Been rocking with Sony for years on the portable audio side as they are my go-to for headphones and earbuds. I thought with this newer TV I’m utilizing that supports Dolby Atmos it be a good time to check out one of their soundbars. Sony was nice enough to send over their HT-G700 to review which is in their mid-tier pricing of soundbar systems. Does it pair well with my content consuming experience and worth the price tag?
Seeing that the HT-G700 is a soundbar and subwoofer combo it does come in an interesting L-shaped box. The soundbar measures about 39” across but is just a little over 2” tall. It weights a decent 7lbs. It is replacing a Sonos Beam which is about 6lbs but only 25” wide in comparison. It has a grayish black colorway mostly housing the soundbar while the mesh speaker grill looks more of a lighter gray.
It has touch sensitive buttons on top which are Power, Bluetooth, Volume Up & Down and even a Demo button. Flip over to the back and there are ports for HDMI In, HDMI Out, Optical, and Update. The AC port resets in a separate section in the back.
Next thing you will be pulling out the box is the Subwoofer. It literally doubles the weight of the soundbar at close to 17lbs with a height of 16” tall. Since its wireless the only cable it uses is the AC Cord to power it on. Like the soundbar it is a minimalist clean black design with a mesh speaker grill on top while its bottom half has a shiny polished piano black exterior.
Sony HT-G700 includes remote control (with batteries), (2) AC Cords, HDMI Cable
Setup / Features
My first thought was since the subwoofer is a wireless connection it was going to be a headache getting connected as I experienced with a Polk speaker some years back. But it was rather quick and seamless. Connected the speaker via HDMI to the TV which recognized it in just a snap, then following the steps to syncing the subwoofer wirelessly and we were off and running. This is the first soundbar I used in awhile that doesn’t utilize any network apps of any sort since it has no internet connection. It can be synced to say a smartphone via Bluetooth though.
The soundbar has a LED panel on it that displays things such as volume control but also when you are changing audio settings or navigating through the options.
As mentioned earlier this sound system has a ton of audio support such as: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital plus, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Dual mono, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS HD Master Audio, DTS ES, DTS 96 / 24, DTS: X, LPCM.
I have used it for various content from a Vizio TV (w/ apps), PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and NVIDIA Shield.
Since this speaker has been out quite a bit there was an update for it and was easy to setup. It required downloading the file from your PC, putting on a formatted USB thumb drive, plugging in USB port and then going to the “Update” option in the soundbar menu
The HT-G700 is a 3.1CH system meaning it has three speakers (left, right, center) and then thus the subwoofer. Interestingly Sony showcases this as a audio system that can give you 7.1.2 surround sound virtually or as they call it Immersive AE. This is essentially an upscaler but since the soundbar has no up or side firing speakers it can only do so much.
Now lets be clear whether you use the 3.1 option or 7.1.2 option you are getting some clear clean audio from Sony. Watching Alita: Battle Angel’s Motorball finale scene it feels like they are coming from all areas near you as they rip and run around the track. In Creed 2’s first meeting of “Drago vs Creed”, the furious number of punches can be felt thanks to the bass from the accompanying subwoofer. Both of which I watched on VUDU in 4K UHD. Sometimes I wish the subwoofer could give you a bit more bass though as I keep it on its highest level 12 and don’t see any reason to take it down any further.
So the main reason for checking out this soundbar was for Dolby Atmos. It definitely provides a different listening experience while watching content. Seeing as I have attended various Dolby Atmos movie theaters and even been in their studios its something I can appreciate it.
Depending on the movie it will cut in and out I gather from the sound changing in the movie, even to the point of no audio for brief periods. I found this a big issue in the Disney+ app and at times with HBOMAX. This would be content such as Captain America: Civil War(D+) or The Little Things (HBOMAX). There are also times Dolby Atmos won’t even be recognized and it will stay on default LPCM. This could possibly be attributed to them being fairly new services(about a year out) and still working the kinks out.
Watching regular network channels via YouTube TV I never experience any audio issues. Voice Mode works great on the HT-G700 when you want dialog pushed to front and it is your focus.
Out of the past month and change of checking out the HT-G700 I have only come across DTS:X content once and that was playing Aquaman on 4K UHD Blu-Ray via my PlayStation 5. Listening in DTS:X it did a good job of spacing out the audio especially during some of the epic battle sequences.
At a price of $599.99 it sits up there with some of the more pricier soundbars but does at least include a wireless subwoofer. Its 3.1CH system sounds good and its 7.1.2 virtual option is fun to play with. Its great as it supports Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X but would fare better if it had some up firing speakers. Also, since it has no internet connection you can’t extend your system much more. Setup is easy and quick having you up in minutes. I only wish I could pump out a bit more bass and the Dolby Atmos wouldn’t kick in and out on some content. Otherwise, it’s a superb listening experience.