Last Updated: February 28, 2023, 14:07 IST
Sony is a veteran in the audio segment across different price brackets. You have a wide array of wireless speakers in the mid-price range that start catching your eye, and going further up in the range enhances the sound experience. We have mostly tested soundbars in the affordable segment but when Sony decided to let us experience its HT-A series systems for a long stretch, it was too good a chance to refuse. The soundbar comes for Rs 69,990 but if you pick up the subwoofer, Sony is giving you a special price of Rs 83,980 on the bundle.
The Sony HT-A3000 is a 3.1 channel soundbar and the base variant in the lineup sitting along with the A5000 and A7000 soundbar. The company also provided us with the wireless subwoofer and dual satellite speakers that come separately and in this review we talk about the performance, the quality and experience of immersing your space in this high-quality setup.
Sony HT-A3000 Review: What’s Cool?
Sony has kept it simple with the design of the soundbar which is not a bad thing for us. The soundbar gets a matte black finish with a metal honeycomb grille covering the front where you have the speaker unit.
The built-in woofers are placed on the side, and you have the soft-touch power controls at the top-right of the unit. You even have an LED display to tell you the modes running on the soundbar, what track is playing and the volume level. Pairing the soundbar with the subwoofer gives you a double sound mix with that extra bass which you might not feel with the default woofers. You can go through the process by connecting to the local Wi-Fi network and pair the additional units.
When the boxes are delivered, you might find all the units overwhelming but once you start pairing them and connect to the TV, you don’t feel it like a tiresome exercise. Having a soundbar with versatility has become a vital ingredient to succeed and the HT-A3000 ticks all the boxes in that aspect. You have Bluetooth, HDMI, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay and built-in Chromecast. Even in the wireless mode, you have support for high-res audio codec files like AAC, SBC, and LDAC that have become popular among users.
You can even switch to voice commands via Google Assistant and Alexa for a hands-free experience. There is a bundled remote with all the options but you can also download the Sony Music Center app on smartphone (both iOS and Android) to control the settings to some extent. We have already talked about the 3.1 channel supported by the soundbar, but having the subwoofer paired you get a 5.1 channel unit and you notice the difference straightaway.
Soundbar reviews hold no value without talking about the performance, and fair to say that Sony’s balanced soundstage delivers on all fronts. It is equipped with Dolby Atmos surround sound that fills up the room in an emphatic fashion.
Be it listening to classical music or heavy rock, you notice the vocals crystal clear and the bass touch rounds up the overall sound production from the woofers. The 5-channel audio setup livens up the room and I must admit that watching movies without the HT-A3000 felt incomplete. You can hear the dialogues and the action sequences have enough punch to enhance the overall experience.
Sony HT-A3000 Review: What’s Not So Cool?
While we raved about the myriad connectivity choices, the soundbar strangely misses out on HDMI passthrough. It may not be a big deal breaker for many but still worth pointing out when you are spending upwards of Rs 80,000. For audio equipment, we didn’t like the limited choices for equaliser settings. When a person spends big for soundbar they certainly expect the product to tick all the feature list and since everyone has their taste and preference, equaliser comes in handy.
We can’t end the review without talking about the price. The HT-A3000 is a costly proposition and even though it manages to keep the levels in check, people would be browsing through the features multiple times before they pull out the cheque book (not literally).
Sony HT-A3000 Review: Should You Buy?
Sony HT-A3000 soundbar on its own is a heavy unit in many ways, and when you pair it with a subwoofer the 3-channel audio turns into a 5-channel product that is enough to satiate most consumers. You are spending upwards of Rs 80,000 for the premium Sony audio quality, versatile connectivity options and a lot of smartness. It also helps that Sony leaves the room for you to add additional speakers to get a 360-degree sound experience. Buy it if you are upgrading the sound system in your house, and like the sound signature that Sony offers.
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