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Sony Soundbars, AVRs Get Wireless Multiroom Audio

New York — Sony revealed pricing and availability dates of four soundbars and two audio/video receivers (AVRs), including its first two soundbars with high-resolution audio decoding and first two with wireless multiroom-audio capability.

Three of the four new soundbars are also the company’s first three soundbars with HDCP 2.2 copy protection to stream copy-protected 4K video over HDMI.

Of the two new Wi-Fi-equipped networked AVR, both feature high-resolution audio playback and HDCP 2.2. They’re the company’s first two with wireless multiroom-audio capability.

The company also said it is evaluating the addition of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround to its audio/video receivers.

The new bars will roll out between April and July to replace the entire 2014 lineup at prices from an expected everyday $349 to $1,499. The AVRs will be available in May at $499 and $599.

The soundbars all feature wireless subwoofer, HDMI, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD surround decoding, S-Force Pro virtual-surround technology, and Bluetooth with NFC. The top three models add 3/1 HDMI 2.0 in/out with HDCP 2.2 copy protection on one HDMI input.

They are the:

–$349 2.1-channel 300-watt HT-CT380, shipping in May with 3/1HDMI 2.0 but without HDCP 2.2 copy protection;

–$449 2.1-channel 330-watt HT-CT780, shipping in May and expected to be the first soundbar on the market with HDCP 2.2; it features 3/1 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2;

— $799 2.1-channel 450-watt HT-NT3, due in July and adding high-resolution audio decoding up to DSD, Wi-Fi, Google Cast for audio, Miracast screen mirroring, Sony’s new wireless multiroom-audio technology, USB input to play back audio and video files on USB-connected devices, and proprietary LDAC technology to stream high-res files over Bluetooth in near-high-res to Sony’s LDAC-equipped headphones; and

–flagship $1,499 HT-ST9, due in June and adding 7.1-channel 800-watt audio playback.

The high-res bars play back high-res files from USB, networked sources and HDMI sources.

Sony’s Wi-Fi-based multiroom-audio technology, debuting in 2015, uses mobile-device apps to direct music from mobile devices and PCs to multiple bars and Wi-Fi speakers. Different songs can be directed to simultaneously to different bars and speakers.

New AVRs: The two AVRs are the 7×150-watt $499 STR-DN860 and $599 7×165-watt STR-DN1060. Both feature 1/1 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 copy protection,  wireless multiroom audio via the Song Pal Link app, Wi-Fi-AirPlay, GoogleCast for audio streaming services, Miracast screen mirroring, high-res audio playback including DSD, IP control, MHL port, Bluetooth with NFC, and LDAC technology to stream high-res content in newer-high-res quality to LDAC-equipped Sony headphones.

The $499 model features a total of five HDMI inputs and one out. The $599 steps up to 7×165 watts, six HDMI inputs and two HDMI outs.