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Customer ratings & reviews
soundbar creates loud clicking/ snapping soundsPosted
the soundbar can only be connected to tv with optical cable. If I use ARC 3 to soundbar (via HDMI), I get a loud clicking/ snapping sound when I change the cable channels or pause and start programing again. This is very annoying! I have to run HDMI's to the tv (cable box/ PS/3) with optical cable (TV to Soundbar) to get rid if clicking, but then I do not view changes on the tv when using the soundbar remote (the changes in volume, bass, auto & music button changes selection do not show up on the tv screen). Hard to read display on the soundbar.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
HDMI ARC broke after a weekPosted
This Sony sound bar and my new Sony 900 4K TV were supposed to be "made for each other" according to the Sales Rep. I installed according to instructions. After a week, the HDMI ARC would no longer let me control the volume with my TV remote. Multiple attempts to re-do set up unsuccessful. Nor would it return sound to the Sound Bar when watching an app like Netflix or Prime. I had to remove the ARC cable and by an optical cable. Lower quality sound (though still nice - but not "Axios" level) and separate remote for all volume control. The box was resealed with "Geek Squad" tape when I bought it. It was missing the mounting screws that were supposed to be included.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Good Sound Quality But Little Atmos EffectPosted
I was very excited when this sound bar was announced, as it promised the ability to add Dolby Atmos to my existing upstairs living room without the need for a bulky receiver unit, and paired with the wireless surround speakers that are made for this 3.1 system, I'dn't even need to run cords to the front to get legitimate surround sound! Unfortunately, I've been underwhelmed with the Atmos sound, which may or may not be the result of the room I'm using the system in. To start, I'll say up front that the sound quality is pretty good for a sound bar. It'll be more than sufficient for most, though audiophiles (which I somewhat consider myself) may be underwhelmed. The included subwoofer has a surprising amount of power for its size, though I had to crank it nearly to max before it felt balanced with the rest of the system. Also, the ability to handle 4K@60hz pass thru is a huge bonus (though it has only 2 HDMI inputs to utilize it). As stated above, in my particular room setup where this system will be used (which has vaulted ceilings which very well may be negatively impacting the system), the Atmos effect is quite underwhelming. It seems to use the rear speakers (which are an optional extra) to synthesize the Atmos effect, and while it opens up the sound space, I never had a sense of "altitude"; said another way, I never felt as though the sound came from different height planes. I'm not a fan of how Sony chose to include the inputs for the soundbar. Instead of putting the input ports on the subwoofer unit, which I'd imagine most will nest behind an entertainment center, they elected to place the inputs on the soundbar itself. While this may have been done for technical reasons (perhaps to reduce latency), this poses a convenience issue, especially for those intending to wall mount the soundbar. My next issue with their input placement is that they've chosen to put the inputs at an angle, undoubtedly for those choosing to wall mount. However, they should've given the HDMI ports more clearance. The display/ARC enabled port is the furthest back, and I had quite a bit of trouble connecting a heavy duty cable. For those looking for a top of the line soundbar with good sound quality and the ability to pass thru the lastest 4K/HDMI spec signal, this fits the bill. When fitted with the optional surround speakers, getting good sounding surround sound couldn't be easier or more convenient, and for these reasons alone I'd recommend the system if you can deal with the price. That being said, those expecting to be wowed by the system's Atmos abilities will be underwhelmed.
I would recommend this to a friend
Solid performance but overloaded with functionalitPosted
I purchased the HTZ9F soundbar to go along with a Sony 75" X900F. This is my first soundbar after using the internal TV speakers on my previous TV's. Setup is fairly easy and Sony includes the HDMI cable to connect the soundbar to the TV. The specialists at Best Buy recommend running sources through the soundbar and using the HDMI-3 Audio Return Channel (ARC) to feed the TV. The soundbar only has two other HDMI jacks, limiting the number of sources. The HDMI jacks are set at an angle on the back of the soundbar. The inner most jack can be difficult to use with thicker HDMI cables. Thicker cables make mounting the soundbar challenging as to not over bend the HDMI cables. The front of the soundbar has an LED display that provides feedback on which source is is in use and other messages. There is no functionality to rename HDMI jacks so one has to remember which source is associated with each jack. The HTZ9F provides better audio than the X900F TV's internal speakers. But for the price, that is expected. A big selling point is the Vertical Surround Engine (VSE). After trying various adjustments, I couldn't tell a huge difference with standard HD material. There are controls for adjusting the volume of the sub and rear speakers independent of the main soundbar. This makes it easy to increase or decrease the amount of bass depending on if you want to shake the house or not. The HTZ9F comes with Chromecast, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and and LAN connection functionality which I question the value add. Why do all devices (TV, soundbar, players, etc) have these redundant features? Hopefully there will be software updates which would make the LAN / Wi-Fi useful. I am using the soundbar with a Sony TV and there have been no integration issues or problems with voice sync. It works well with the Sony TV and BRAVIA Sync makes controlling the soundbar and TV easier after figuring out the various options. Fortunately, I was able to get an additional price reduction on top of the sale price when purchasing the soundbar with the TV. If I had to pay the normal sale price I am not sure the soundbar would be worth the price. But for the price paid, it is a reasonable upgrade to the system.
I would recommend this to a friend
You cannot go wrong with the Sony Z9F Soundbar!!!Posted
Let's be honest, a slim soundbar with tiny speakers in it?! , I have to admit that it wasn't my vision of a Home Theater with Dolby Atmos sound. My question was, how? So, I was wrong. Sony has developed a technology with this piece of art that truly delivers excellent quality sound, as well as you can feel the experience that Dolby Atmos offers with this unit. Now, it will be a long tale if I try to explain in full detail how Dolby Atmos works, the best I can recap in this explanation is by saying that Dolby Atmos concept is based in objects. Yes, the way you see the main objects in your screen 4k TV is the same experience the sound will follow that action to that specific object, left, right, up or down. So, many Dolby Atmos technologies are based not only on horizontal surrounding sound, but vertical too. The way to achieve this is by locating another set of 2 speakers on the ceiling, or on the floor facing up. You have no space for cabling, you don't have a dedicated "Sound Room" in your home, and your wife doesn't want to see 7 speakers and cabling all around in the living room, and on top of that, your budget is very limited, but you still want to have Quality Sound, as well as being on top of the technology. Well, the Sony HT-Z9F accomplishes all of that, and more. It performs Dolby Atmos amazingly well, it has 3 front channels speakers, 2 side channels, and a low-frequency channel. So the sound goes not only directly forward, but also upwards and outwards. That is how a directional effect helps provide the closest emulation of surround sound and with this unit you can achieve without actually having five separate speakers around you. But if you add the rear speakers, you will get not only more power of Sound, but a truly 5.1 decoding effect. I love to play music, specially Classical music, and I feel pleased with the performance of this unit. For movies you can feel the Vertical and horizontal involving sound really well. Another new addition is the "vertical S" button. When you press it, the HT-Z9F will up-mix your digital signal processing to 7.1 channel sound. And if you're listening Stereo Music it will turn your music in a surround sound environment with excellent results. Not to mention that the Bass is Powerful, I dont need more bass than a level of ten on the remote for either playing music or Movies. If you want to check how Dolby Atmos works, the best way to try it, is by using the 2 different demo modes that comes with this unit. For Music, you can try the demo "3 Dimensional Surround Experience" by pressing and holding for 3 seconds the input button. For video Dolby Atmos experience, this unit comes with a DVD where you can really see and hear, how this soundbar performs Dolby Atmos Videos. I strongly recommend to get the 2 rear speakers, model ZR9, with this set of optional background speakers, the Z9F exceeds the surrounding sound effects. And for the first time I was really getting a true 5.1 performance. I was watching a documentary that has music in the background while the narrator was talking, and I was able to hear clear and crystal music trough the rear speakers while only the voice was coming out of the bar. It was amazing! And even if this is not a truly 7.1, but a 5.1, watching and hearing movies on 7.1 format will not disappoint you at all, it performs great! For Concerts, with the optional background speakers hooked up, and the volume cranked up, I got theatre quality surrounding sound! Something that I have really loved from Sony Soundbars since I have got my first one (CT660), was that you were able to customized the sound. You were able to control the tones, bass and treble, as well as the intensity (db). The Z9F allows you to customized the level of the sound and even to increase the vertical or horizontal sound effects by setting in the setup the distance where the speakers are located, for all the speakers separately, as well as the power of sound. But something really cool I found out was that he Remote has separate volume controls for the woofer and optional rear speakers. From the remote, you can toggle between the five essential audio modes that the HT-Z9F has been designed around. That includes cinema mode, music mode, game studio mode, news mode, and sports mode. Cinema mode is focused on providing an immersive sound experience similar to a theatre, while music mode focused on enhancing the richness of the sound. The gaming mode is also focused on immersion, but with an emphasis on heightening the feeling of motion and distance for the player. The news mode is for people who have hearing problems. It's designed to take voices and make them stand out against background music, noise, and audio effects. The sports mode is designed to emphasize crowd noise to help you feel like you're watching from the sidelines, but does so without sacrificing the clarity of the commentators. Setup is extremely easy, it's fool proof. Sony changed the old connectors distribution and the jacks on this unit are set at a 45 degree angle in a rectangular cutout in the back of the sound bar. There are two HDMI inputs on the sound bar and the mandatory ARC. I have a Sony 4K TV model XBR55X850 and a Sony Blu-ray UBP-X800, so everything is Sony, and the 3 of them work together flawlessly. The design in avant guard. It looks really great, slim and elegant, and I think it's a clever idea that the grill is connected with magnets and can be easily removed. The rear speakers are wireless and Sub and rear speakers pair very easily. There is built-in Wi-Fi as well as a Ethernet connection for Internet access, which is really useful for Chromecast and to keep the firmware up to date. There is built-in Bluetooth that allows you to connect your cell phone, TV or other devices to the sound bar wirelessly and play music. The sound bar I had before was the ST9, and even if I love it's performance, as well as the power that produces, I decide to keep in my living room the Z9F instead because of the 5.1 and Atmos capability. The difference is very noticeable. To recap, the Sony HT-Z9F Sound Bar system is a nice piece of work, great quality sound, and a good investment. If you think of the cost of a complete set of a Dolby Atmos system, with the Z9F you can have an outstanding quality for a fraction of the cost, as well as space saver convenience and good looking Sound bar. It's a smart choice for anyone that doesn't want to deal with wires everywhere for speakers and enjoy the top of the technology as well.
I would recommend this to a friend
Surpassed my expectations - but not perfectPosted
This Sony 3.1 soundbar with its compact design, wireless subwoofer, optional wireless speaker(s) (turning into 5.1) and onscreen setup display makes it worth a very serious look. My review includes the optional wireless SA-Z9R rear speakers. In the HT-Z9F soundbar box; Soundbar Soundbar grill (attaches with magnets) Wireless subwoofer Remote control HDMI cable Wall mount template and hardware Assorted instruction/guides and ATMOS experience DVD In the optional SA-Z9Rwireless speakers box; 2 wireless speakers Assorted instruction/guides Pros; Lets get this out of the way first - I think the sound is awesome. I am not an audiophile so I cant really speak in technical terms but I would describe the sound as very spatial. With 3.1 processing (5.1 since I have optional rear speakers installed) it seems to fill the room and makes your movies/games/music come alive. This is one of the first soundbars to process Dolby ATMOS and luckily enough I have a 4K Blu-ray player which can process ATMOS. So I was able to listen to the provided ATMOS experience DVD - and it was short but pretty impressive. I also happened to have the "Commuter" blu-ray which also has Dolby ATMOS - and I was really impressed with its sound as well. I also listened to Dolby digital movies/shows and they sounded great too. Power output was more than enough for me but it doesn't have rattle the windows, wake up the neighbors output. I also happen to have a Sony ES 7.2 receiver which is a few years old and as such cant process ATMOS, but I did a comparison with its overall sound to this soundbar. Since I have the space I would still pick my ES receiver as it is more powerful and I can pick its speakers. Having said that - IF you lack the space or inclination to mess with running speaker wires, buying additional speakers, etc. - then this soundbar is a VERY good option. Its nicely designed with flat black metal band around the back half and high gloss glass band around front section. It looks good with or without the black mesh grill (easily attaches/detaches using magnets). Its size should make it easy to use on a TV's pedestal or to mount on the wall. Also just in case it blocks your TV's IR it has 2 built in IR repeaters on the back. It didn't block mine so cant speak to how they actually work. Has easy to understand inputs/output attachments on the back of the sound bar. There are 2 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI ARC output. There is also a fiber optical in, aux in (3.5 mm) for analog input, hard wired Ethernet port, USB (for playing music). Has built in Wi-fi but I used hard wired ethernet connection. I had it all connected and ready to roll within 15 minutes - including synching the subwoofer (was synched before I could get to it after plugging it in). Same thing with the rear wireless speakers - connected before I could even check. A green light appears on each to show they are synched. Adding it to Google Home app on my phone was pretty straight forward too. There is a front panel LED display to indicate inputs, messages, etc. - it can be turned down or off completely if desired. I think the biggest plus, for me, is that all of the remote functions show on screen so you don't have to decode a series of lights or try to guess what audio codec is being used, etc. All controlled thru the provided remote that fits easily in your hand and has a myriad of options available. It has cinema/music/game/news/sports/standard audio presets, a night feature that cuts back ambient sounds and focuses on voice. You can turn up/down the rear or subwoofer speakers volume independent of overall sound level. There is a HOME main menu where you can drill down to set speakers response, run sound test for each speaker, set whether soundbar comes on when attached equipment is turned on, set it as passthru (I really like this option as you don't have to have the soundbar on to and can use the TV speakers), etc. Suffice to say you should be able to pretty much fine tune this system exactly how you want it to sound/function. There are also controls built into the top of the sound bar as well. Chromecast audio is built in and was easy to use once synched with my Google home. Bluetooth is also built in. The GREAT twist is you can use it as a receiver (play your connected devices thru it as is usually the case) OR use it as a transmitter. This is great as using transmitter mode allows you to synch blue-tooth wireless headphones and use them without disturbing those around you. Just make sure when synching that anything the headphones may already be synched with is off or out of range and then drill down into soundbar settings to make sure Bluetooth is set to transmit. It does have a USB 2.0 input but its for audio only and with its connection being in the back it doesnt make it easy to get to. I guess you could get an extension but with built in Chromecast and Bluetooth I wonder when someone might actually use this? The sub-woofer wont win any design awards but has a pleasing functional shape. It weighs around 17 lbs. so I am sure that speaks to the size of its magnet. It has a nice unobtrusive light on the front of it that glows red when not on, green when on and connected. Around back is a synch button in case of issues as well as an on/off button. As mentioned this can be turned up/down from remote with more tuning options using Home menu. Rear speakers are somewhat small as most back speakers are - but have good heft to them as well. No indicator on the front for these but around back is power indicator (same light info as sub-woofer), power button, a link button, a wall mounting hole and another hole if attaching to a speaker stand. As mentioned these can be turned up/down from remote with more tuning options thru Home menu. I would definitely suggest purchasing these if you want to truly hear all this system can do. I didn't try mounting anything to a wall. Cons - at least for me With great power comes great responsibility. You have a lot of options to set this exactly how you want it - BUT some settings interact with others. I.E - I made a small change to a sound setting and it wound up turning off all of the sound modes. Took me awhile to figure what the issue was. So be careful and document what you change - just in case. It only comes with an HDMI cable - no fiber optic or auxiliary cable included. Remote is not illuminated and makes it hard to find or use in dark room. Only 2 HDMI input connections. Also the HDMI connection area is inset and slanted to allow for flat connection to wall but you better have small hands to get into the space. The connections are pretty close together too so may have issue if using wide HDMI connector. While it has Chromecast built in its only for audio - you cant stream videos from your phone or Google Home thru to TV. Seems a tad odd to me since it is connected to TV? Maybe future firmware upgrade - hopefully. . While the soundbar, subwoofer or rear speakers don't have a power "brick" to contend with, none of them have removable power cords. So if running cord thru a wall you will need to have enough space for the plug to pass thru/clear. No option on the provided remote to run/learn other devices. As such every time I use the provided remote to turn on/off the soundbar - it also turns on/off my Sony ES receiver. I assume that if you have other Sony components within this remotes IR range - you may have the same issue. I was able to setup my Cox Cable remote using its auxiliary option to at least turn on/off and raise/lower volume of soundbar - with purpose of trying to reduce number of remotes I have to use. Overall a very nice unit that is one of the first soundbars to be able to provide ATMOS decoding but do consider purchasing the wireless rear speakers for full sound experience.
I would recommend this to a friend