s website) and has an upmix 7.1.2 function that can be directly activated by the Audio Enhancement button on the supplied remote control.as usual, many sound modes are also available (Cinema, Music, Voice, Night…).
The HT-G700 features three 45 x 100mm speakers and a wireless subwoofer with a 160mm driver, all powered by 400W Class D amplification. Sony promises a “rich and accurate listening experience” with this model, something we’ll be sure to check out when we get the chance to test it.
Unlike the HT-G700, the HT-S20R does not incorporate a virtual surround sound spatialization solution, opting instead for two wired rear satellites for true 5.1 playback.The subwoofer accompanying the sound bar is also wired, and includes a good part of the connectivity: an HDMI ARC output, a Toslink optical input, a 3.5mm mini-jack input and a USB port (FAT32/NTFS, MP3, WMA and WAV playback). Bluetooth is also included, only the SBC codec is supported.
The HT-S20R measures 760 x 52 x 86 mm and weighs 2 kg.the dimensions of the subwoofer are 192 x 387 x 342 mm and it weighs 6.9 kg.© Sony
Again, there are many listening modes, but no calibration system seems to be available. The HT-S20R is capable of decoding Dolby Digital (stereo and 5.1) and stereo LPCM streams. Apart from a 400W amplifier, Sony does not provide further information on the sound specifications of this model. Nevertheless, while waiting to have this new home cinema, we can always opt for the old models that are sold second-hand or reconditioned.