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Sony HT-G700 Dolby Atmos Soundbar
I have recently purchased the Sony HT-GX700 soundbar, the reason for this is that my partner was getting frustrated with the JBL 5.0 Bar Multibeam Soundbar. If you are wondering if the JBL 5.0 Bar Multibeam is still any good read-on to find out.
Frustration with the JBL 5.0 Bar Multibeam Soundbar
The JBL 5.0 Bar Multibeam Soundbar is still a good soundbar. There is no sub-woofer with the JBL, but the bass is still very good on it. It is a great soundbar for its price, which at the time of writing this article is retailing at £349.99 in a local store
The frustration that my partner had with it was that when you switched on the TV the JBL soundbar came on and if you turned it off as soon as you changed the channel it came back on again.
Also, there is an issue where there is a 3-second delay in sound coming on when watching a video on YouTube, Disney +, Netflix or Prime Video. For me, that is frustrating too. If I purchase something it has to work as it should otherwise, I get very frustrated trying to fix it.
Now I believe that the main problem was to do with the HDMI eARC connection between the soundbar and the Sony Bravia TV. I emailed both Sony and Harman, the company that creates the JBL soundbars, for help with this issue and to be honest I have mostly found that technical support with many ‘Tech Companies’ is that if they can’t help then they push the responsibility on to either the customer or another company.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what HDMI eARC is, for this post, I mention it because it is a way of controlling the soundbar and/or TV with a remote. If you want to read more about eARC then there is this article. Click here to read about HDMI eARC
After a lot of emails being sent, replies asking for more information and pictures and videos being sent to Sony and Harman I decided that enough was enough and I could not get it sorted so I decided to look for something else.
Revisiting previous soundbars
You may have read about my search for Dolby Atmos soundbars in a previous post by clicking here. Once again I started to do my research on the internet for reviews, prices, features and dimensions of other brands of Soundbars
On this occasion, I had a better idea of what I was looking for, as it wasn’t the first time, I had done this. The soundbars I was looking at once again were brands like Sonos, LG and Sony.
Sonos Beam 2
I am not going to repeat what I wrote in my previous post, much! I went to my local store to listen to the Sonos Beam and again the lack of bass hit me, and also, I didn’t get the surround sound I was looking for. It is still priced relatively high at £425 at the time of writing. Also, if you want to add a sub-woofer it will cost an additional £669. That is £1,094 for a very basic Dolby Atmos soundbar.
For £769 you can buy the highly-rated Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar. The two things that made this an unattractive buy are the price and size of the soundbar.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have little space under the TV for a soundbar, around 91cm, or 36 inches. The Sonos Arc comes in at 125.3 or 49.3 inches which would dominate the shelf under the TV. £769 was outside my budget that I would want to spend on a soundbar.
LG SN7CY All in One Soundbar
The LG SN7CY All-in-One Soundbar is a Dolby Atmos soundbar, and as it, the name suggests it comes with a sub-woofer built into the soundbar. As I have also mentioned before, I found that the bass was lacking. The sub-woofer may be fine in a small room but in a larger room, you may lose that bass that adds depth to a movie or music.
The width of the LG soundbar is not a big issue coming in at 89cm, or 35 inches but the depth of the soundbar seemed a little large at 12.6cm, or 4.9 inches. This could be because the upfiring speakers give the overhead Dolby Atmos effect.
Sony HT-G700 3.1 Wireless soundbar
After my experience with the Sony HT-X8500 Dolby Atmos all-in-one soundbar, I thought I wouldn’t touch another Sony soundbar again.
I hated the HT-X8500 interface, where there was no display, and I couldn’t tell what mode the soundbar was set to. Was it set in movie mode? Was it set to music mode? Was Dolby Atmos switched on? I just didn’t know!
While I was in my local store, I went to look at the Sony soundbars to see if I could have been wrong about their soundbars. While having a look and listening to the soundbars the HT-G700 soundbar caught my eye. I also noticed the price at the time of purchase was £299.
The Sony HT-G700 Dolby Atmos soundbar is a 300-watt speaker so there is enough sound to fill a room. It also comes with a sub-woofer that is 100 watts, so in all, it is a 400-watt soundbar, but you will rarely use it to its maximum level.
What I like about the HT-G700 Dolby Atmos Soundbar
I thought the price of the HT-G700 Dolby Atmos soundbar was very good and noticed that it had been reduced from £399 to £299 so this put it into the price bracket I had in mind. It was on the larger side regarding the width of the soundbar, 98cm, or 38 inches.
It also comes with a separate wireless sub-woofer; hence it is a 3.1. There are 3 active speakers in the soundbar itself and 1 sub-woofer.
The HT-G700 comes with a digital display on the front of the soundbar so I could see if the soundbar was set to the movie, music, or standard sound, which I love. Also, if I am watching a movie in Dolby Atmos then again it displays that information on the front of the soundbar as the movie starts.
The soundbar is very easy to set up. You connect the HDMI cable to the ARC/eARC on your TV and then the other end of the HDMI cable to the eARC/ARC HDMI Out socket on the soundbar and you are good to go.
The HT-G700 Remote control
The Sony HT-G700 remote control is compact and lovely to use too. It comes with a good number of buttons to help you set up and control the soundbar.
With the remote you can change the inputs to the Sony soundbar, the options are TV, and HDMI, which is useful if you are connecting your Blue-Ray DVD player to the soundbar. Also, there is Bluetooth so you can connect your Smart Phone, Tablet or PC to the soundbar to play music. I used the Bluetooth on the HT-G700 soundbar to play music via Deezer and the sound is clean, and the bass sounds great.
The remote also allows you to control the volume of the sub-woofer. So if you are watching a movie and you want to feel the explosions and crashes you can crank up the bass, or turn it down if you want to enjoy the dialogue.
There are a few buttons on the HT-G700 remote worth mentioning and they are the Voice button that enhances the voice in a movie or TV program so that you can hear it over any music or background effects.
There is a Night button that allows you to watch a movie or a TV programme without disturbing anyone else in the house who may be trying to sleep.
Another button I want to draw your attention to on the Sony HT-G700 remote is the Immersive AE button. Sony calls it “The Immersive Audio Enhancement function”. This enables the Sony HT-G700 Dolby Atmos soundbar to push sound both toward the listener but also upwards above the head of the lister to create the illusion of surround sound without having separate speakers on either side of the listener.
The sound quality is excellent, the bass has a nice deep feel to it. The soundbar sound is clear and crisp. Also, my partner is very happy with it as you can switch it on when you want, it doesn’t automatically switch itself on when you turn the TV on and it stays off until you want to use it.
What I don’t like about the HT-G700 Dolby Atmos soundbar
Maybe I am just picky, but I have already admitted that I want something to work perfectly from the outset. What am I referring to you might be thinking! It is the issue of the 3-second delay of sound when starting a movie or switching videos on YouTube.
It could just be my TV, which was purchased in 2021, or it could just be an issue with some TVs. I have spoken to the Sony rep at my local store, and I explained my problem. When he tested the HT-G700 on a brand-new Sony TV there was no issue switching between videos on YouTube. So now I am baffled, I have learnt to live with this issue, and you may not have this problem at all.
Other than the issue of the 3-second delay I have no problems or complaints with the HT-G700 soundbar and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a soundbar with a sub-woofer.
Final thoughts on the HT-G700 Soundbar
To sum up, the Sony HT-G700 Dolby Atmos soundbar is a great soundbar for the price. Not many budget soundbars offer what the Sony HT-G700 does. If you don’t mind that you can’t cast music or use Apple Play and you use Bluetooth then music sounds good too. There are enough settings to satisfy most people looking for virtual surround sound without lots of speakers dotted around your room.
Will I get dissatisfied with the HT-G700 soundbar in a few months’ time? I don’t think I will, it has everything that I need to fill my room with sound and also my partner likes the sound we get from it too.
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