New Sony soundbar suddenly makes Sonos Arc look less appealing

Sony's HT-A3000 soundbar has optional rear speakers for an immersive 360 Spatial Sound experience

Sony HT-A3000 soundbar
(Image credit: Sony)

If you're in the market for a mid-range surround sound soundbar, you're looking at some of the best soundbars including the mighty Sonos Arc. And now there's a new contender from Sony that significantly undercuts the Arc and can also become a fully-fledged surround sound system rather than a virtual one. It's called the HT-A3000, it's expected to cost £599 and it'll go on sale in October. 

The HT-A3000 is a very good soundbar in its own right, but it's better still if you spend a similar sum on a pair of wireless rear speakers such as Sony's SA-RS5 speakers, which add a whopping 180W of wider surround sound including up-firing speakers for 360-degree spatial audio. They do come in at a hefty £699, though; the more affordable 100W SA-RS3S speakers are £449.

What does £600 of Sony soundbar get you?

The HT-A3000 is a 3.1 channel soundbar with three front speakers including a dedicated dialogue speaker and a dual subwoofer for extra thump. It has Sony's Vertical Surround Engine and S-Force PRO Front Surround systems to create virtual surround for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks, using technological trickery to make it sound like you have more speakers than you actually do – although in the long term I think I'd really want those optional wireless rear speakers; I've spent too much time with my Atmos AV receiver to want a virtual surround system instead.

Connections here are HDMI eARC, USB, optical in, HDMI out and S-Center Out, which is designed for compatible Bravia TVs.

If the A3000 still seems a little weedy, there's an even more powerful model: the A5000, which will cost around £899. That's a 5.1.2 soundbar and once again it's compatible with Sony's rear speakers. It too will launch in October 2022.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).