Sony Announces Rollout Plans for Soundbars, AVR

Sony has announced rollout plans and pricing for two soundbars and an AV receiver previewed at CES 2017.

The compact HT-MT300 soundbar ($350) will be available this month, followed by the STR-DN1080 budget AV receiver ($600) in May and the high-end HT-ST5000 soundbar ($1,500) in July.

The HT-MT300 is a décor-friendly 2.1-channel soundbar designed to deliver room filling virtual surround sound. Available in beige or black, it features Bluetooth/NFC connectivity and a low-profile wireless subwoofer that can be placed discreetly under a sofa or stood vertically next to furniture. The soundbar can be controlled by an app and has optical digital and analog audio inputs in addition to a USB port.

The STR-DN1080 AV receiver supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround processing and high-resolution audio playback of a variety of file formats, including DSD and linear PCM via HDMI, USB, or networked DLNA-compatible devices. Sony's "Phantom Surround Back" technology simulates 7.1.2-channel surround sound with a 5.1.2-channel speaker setup, while auto calibration with sound-field compensation technology “relocates speakers” to compensate for less than optimal placement.

The receiver supports high dynamic range (HDR)-pass-through, has six HDMI inputs and two outputs that support HDCP 2.2 with 4K/60P/4:4:4 content, and can distribute 4K video and multichannel audio simultaneously to two different zones with control via Sony’s SongPal app. Other highlights include streaming via Bluetooth and Chromecast and support for Google Assistant and Spotify Connect. The STR-DN1080 will be available for presale in April.

Designed to be the “cornerstone of a home theater setup,” the flagship HT-ST5000 soundbar supports 7.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos surround processing and hi-res audio playback from a sleek enclosure housing 12 speakers. Rated power output is 800 watts and the soundbar also supports 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, multiroom capability, and is compatible with the voice-activated Google Home speaker.

The ST5000 has three HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2, one HDMI ARC output, digital optical and analog connections, a USB input, and supports streaming via Bluetooth with NFC and Chromecast. The HT-ST5000 will available for pre-sale in May.

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