Sony HT-Z9F Voice Enhancement Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer

Last updated: October 25, 2021

We looked at the top Soundbars and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Soundbar you should buy.

Product Details

In our analysis of 56 expert reviews, the Sony Voice Enhancement Soundbar & Wireless Subwoofer placed 13th when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Feel the thrill of your favorite shows and movies. The Z9F 3.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Sound bar’s new Vertical Surround Engine places you in the middle of the action. Five different sound modes optimize audio to what you’re hearing. Wireless and network-capable, the Z9F can also connect to select rear speakers for a full-room solution that provides a cinematic experience.

Expert Reviews

What reviewers liked

The Z9F may not look like much of a powerhouse, but it’s loaded with just about every feature you could ask for in a 3.1 soundbar, including some impressive digital sound processing. Like other virtual surround soundbars, this is not a substitute for a fully discrete Dolby Atmos system. The Z9F will reward you with intuitive design and good performance, all in a sleek (and dare we say sexy?) little package.
Integration is excellent, and there’s no disconnect between the subwoofer and soundbar. Despite all the processing jiggery pokery, dialogue is precise and unmuddied. The Sony HT-ZF9 confounds expectations, delivering an expansive soundfield from an easy-to-accommodate design. It can be confusing to use, but rewards with a compelling Atmos-lite performance.
Design-wise, the Z9F is neat and simple. The bar is around a meter wide and features a removable grille, which conceals a trio of drivers. Rear connectivity includes two HDMI inputs (which are 4K HDCP and Dolby Vision compatible) plus an HDMI out with ARC. There’s also USB, an analogue stereo 3.5 mm minijack input, and optical digital audio input. The Bluetooth implementation is compatible with Sony’s LDAC extension, and while there's no NFC, Bluetooth headphones can be paired for private listening. Chromecast is built-in, and there’s interaction with Google Assistant.
This soundbar also comes with a wireless subwoofer, offers HDMI video pass-through (with 4K HDR support), and can decode Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks and simulate the 3D audio effects through its Vertical Surround Engine technology.

What reviewers didn't like

Surround performance varies based on installation and vertical Surround feature adds sibilance to midrange.
This soundbar is more confusing than an Ikea flatpack plan
It is operationally confusing and disappointing overhead sound.
The Sony can’t quite compete with our top pick in all-around performance, and it’s more complicated to set up and use due to its receiver-like design, but it will work for you if you need an HDMI connection and 4K support.
View our Soundbar buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

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