When regular ol’ 5.1 just won’t cut it any more, it’s time to step up to Dolby Atmos. Finding room for those extra height channels ain’t easy, though, so if you’re tight on space, Sony’s found a way to do it virtually. The 3.1 channel HT-Z9F squeezes Atmos into a single soundbar, with three drivers digitally recreating a full surround sound setup (and a separate subwoofer handling the bass). A “Vertical S” button then delivers virtual 3D sound – whether you’re actually watching Atmos content or not. And if you suddenly find a bit more space behind the sofa, you can add a set of dedicated rear speakers to turn the system into a true 5.1 setup. The HT-Z9F will set you back £600 when it launches later this year, but there’s no word on how much the optional extra speakers will set you back.
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