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Sony is at it again by producing decent quality products and slapping an affordable price tag on them for that competitive edge. The Sony HT-X8500 soundbar comes without a separate subwoofer, but it still manages to put out room-filling sound due to its Digital Sound Processing technology. The soundbar also comes with 7 different sound modes to match your content, and is only about 35 inches wide, meaning it can sit very well just below your TV.
To help you determine whether or not this is the best soundbar for you, we’ve put together this Sony HT-X8500 soundbar review, and we hope it’ll help you make an informed decision. If you want a speaker that also doubles as a personal assistant, you’ll also be interested in our review of the WooHoo smart AI speaker and home assistant. Or, take a look at our review of the best speakers.
The Sony HT-X8500 is a mid-priced, high-quality soundbar that comes with its own built-in subwoofer to produce virtual 7.1.2 channel sound, and support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS X surround sound.
You won’t normally find features such as Dolby Atmos DTS X in good quality soundbars that cost less than $300, so the fact that the HT-X8500 supports these virtual surround sound technologies lends great value to it. Its vertical sound engine allows it to give the sound a height and width characteristic, and despite being a 2.1 channel soundbar (unlike the Yamaha YAS-108), it still manages to create a wraparound effect. The HT-X8500 also supports a wide range of cinema formats with HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and Dolby Vision all in the mix.
Related: If you like this soundbar, check out our Sony RDP X500IP Speaker Dock review.
If you don’t have that much space available, then this Sony sound system could be your best bet. It’s not that wide at 35 inches, and it’s not that ugly either. The soundbar sits pretty with a grey metal grille, which would look even better when wall-mounted. Its top side is fitted with controls for power, input selection, volume, and Bluetooth pairing. Speaking of which, the speaker is only limited to Bluetooth connectivity just like the Vizio SB3820-C6, but the Chromecast dongle can be used as a workaround for WiFi. From the box, the Sony HT-X8500 comes with a remote control, an HDMI cable, an AC adapter, an AC cord, a quick setup guide, and a manual.
Good sound quality doesn’t have to be expensive. This is the biggest takeaway from the Sony HT-X8500. Its support for Dolby Atmos and DTS X makes it possible for it to deliver vertical surround sound just as the Sony HT-ST5000 would, all within a price range that’s far below what most people would expect to pay. The soundbar also features voice enhancement technology for better clarity during dialogues, and Bluetooth pairing technology for wireless playback.
We tend to review Sony products with a lot more joy than we would others because they occasionally come up with releases that are far better priced than most of the competitors in the same category, without necessarily toning down the high-end features. The Sony HT-X8500 is one of the best examples of such.