Sony has introduced three new soundbars at CES 2018. The announced models are the compact HT-SF200, the HT-XF9000 and HT-ZF9 with DTS and Dolby Atmos:X.
Let’s start with the higher end product – the Sony ZF9 reproduces the audio tracks to objects through the Vertical Surround Engine, a system that recreates an enveloping sound starting from a much simpler configuration. In fact, we are talking about 3.1 effective channels (a wireless subwoofer is also supplied) that are processed to generate up to 7.1.2 virtual channels. Stereo sources can also be adapted in this way.
The sound optimization is entrusted to the S-Force Pro Front Surround technology. The most demanding users can expand the system by adding a pair of SA-Z9R speakers, specially designed to act as rear channels for the soundbar. For connection sources, there are two inputs and an HDMI 2.0b output, compatible with Ultra HD signals, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. HT-ZF9 also supports high-resolution audio. A USB port, Bluetooth connectivity with DSEE HX technology (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX) and Wi-Fi which allows you to use some streaming music services, Google Assistant and the features of an integrated Chromecast.
Coming to the Sony XF9000, also compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X but equipped with 2.1 effective channels with wireless subwoofer. Compared to the most advanced model are missing Wi-Fi, DSEE HX technology and the ability to play files in high resolution. The number of HDMI inputs is also reduced.
Sony SF200 is a product for those who want a soundbar with minimum dimensions. It measures only 580 x 64 x 95 mm and integrates the subwoofer inside it. The configuration includes 2.1 channels and support for Dolby Digital. The sound front is processed by S-Force Pro Front Surround technology to create a virtual surround effect. The connection sources include HDMI output with ARC (audio return channel), optical input or Bluetooth 4.2. There is also a USB port. Sony SF200 will be available in Anthracite Black and Cream White color options.
The HT-SF200 soundbar will be available by the end of February or the beginning of March, while the other two Sony soundbars will be available in the spring.