Onkyo has debuted the new SBT-A500 sound bar system, which features a three-channel passive soundbar with two up-firing drivers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, a dedicated AV receiver unit, and a wireless subwoofer. Each soundbar channel uses two drivers, and the subwoofer sports a 6.5-inch woofer and 50-watt amp. The receiver features four HDMI 2.0 inputs, Bluetooth, and built-in Wi-Fi, with support for Chromecast, AirPlay, DTS Play-Fi, Spotify Connect, and FireConnect for multi-room audio. The SBT-A500 will ship this month for $999.
Power and simplicity combine for massive sound with a minimalist profile as Onkyo USA announces the SBT-A500 Network Surround Sound Bar System. The SBT-A500 features Dolby Atmos immersive audio as well as DTS:X playback, along with user-friendly wireless audio features such as Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi technology, AirPlay, and FireConnect multi-room distribution. The SBT-A500 ships this month with an MSRP of $999 (US) and $1,399 (CAD).
In addition to providing immersive object-based audio to the latest in video and gaming entertainment, the three-piece system offers key advantages over similar products, starting with its low 2.1-inch profile for an unimpeded view of the TV screen. The wall-mountable sound bar connects to a separate, slim Network A/V Receiver via multichannel audio cable, with authentic full-scale power delivered to precision drivers (comprising two speakers each for the left, right, and center channels, plus single height speakers) by a discrete digital amplification system. Together with wireless subwoofer, this single-cable sound bar design results in neat and clean installation under the TV display.
The receiver includes four HDMI inputs to connect media players and game consoles, with all components and cabling easily concealed in an entertainment unit. TV connection comes via single 4K/60p HDMI cable with Audio Return Channel, allowing the SBT-A500 to enhance broadcast TV audio.
The SBT-A500 also achieves a deeply satisfying stereo performance with a choice of network audio options, and includes a pair of upward-firing speakers that conform to the Dolby Atmos standard for overhead sound reproduction of object and channel based content.
The sound bar will support DTS Play-Fi technology that collects music (streaming services, local files, or network-attached audio) into a simple interface for casting to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers, and supports multiple streams to different speakers simultaneously without interruption.
Chromecast built-in, AirPlay, and dual-band 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi provide for seamless app-based music casting, while Spotify Connect lets subscribers stream direct from the Spotify application. Bluetooth connectivity completes a universal suite for wireless music streaming.
Onkyo Controller app brings together wireless casting technologies, simplifies access to included TuneIn, TIDAL, and Pandora services, and centralizes house-wide audio distribution to optional FireConnect-ready wireless speakers. The easy-to-use app complements the onscreen GUI with system remote controls for each zone.
With discrete dialog volume adjustment for DTS:X soundtracks, DTS Neural:X is also included to up-mix standard multichannel audio to 3D sound. The SBT-A500 also supports a Dolby Surround up-mixer, which decodes and directs sounds to all of the speakers in the sound bar including up-firing capabilities to provide a higher sense of immersion from all channel-based content.
Dolby Audio adds a new Surround Enhancer technology that wraps sound around the audience by creating virtual rear speakers. The addition of Dolby Atmos delivers captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, to bring entertainment to life all around the audience. Whether you are listening to music, movies, television shows or playing your favorite video games, Dolby Atmos delivers the full impact of the entertainment experience.
Rounded out with a 40-preset FM tuner, AV sync function and L/R tone controls, the SBT-A500's feature set approaches that of a full-sized home theater in a decor-friendly package.