Sound bars are becoming more and more feature rich. Over the years, the dramatically improved sound quality of bars has made them one of the most popular home theater upgrades. Today, many sound bars also throw-in modern tech that we’ve become accustomed to. Onkyo’s new SBT-A500 sound bar not only includes features such as WiFi and Bluetooth, but it also has the ability to decode the latest and greatest home theater audio formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.


On the surface, the 2-inch tall SBT-A500 looks like your typical sound bar with its long and slender frame. However, accompanying the sound bar is an AV center which houses all of the connection options including (4) 4K HDMI connections. Your home theater components and TV attach to the AV center while a single HDMI cable connects the center to the sound bar. For all intents and purposes the AV center acts like a mini AV receiver that also handles all of the audio processing which allows the sound bar to focus on sound.


Along with the bar and AV center, the SBT-A500 relies on a slim profile subwoofer to handle chest thumping bass. According to Onkyo, the sub can produce frequencies as low as 30Hz.


To produce Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound effects, the bar contains angled drivers which bounce sound off of ceilings and down into the listening area. Dolby Audio Enhanced Surround Technology is also built into the bar to create the illusion of rear surround speakers.


The Onkyo SBT-A500 includes Bluetooth and dual band WiFi. For multi-room audio, the A500 supports DTS PlayFi and FireConnect. AirPlay, Spotify Connect, DEEZER, TuneIn and Pandora are also available as streaming options. Google Chromecast is expected to be available with a future firmware update.


Onkyo has not announced a release date yet, but the SBT-A500 is expected to have an MSRP of $1000 when it does arrive on store shelves.

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