Given the lowered price tag of the Sony HT-A5000, it’s only natural that some users wonder if its affordability affected the excellent sound customization the brand typically offers. After all, no one wants to hook a substandard speaker to their sound system.
Because of this, our resident audiophiles decided to do a brief Sony HT-A5000 review, from its design to its inclusions.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Design and Dimensions
The first clue that this model is a budget-friendly option would be its basic design and construction.
Unlike its premium brothers from the same brand, Sony HT-A5000 doesn’t have a glass material on top or speaker grilles wrapped with textured fabric. Instead, you’ll see a plain black plastic material with metal grilles colored grey.
Although some may not find it visually pleasing, having a soundbar that can easily blend with your furniture and not attract much attention is a wise interior choice.
It’s only 47.75 inches long and 2.75 inches tall, so you won’t have a hard time finding a place to put it. However, we recommend it to be as forward as possible as it’s an upward-firing speaker.
Sony HT-A5000 Features
Overview of Specifications
|Product Dimension||47.75 inches (W) x 2.75 inches (L)|
|Power Output||450 Watts|
|Other Connections||S-Center Out Port, Optical Port|
|ARC/eARC Support||1 in/1 out|
|Voice Assistant||Compatible with Google & Alexa (Not Built-in)|
|Audio Format Support||360 Reality Audio, High-Resolution Audio|
|Video Format Support||8K HDR, 4K/120 & Dolby Vision video passthrough|
Despite its budget-friendly price tag, you’d be surprised to know that this standalone 5.1.2 setup is built with more modern connectivities in mind. If you’re keen on wireless setups, this model could accommodate all the connections you need, from Bluetooth to WiFi.
If you look around it, the unit’s HDMI ARC and other port connections are neatly aligned at the back. This location may prove tricky for the setup, but it won’t pose issues if you don’t use most of the ports regularly.
During our hands-on experience, we also get to try Sony HT-A500’s on-screen setup. Although you can navigate this unit through a mobile application, something about tweaking audio settings with remote control gives more thrill to the experience.
We successfully connected the unit to the WiFi network and configured its auto-room calibration during the initial setup.
Stereo Frequency Response
Through its Sound Field Optimization feature, users can expect this soundbar to adapt automatically to the room’s acoustics. It’s equipped with built-in microphones that trigger audio optimization.
Once this feature is turned on, its stereo frequency response creates a neutral audio profile. It also brings a deeper bass range and brighter treble. Given that it can deliver clearer vocals and instruments, it’s no surprise that it blends well with most media content.
Its excellent frequency response is highly owed to the soundbar’s Sound Field Optimization that turns on its surround and Dolby Atmos drivers.
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
The unit’s stereo frequency response also features a subwoofer audio configuration. You can change its sound profile to MIN, MID, or MAX, depending on your sound profile preference.
If you prefer neutral audio, we suggest selecting MID, as it’s the default soundbar setting.
You can get a wider stereo soundstage by turning on Sony HT-A5000’s Sound Field function. This feature should deliver better sound reproduction but won’t produce a highly focused audio output.
Turning off the Sound Field feature could make the audio narrow sounding and won’t spread over the bar’s actual size. The upside to this is your stereo soundstage can be more focused and accurate.
Although it has an impressive stereo dynamics than other soundbars with the same price range, you should know that it’s not the best option for large rooms. The unit didn’t give us much sound compression, even at max volume.
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
During our individual Sony HT-A5000 reviews, we tested the soundbar at a normal volume. It became evident that its stereo distortion can be clean and pure.
The problem only arises when we set it to maximum volume levels, and the stereo THD starts to jump. However, these distortions may not be obvious if you’re playing real-life media.
Despite having up-firing drivers to deliver a more spacious sound, the unit’s Atmos  performance is unfortunately disappointing. It’s not as clear or real as the audio produced by down-firing models when matched with Atmos content.
Sound Adjustment Options
As mentioned earlier, you can adjust the soundbar’s Volume & Sound Field Optimization features through the TV’s menu. Additionally, you can select virtual surround sound settings between Dolby Speaker Virtualizer, DTS, and Vertical Surround Engine.
Users can also adjust the subwoofer levels with EQ presets. However, this model does not include bass and treble configurations.
Audio Formats Supported (HDMI, HDMI ARC, Etc.)
On the bright side, this soundbar has a wide range of audio format support thanks to its HDMI-ARC feature. Through this, you can utilize standard Surround Sound formats such as Dolby Digital and Atmos.
You can try Sony HT-A5000’s basic mode when the Sound Field function is turned off. During our experience, we enjoyed clear and balanced stereo production.
We urge you to use this audio mode when watching the news or to play comedy sitcoms for clear dialogue.
Meanwhile, Sound Field mode expands the soundstage. Thanks to this, you’ll get a better audio experience when watching immersive content. In this mode, you can play it with Vertical Surround Engine, DTS Neural:X, or Dolby Speaker Virtualizer configurations.
The unit is integrated with one subwoofer on each side. We set it to maximum volume to see if there’s any distortion, but the bass output remains gentler than we expected. It provides great low-end sounds, giving the vocals more depth and weight.
Most of today’s games and movies work well in multi-channel, so the soundbar’s center channel must provide accurate soundstage. Lucky for you, that’s what Sony HT-A5000 does. And because it has a neutral-sounding frequency response, you can expect clear dialogue when playing media.
Surround Sound 5.1
It’s no secret that front-firing speaker drivers produce surround sound simulations. However, this Sony soundbar doesn’t have clear rear speaker localization. Because of this, its surround sound performance isn’t the best.
Gaming, Music, and Films
As this soundbar has HDMI 2.1 passthrough socket, it can handle typical gaming requirements like Dolby Vision HDR and 8K@60Hz. However, we didn’t get the best sound output when watching action-packed movies because it didn’t deliver deep bass and rumble.
On the brighter side, music streaming on this soundbar works well even with wireless connections. You can keep listening in two-channel stereo settings if you don’t fancy digital processing.
Another great feature of the Sony HT-A5000 is its ample physical connectivity options. These inputs include HDMI ARC and full HDMI-IN ports. On top of that, you can also use its S-Center Out port to connect your BRAVIA TV.
The perfect sync of audio and video we experienced during this Sony HT-A5000 review is all thanks to the unit’s low latency. However, don’t forget that latency levels still depend on your TV and device.
Since Sony launched this soundbar in 2021, it has featured many wireless playback options. It includes playback support for Apple Airplay 2 and Spotify Connect, which may be handy if you like streaming music.
Soundbar Controls and Remote
The soundbar comes with a universal remote control, allowing users to configure it with other electronics under the brand. Our only concern with this controller is it has many buttons for volume adjustments, inputs, and other settings. If you’re a new owner, it may overwhelm you.
Besides the remote, the soundbar also has touch-sensitive controls on the top. It includes power, volume level, change input, Bluetooth, and Spotify buttons.
Voice Assistance and Smart Features
Sadly, Sony HT-A5000 doesn’t feature built-in voice commands. However, you can hook it up with an external voice assistant device like Google or Alexa.
Another way to control this soundbar is through the Sony Music Center app. Like a regular remote (but digital), you can change inputs, adjust volume levels, play music, and tweak any setting using your phone.
However, many sound configurations are still more accessible in the TV menu than in the app.
These soundbars automatically turn off when idle for twenty minutes because they’re designed with power-saving features. It also supports HDMI CEC so you can access the unit’s basic features through the TV remote.
Apart from the soundbar itself, you’ll get a mounting template and two wall brackets upon purchase. A remote controller, two AAA batteries, speaker cables, a power cord, and an HDMI cable are also included in the box.
Additionally, the user manual is available, along with four extra screws that you may need during the assembly and setup.
Value for Money
If you ask our resident audiophiles, Sony HT-A5000 offers an edge for its lower price range. Despite being a budget-friendly option under the brand, it delivers a premium audio experience for music and movie content.
Alternatives to Sony HT-A5000
1. Sonos ARC
As Sonos Arc runs with a 5.0.2 setup, it delivers a clearer soundstage than Sony HT-A5000. Its audio profile also offers more neutrality some music listeners may prefer.
2. Sony HT-A7000
Not only is Sony HT-A7000 more expensive than the HT-A5000, but it features a 7.1.2 setup with better soundstage output. It also has extra HDMI input to cater to additional connections.
3. Bose Smart Soundbar 900
Although Bose Smart Soundbar 900 includes a better soundstage setup, it doesn’t support Full HDMI-In ports like Sony HT-A5000.
4. Samsung HW-Q9800B
Although both models come from the same brand, Samsung HW-Q9800B’s subwoofer levels offer a more heart-thumping effect and deeper bass sound rumble.
How long will the Sony HT-A5000 last?
Since it’s from a trustworthy electronic brand, Sony HT-A5000 is built to last longer than regular soundbars of the same price range. It’s also designed with 8K compatibility, a future-proof feature that will adapt to content upgrades in the next ten years.
Review Conclusion: Sony HT-A5000
After conducting several Sony HT-A5000 reviews, it’s clear that this soundbar suits modern audio system setups.
Considering its compatibility with different audio and video formats, its value won’t diminish in the future. Overall, its wide-range connectivity gives it an edge over other alternatives in the market.