101

Sony HT Z9F Review

True Score

79
76
4

Experts

83
636

Consumers

Product Awards

GR Certified

Customer Favorite

Expert Rankings

The Sony HT-Z9F soundbar gives a wide audio experience with Dolby Atmos support and a compact design that provides operational ease and bass performance. Overall, it’s a great buy despite its lack of dedicated physical speakers, treble, and bass adjustments.

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Table of Contents

Product Snapshot

Overview

The Sony HT-Z9F is a premium 3.1-channel sound system that consists of a soundbar and a subwoofer. First announced in 2018, the sound system comes with the kind of features you would expect from the best speakers in the industry, such as support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, and it also has a booming bass output courtesy of its subwoofer. The only thing that would perhaps edge it out of a list of the best soundbars is its soundstage since it isn’t as wide.
Besides that, its wireless connectivity is impeccable, as owners can stream audio content through Bluetooth, WiFi, Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay. It also boasts a wide range of physical inputs, including two Full HDMI ports and a 3.5mm port for connecting devices such as smartphones. It also compares well to the Sony HT-X9000F, which we’ve covered in our Sony HT-X9000F review.

Consensus

our Verdict

The Sony HT-Z9F soundbar has a wide range of wireless connectivity options, including Bluetooth, WiFi, Chromecast, and Apple Airplay. The latency, tested at 56 ms, is fair and presents few audio and video synching issues.

Soundwise, it fails to produce deep bass and struggles to provide high trebles when the volume is cranked up but is well-balanced with lower volumes. However, the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support create an immersive audio environment. Unfortunately, it falls short of perfect Dolby Atmos overhead effects since it lacks dedicated physical speakers.

Dialogue is clear and enhanced, which compensates for limited equalizer adjustments. The speaker is compact with a premium build quality. It also has a handy interface with responsive controls and a large LED screen. However, it doesn’t support a voice assistant.

ReasonS to Buy

  • Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for an immersive audio experience
  • Dedicated center speaker ensures clear dialogue
  • Vertical Sound technology expands the soundstage effectively
  • Premium and durable build quality
  • Decent highs and overall clarity in sound
  • Dialogue enhancement feature for improved speech clarity
  • Ability to run speakers wired to eliminate wireless cutouts

Reason to Avoid

  • Mediocre low-end performance in bass-heavy content
  • Lack of physical speakers for perfect Dolby Atmos overhead
  • Limited customization with no treble or bass adjustments
  • Lack of documented wired capability for rear speakers
  • Glossy surface prone to fingerprints
  • Midrange audio and vocals aren’t great for the price
  • Absence of room correction feature
  • Subpar performance for handling wireless connectivity

Sony HT Z9F Specs

Bluetooth EnabledBluetooth EnabledYes
DepthDepth3.9"
Dialogue Enhancement FeatureDialogue Enhancement FeatureYes
Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedNo
HDMI ARCHDMI ARCYes
HeightHeight2.5"
SubwooferSubwooferIncluded
Surround Sound SupportedSurround Sound SupportedDolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD
Voice AssistantVoice AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Wall MountableWall MountableYes
WeightWeight6.8 lbs
WidthWidth39.4"
Wireless ConnectivityWireless ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Wireless Subwoofer ConnectivityWireless Subwoofer ConnectivityYes
Works WithWorks WithAmazon Alexa, Bluetooth, Google Assistant

All Specs

Test Results

Low End Roll Off (Hz)62.586
High End Roll Off (Hz)3,948.06
Max Volume Test (db)93.6
Latency (ms)56
THD @ 80dB0.47

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Product Comparison

Sony HT Z9F Review

True Score

79
NR
75
NR

Ranking

#

101

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151

#

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#

123

/

151

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Market Context

The Sony HT-Z9F is a premium 3.1-channel sound system that consists of a soundbar and a subwoofer. First announced in 2018, the sound system comes…

The Sony HT-Z9F is a premium 3.1-channel sound system that consists of a soundbar and a subwoofer. First announced in 2018, the sound system comes with the kind of features you would expect from the best speakers in the industry, such as support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, and it also has a booming bass output courtesy of its subwoofer. The only thing that would perhaps edge it out of a list of the best soundbars is its soundstage since it isn’t as wide.
Besides that, its wireless connectivity is impeccable, as owners can stream audio content through Bluetooth, WiFi, Chromecast, and Apple AirPlay. It also boasts a wide range of physical inputs, including two Full HDMI ports and a 3.5mm port for connecting devices such as smartphones. It also compares well to the Sony HT-X9000F, which we’ve covered in our Sony HT-X9000F review.

The Sony HT-Z9F is a 3.1-channel sound system, while the Sony HT-X8500 is a 2.1-channel setup. This is because the Z9F ships with a subwoofer,…

The Sony HT-Z9F is a 3.1-channel sound system, while the Sony HT-X8500 is a 2.1-channel setup. This is because the Z9F ships with a subwoofer, which is not included with the HT-X8500. Additionally, the Z9F also supports audio streaming via Wi-Fi, which the X8500 is incapable of.

The Sony HT-Z9F has support for both Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X surround sound formats, and this is an advantage it has over the LG SK10Y….

The Sony HT-Z9F has support for both Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X surround sound formats, and this is an advantage it has over the LG SK10Y. However, the SK10Y offers a phone app that can be used to customize its sound, and this is a critical feature that the Z9F misses out on.

The Sony HT-Z9F is capable of more diverse wireless streaming options than the Sony HT-G700 since it supports Wi-Fi connectivity and can play audio content…

The Sony HT-Z9F is capable of more diverse wireless streaming options than the Sony HT-G700 since it supports Wi-Fi connectivity and can play audio content from Spotify and Chromecast, while the G700 cannot. The HT-Z9F also features voice control support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so unlike the G700, it can accept voice commands to stream or play content.

Bluetooth Enabled

Yes

Yes

Depth

3.9"

5.8"

Dialogue Enhancement Feature

Yes

Energy Star Certified

No

No

HDMI ARC

Yes

Height

2.5"

2.4"

Subwoofer

Included

Included

Surround Sound Supported

Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD

Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD

Dig Deeper

LG SK10Y Review →

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Score Card

E

Expert Score

76

*.75

We place a 75% weighted value on Expert Test Scores

C

Customer Score

83

*.25

We place a 25% weighted value on Customer Scores

True Score

79

Any product with a True Score above 70 is a Mixed Reviews

Expert Scores

  • Rtings
    103

    Category Trust Rating

    72
    The Sony HT-Z9F is a decent mixed usage soundbar. This 3.1 setup clearly reproduces dialogue,… Read More

    By:

    Jake Thauvette
  • Techradar
    46.31

    Category Trust Rating

    80
    The compact Sony HT-ZF9 is the Penn and Teller of Dolby Atmos soundbars. It’s ability… Read More

    By:

    Steve May
  • Sound and Vision
    64.44

    Category Trust Rating

    84
    Sony’s soundbar offers an easy way to get Atmos, but you’ll need the optional wireless… Read More

    By:

    Al Griffin
  • Twice
    45.4

    Category Trust Rating

    NR
    “No bottom line found for this product” Read More

    By:

    Unknown

Customer Scores