Onkyo USA has announced the new SBT-A500 Network Surround Sound Bar System, featuring support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio formats.
The SBT-A500 is a three-piece system. The wall-mountable sound bar itself has a low 2.1-inch profile, allowing an unimpeded view of the TV screen. It incorporates two speakers each for left, right and center channels, plus single height speakers.
The soundbar connects via multichannel audio cable to a separate slim Network A/V Receiver. The single wire results in a neat installation. Three HDMI inputs allow connection to media players, game consoles or other components. TV connection is via a single 4K/60p HDMI cable with Audio Return Channel.
A wireless subwoofer completes the package.
Discrete dialog volume adjustment is supported for DTS:X soundtracks. DTS Neural:X allows up-mixing of standard multichannel audio to 3D sound. The SBT-A500 also includes a Dolby Surround up-mixer, which can decode and direct sounds to all of the speakers in the sound bar, and use up-firing capabilities to provide greater immersion.
Dolby Audio also adds a new Surround Enhancer, which creates a pair of virtual rear speakers. With Dolby Atmos, the SBT-A500 can place and move audio anywhere in the room.
The SBT-A500 also includes a 40-preset FM tuner, AV sync function, and L/R tone controls.
DTS Play-Fi technology collects music from streaming services, local files or network-attached audio, into a single interface for casting to Wi-Fi-enabled speakers, supporting multiple simultaneous streams to different speakers.
Chromecast and AirPlay are built in, along with dual-band 5GHz/2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Spotify Connect lets users stream directly from the Spotify app.
The Onkyo Controller app brings together wireless casting technologies, and simplifies access to included services TuneIn, Tidal and Pandora. The app also controls house-wide audio distribution to optional FireConnect-ready wireless speakers.
The SBT-A500 ships this month, at an MSRP of $999 USD or $1,399 CAD. During CES 2017, it's on display in the Venetian Bassano Room #2601.