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Sony’s HT-A3000 is an Atmos soundbar to kickstart your system

Surround foundations

If you’re keen to drop a lot of dosh on a soundbar, Sony has several top-spec slabs that can lighten your wallet. But what if you want to spend a bit less, while keeping the door open for future improvements? Enter the new Sony HT-A3000: an Atmos soundbar with optional sub and rear units.

Sitting at the bottom of Sony’s line-up of sonic oblongs, the HT-A3000 isn’t a pocket-money purchase. Set to cost £599/$700 when it ships in October, it’s still a serious commitment to cinematic sound. But compared to its HT-A5000 (£899/$1000) and HT-A7000 (£1299/$1400) siblings, the baby of Sony’s range is a significantly more palatable proposition.

That price difference is reflected in its core specs. Unlike its 5.1.2 and 7.1.2 cousins above, the HT-A3000 is a lowly 3.1-channel number. Power is also lower at 250W, while upward-firing speakers are conspicuously absent. But forget comparisons: taken at face value, the HT-A3000 still looks like a whole lot of Sony soundbar for the money.

Working alone, the HT-A3000 deploys three front-firing speakers and a built-in sub to pump out movies and music. And with the centre speaker dedicated to dialogue, the height component required for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersion is handled virtually by way of Sony’s Virtual Surround Engine and S-Force Pro Front Surround smarts.

But if digital surround isn’t doing it for you, the HT-A3000 has a modular trick up its sleeve. If you’ve saved some extra spending money, you can pair it with an optional wireless sub and rear speakers for a more enveloping experience. Both the SA-SW3 and SA-SW5 woofers will add oomph to your living room setup, while the rears can really amp up the immersion.

Combining the HT-A3000 with the SA-RS3S or up-firing SA-RS5 unlocks Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping tech. Using integrated mics to assess the placement of your speakers, Sound Field Optimisation syncs output to create a seamless virtual array around your living room. The result should be a soundtrack you can sink into. Watching on a Bravia TV with an acoustic panel? It can contribute, too.

Connectivity is as flexible as the HT-A3000’s add-on options. Besides HDMI eARC, USB, optical in and S-Center out, you get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 support for easy streaming. Plus Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility means you can control the soundbar via compatible smart devices – in case you didn’t have enough speakers to consider already.

Profile image of Chris Rowlands Chris Rowlands Freelance contributor


Formerly News Editor at this fine institution, Chris now writes about tech from his tropical office. Sidetracked by sustainable stuff, he’s also keen on coffee kit, classic cars and any gear that gets better with age.

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