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Sony Takes Soundbar Leap

San Diego – Sony is soaring right to the top with the launch of a $1,299-everyday soundbar whose price handily exceeds the $399 price that previously topped out the company’s soundbar lineup.

The 7.1-channel HT-ST7 soundbar, which does not carry the top-end ES series designation, is available today at Sony Stores and electronics retailers nationwide, including Best Buy.

The product, engineered in collaboration with sound engineers at Sony Pictures Studios, features aluminum chassis that incorporates Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders, nine independent speaker drivers, seven discrete amplifier channels, three HDMI inputs, HDMI output with audio return channel, three S/PDIF digital audio inputs, one analog-audio input, magnetic-fluid speakers, S-Master digital amplifiers, and S-Force Pro Front Surround technology.

It also features built-in wireless Bluetooth and supports AAC and aptX streaming over Bluetooth. The bar’s nearfield communication (NFC) technology enables users to tap their mobile Bluetooth device to establish a Bluetooth connection to stream music to the bar.

“Unlike many other sound bars that focus on making the TV louder, we focused on great sound, delivering a dynamic stage, and an immersive true 7.1 home theater experience,” said Neal Manowitz, director of Sony Electronics’ Home Audio group.

Additional details were unavailable.