CES 2017 was a bit of a coming out party for Sony’s home theater endeavors. With everyone lamenting that Sony didn’t support Dolby’s latest sound and vision efforts with previous models, 2017 models point to a different story. Dolby Vision HDR is now available on the Z9D with the upcoming A1E OLED and X930/940E series also supporting the format once they’re released.
As for sound, Sony is also ready to bring Dolby Atmos to the masses with the ST5000 sound bar and DN1080 receiver which gives you more flexibility than you know what to do with. Now three months after the show, all of these products have price tags and release dates.
For a ‘true’ home theater setup, the DN1080 is a receiver that you should absolutely have on your radar when it’s released this May for $600. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy features of the DN1080 is what Sony calls “Phantom Surround Back” which allows Dolby Atmos or DTS:X sound which comes in a 7.1.2-channel setup to be produced from a 5.1.2-channel speaker configuration. Having demoed it at CES, I can tell you it’s bizarre; you’ll swear those additional two speakers are there.
As a quick note, in Dolby Atmos, the .2 at the end refers to speakers that are in the ceiling and firing sound down at you which begs the question – how does the ST5000 offer 7.1.2 sound? By having two dedicated speakers blast sound into the ceiling which will then bounce back down and again, having also heard it as CES, it’s quite remarkable how good it sounds.
For those playing at home, the ST5000 is here to replace the now-two-year-old ST9 flagship sound bar and in doing so, will keep its $1,500 price tag. Unfortunately, unlike the DN1080 receiver, the ST5000 is still many months away with a July release date.
Do you see yourself investing in Dolby Atmos-equipped devices or is that not a factor for you?