Being able to compare Sonos Beam and Sony HT-X8500 gave us an insight into what features and technologies these devices offer. We fairly judged the compared soundbars for their performance and both received a 6 out of 10 points.
Each of the compared models received 6 points for the audio features.
It worth understanding the difference between the two types of amplification: a passive soundbar does not have its own amplifier and receives amplification from the signal source, while an active soundbar has a built-in amplifier. The same active type of amplification is used in the Beam and the HT-X8500.
There are stereo soundbars and multichannel ones. It is with the help of multichannel devices that you can get volumetric sound. It is worth noting one of the main differences, the Beam has 3.0 channels, while the HT-X8500 has 2.1 channels.
|Output power, W||N/A||N/A|
|Separate speaker (in package)||0||0|
|Separate speaker connections||wireless||N/A|
Soundbars can have a built-in or external subwoofer. The first type is inseparable from the soundbar body, but for the second, you can choose a good location for deep bass. A built-in subwoofer is only present in the HT-X8500. Both are not equipped with an external subwoofer.
|Separate subwoofer (in package)||✖||✖|
|Separate subwoofer connections||wireless||✖|
Unlike stereo, when reproducing multichannel sound, each specific direction of sound corresponds to its dedicated channel with a separate independent loudspeaker, which creates a three-dimensional sound stage. The Beam received rating 4 out of 10 for multichannel audio processing, but the HT-X8500, in the same category, earned 10 out of 10 points.
The peculiarity of Dolby Atmos is that this format is object-oriented, that is, each object of the audio signal is sounded separately and linked to its spatial location. Dolby Atmos surround sound support is implemented only in Sony HT-X8500.
DTS:X is an algorithm for processing sound scenes by the processor, linking directly to objects, rather than channels, and calculating the optimal distribution of sound output in a room. The manufacturer has implemented DTS:X technology only in HT-X8500.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital||Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD|
|DTS (other)||has not||DTS HD, DTS ES, DTS 96/24|
The possibility to listen online to millions of songs from one device has become a reality thanks to streaming services.
The popular Spotify service cannot be used on both soundbars.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||AirPlay 2||✖|
|Other streaming services||Pandora, Tuneln, Chromecast||has not|
The existence of a sufficient number of current connectors significantly expands the functionality of the device. For example, only through HDMI is it possible to implement the transfer of object-oriented formats, and the presence of a Bluetooth connection will allow remote control, etc. The devices received different ratings for connectivity: Sonos Beam was rated 6 out of 10, and Sony HT-X8500 was rated 8 out of 10.
The presence of Wi-Fi in the soundbar allows you to get rid of wires when connected to a sound source and get minimal audio latency when playing content from streaming services. Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is possible on the Beam.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for speaker systems, which provides excellent quality and minimal audio latency. The availability of Bluetooth protocol, we can see in both models. The Beam has 1/0 HDMI inputs/outputs, but the HT-X8500 got 1/1 HDMI inputs/outputs from the manufacturer.
HDMI ARC is a very usefull technology that creates a two-way communication channel between a TV and another device. This is convenient since there is no need to use optical and other cables in the system. HDMI ARC is a feature unique to Sony HT-X8500.
|Optical digital input/output||1/0||1/0|
|USB||✖||1 (USB 2.0)|
|Coaxial digital input/output||0/0||0/0|
|Analog audio input/output (RCA)||0/0||0/0|
Voice control is designed to make operating the device more convenient. This allows you to control basic soundbar functions from anywhere in the room.
Proprietary applications allow you to control your soundbars remotely. This is possible both via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The Beam has its own remote control application. Only Sonos Beam has a built-in microphone.
Some soundbars can be part of a multi-room system and it is an affordable solution for sounding the whole house. However, it is impossible to create a multiroom system based on each of these soundbars.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||✖|
|Size (Wx H x D), cm/in||65 x 6.8x 10/25.6 x 2.7 x 3.9||89 x 6.4 x 9.9/35.1 x 2.6 x 3.8|