Have you just bought a sweet new 4K or 8K TV and you’re looking to make the audio sound as good as the video looks? A sound bar will go a long way to creating the home theatre of your dreams. I recently had a chance to try out the new Sony HT-G700 sound bar in my home with a new 4K TV to see what this sound bar can do, what features it has or doesn’t, and what it adds to my home theatre.
Sony’s HT-G700 sound bar review
This sound bar promises crystal clear sound, and easy to understand dialogue with three front speakers. It’s a 3.1 channel sound bar with 200 watts of power that will give you up to 7.1.2 channel surround sound and with its wireless subwoofer—rumbling bass. There’s also a simple remote control in the box, but oddly no app functionality. There’s also no built in digital assistant functions if you’re looking for those technologies.
Sony HT-G700 has Dolby Atmos
This sound bar has Dolby Atmos meaning you get the illusion of sound from all around including overhead. To get the most from this format however, you do need to make sure the content you’re watching has been produced in Dolby Atmos.
Now I say “illusion” here because there are no overhead firing speakers in this sound bar, as other Dolby Atmos-enabled sound bars and home theatre set ups do have. So here, you’re really getting the effects replicated digitally.
How well does Atmos work in HT-G700?
While I did find the sounds seemed to be sprinkled well across my field of view, I didn’t get much from overhead. While the G700 is able to decode Dolby Atmos technology from your sources, it’s not able to physically recreate it. And for me, that gap was noticeable.
Sony HT-G700 sound bar features
The sound bar also boasts what Sony calls the Immersive AE (Audio Enhancement) button where the HT-G700 will upscale even basic stereo sound to 7.1.2 surround sound.
I wouldn’t say the effects are hugely noticeable here either, but if you’re going to be watching a lot of older stuff this might be a nice add on for you.
With this sound bar you can listen to music too, connecting easily via Bluetooth (just push the Bluetooth button on top of the bar to allow your phone to connect it) or use your TV to play from Spotify, YouTube music and more.
Set up & connection ports: Sony HT-G700
Getting this sound bar connected is straightforward. Connect using the HDMI ARC or Audio Return channel, as I did. You can also use optical digital input too.
Use pre-set audio modes for easy adjustments
Most of us don’t like fussing with settings and calibrating everything just so. For us, there’s a handful of pre-set sound modes.
Cinema mode seems designed to mimic a wider soundscape. Music mode is meant to give you more detail. Voice mode tailors sound settings to accentuate speech while Night mode optimizes the sound balance so you can hear everything clearly even at low volume levels. Each of these settings does sound different from the others, but which ones you prefer might be down to personal tastes.
When you’re watching movies, you need to be able to follow what’s going on easily. In busy productions with lots of noise and action, that can be hard. The HT-G700 uses a center speaker for better dialogue. This dedicated center speaker ensures that voices can be clearly heard, whether it’s quick-fire conversation in your favourite TV show or whispered lines in a Hollywood movie.
Sony HT-G700 subwoofer
The best movie nights give you thundering audio that will rattle your bones. The Sony HT-G700 comes with a wireless subwoofer designed to deliver a deeper, richer bass sound that really lets you feel your films. Plus, thanks to its simple wireless connection, where you place it is up to you. However, when it comes to the bass, I felt like it wasn’t as strong as some other subwoofers I’ve tested. More of a low grumble than a seat-shaking rumble.
Overall review: Sony HT-G700 sound bar & subwoofer
Overall, there’s lots to love about the Sony HT-G700. It’s easy to set up and really does all the heavy lifting itself. It’s slim and sleek and can disappear into your space. The sound bar sounds good overall, but for me it’s missing a bit of the wow factor.
When it comes to the downsides of this model? It does feel strange that Sony wouldn’t add more connectivity options like a remote app or digital assistant controls using Google or Alexa, particularly as other sound bars that sell for less do have these options. Some folks may really feel like they’re not getting their money’s worth without those little extras. But with the included physical remote and more TVs like mine coming with digital assistants in the screen, maybe you won’t even need Google or Alexa in the sound bar.
I also didn’t feel like this was giving the same effect as getting a sound bar with upward firing speakers; the effect from the digitally replicated overhead channels for me personally didn’t stand out. If that’s a feature you’re looking for, you might want to consider something else.
Overall, I feel like this sound bar is just fine, but it wasn’t dazzling me or wowing me.