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James Davidson

Sony's 2024 Dolby Atmos soundbar range has arrived - here's what you need to know

Sony Bravia Theater Bar 9 lifestyle image .

Sony has announced its new Dolby Atmos soundbar range for 2024. The lineup is led by two premium soundbars, the Bravia Theater Bar 9 and Bravia Theater Bar 8, accompanied by the Bravia Theater Quad wireless speakers and the Bravia Theater U, a ‘personal home theater’. 

The Bravia Bar 9 and Bravia Bar 8 feature 13 and 11 speakers, respectively, and have a more compact form than their predecessors, the Sony HT-A7000 , one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the Sony HT-A5000, which they will replace. Both soundbars have built-in upward-firing speakers, and the Bar 9 adds extra beam tweeters and passive radiators for a fuller sound.

The Bravia Quad is a package of four wireless speakers that replaces the Sony HT-A9. Each unit features a new upward-firing driver, taking the total number of speakers across the four units to 16 compared to the HT-A9’s 12. The Bravia Quad speakers have a slim, flat design, allowing for a wall mount or a free-standing installation using Sony’s speaker stands.

All three models will support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and have an HDMI 2.1 port for gaming with VRR and ALLM pass-through.  They also support Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping, which uses virtual processing to create ‘phantom speakers’ between the actual ones to expand the soundstage.

The final audio addition to Sony’s 2024 AV range is the Bravia Theater U. This ‘personal home theater’ is designed to sit around the wearer’s neck and provide a more private speaker experience. Sony’s neckband speaker is compatible with Dolby Atmos and uses 360 Spatial Sound Personalization to customize the sound to the user. 

The Sony Bravia Bar 9, Bar 8, and Quad speakers all use Sony’s new Bravia Connect app, which replaces the Home Entertainment app. 

Read on for a detailed summary of Sony’s new audio introductions, including dimensions, features and pricing.

Sony Bravia Theater Bar 9  

The Sony Bravia Theater Bar 9 (pictured front) has a lower profile than the Sony HT-A7000 (pictured back). (Image credit: Future)

The Bravia Bar 9 features 13 speakers in total, including two up-firing and two side speakers. It supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced (via a forthcoming update) and hi-res audio and has two HDMI ports, one of which is HDMI version 2.1 with VRR and ALLM pass-through. 

The Bravia Bar 9 supports 360 Spatial Sound Mapping for virtual surround, but can also be upgraded with Sony’s optional SA-RS5 and SA-RS3 wireless rear speakers and SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 wireless subwoofers. 

Measuring 1300 x 64 x 113mm (51 x 2.5 x 4.4 inches), the Bravia 9 is 36% more compact than Sony’s previous HT-A7000 flagship and uses fabric mesh made of recycled PET3 bottles. At $1,399, the Bravia Bar 9’s launch price is identical to the HT-A7000’s, even though the new model contains more speakers.

Sony Bravia Theater Bar 8  

The Sony Bravia Theater Bar 8 (pictured) is a step-down model from the Bar 9 but still features 11 speakers in a single bar.  (Image credit: Sony)

The Bravia Bar 8 comprises 11 total speakers, including two up-firing and side speakers, but omits the two beam tweeters and passive radiators found in the Bravia Bar 9. It’s also compatible with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced (via a forthcoming update) and hi-res audio and comes with two HDMI ports, one HDMI version 2.1 with support for VRR and ALLM. 

Similar to the Bravia Bar 9, the Bar 8 supports 360 Spatial Sound Mapping and can be linked with Sony’s optional wireless rear speakers and subwoofers for a more complete home theater system. 

Measuring 1100 x 64 x 113mm (43 x 2.5 x 4.4 inches), the Bravia Bar 8 is 30% more compact than the HT-A5000 it replaces but is still larger than other compact soundbars such as the Sonos Beam (Gen 2) and Bose Smart Soundbar 600

Sony Bravia Theater Quad 

The Sony Bravia Theater Quad (pictured here with the Bravia 8 OLED) gives flexible surround sound options. (Image credit: Future)

The Bravia Theater Quad is a home theater package with four wireless speakers that succeeds the Sony HT-A9. With a new upward-firing driver added to each unit, the Bravia Quad has 16 speakers split across its four units compared with 12 speakers across the HT-A9’s four units. 

The Bravia Quad covers a lot of bases with support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced (via a forthcoming update) and hi-res audio. It also supports Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping feature, which analyzes the surrounding environment and places ‘phantom speakers’ around the room to create a more immersive surround sound effect. The Bravia Quad features two HDMI ports on its wireless control box, with gaming support for VRR and ALLM. 

Each speaker unit measures 289 x 275 x 55mm (11.3 x 10.8 x 2.1 inches) and can be placed on its stand or wall-mounted for more discrete placement, while the control box measures 160 x 56 x 160mm (6.2 x 2.1 x 6.2 inches). 

At $2,499 / £2,499, the Bravia Quad is significantly pricier than the HT-A9 was at release ($1,799). It also doesn’t come with a subwoofer but can be paired with Sony’s optional SA-SW5 and SA-SW3 subwoofers. 

Sony Bravia Theater U 

The Sony Bravia Theater U (pictured) was designed to give a personal home theater experience. (Image credit: Sony )

The Bravia U ‘personal home theater’ is a neckband housing two speakers. It has a 12-hour battery life and offers one hour of playback from a 10-minute charge. It links wirelessly to Sony’s 2024 TVs, but connecting to an older TV will require a Bluetooth dongle accessory. 

The Bravia U creates a bubble of audio for the user and two units can connect simultaneously to the same TV. The Bravia U also offers multi-point connection and can connect to a PS5 via a wire into the controller. 

The Bravia U offers Dolby Atmos support, but only when connected with Sony’s latest Bravia 7, 8 and 9 models. It also has a 360 Spatial Sound optimizer setting, which appears to be a version of the 360 Spatial Sound Mapping found on the 2024 soundbars. 

Measuring 235 x 51 x 178mm (9.2 x 2 x 7 inches) and weighing 268g, the Bravia U is comfortable enough to wear for a couple of hours on end - at least the duration of a movie. At $299, it’s priced similarly to the Sony WH-1000XM5s, one of the best wireless headphones available, but provides an alternative to covering your ears when watching movies and playing games at night or in other situations where you don’t want to disturb others. 

Models carrying over 

Sony confirmed that some older mid- to entry-level range soundbars would carry over in its 2024 lineup. The confirmed models include the Sony HT-S2000, one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars on a budget, the Sony HT-S400 and the Sony HT-A3000. 

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