Earlier this week, Sony dropped the news that it will replace its long-standing HT-ST5000 Soundbar with a new model – the Sony HT-A7000.
Sony’s latest flagship soundbar costs a whopping $1,299 / AU$1,699 (about £950), but it’s a 7.1.2 system with built-in upfiring speakers for Dolby Atmos, full HDMI 2.1 pass-through for 4K/120Hz support, and DolbyVision HDR.
It’s a fantastic list – and you could say it’s the perfect soundbar for Xbox Series X. That’s because Microsoft’s console is the only one that currently supports Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos.
Is it missing from the list of supported features? The PS5’s proprietary spatial audio format, Tempest Audio, which has yet to appear in audio equipment outside of the Sony Pulse PS5 headset. You can probably see where this is going…
Where is Tempest Audio Support?
In an interview with TechRadar, Sony said it designed the soundbar with the PS5 in mind – the 4K/120Hz throughput is great for its console too, and it can even tune itself to the acoustics of your room.
In addition, the soundbar supports 360 Reality Audio, Sony’s other spatial audio format, and works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Apple AirPlay 2.
But the question of where Tempest Audio’s support came up in the interview. Sony’s response? No comment, at least for now.
It is important to remember here that Sony is a huge brand with multiple divisions, one of them is Sony Electronics, the company that releases headphones and TVs, and another is Sony Interactive Entertainment that works on the PS5 and publishes video games.
When Sony first spoke about Tempest Audio, it said it would work on all audio systems, from your TV’s built-in speakers to headphones, from soundbars to stereo systems — but said functionality wouldn’t come until after its launch last year.
So far we’ve only seen one product with proper Tempest Audio support – and that’s the PS5 Pulse 3D which has been “optimized” for 3D audio. No other product has gotten that certification to date, but you’d hope it will make it to Sony soundbars – some of the best soundbars on the market – before it goes elsewhere.
Mix and match with your home entertainment setup
If there’s a positive side to Sony’s unintentional Xbox-friendly accessory, it’s that Sony Electronics wouldn’t even care if you use its soundbars with Xbox.
This happens all the time in the home entertainment world where you buy a TV from Samsung or LG, pair it with a soundbar from Sony or Sonos, and plug it into a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, or a PS4. In short, we all have coordinated systems and that works well for everyone involved.
As long as the whole system works, everyone is happy and there is no need to have brand loyalty to one manufacturer. Now, that doesn’t give Sony a pass to make a Tempest Audio-compatible soundbar – because that should definitely be on the roadmap – but until then we’re happy to be able to pair the A7000 with our Xbox Series X ahead of its time. maximum potential.