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Sony HT-X8500 Bluetooth All-In-One Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos & Vertical Surround Engine £249 at John Lewis & Partners
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Sony HT-X8500 Bluetooth All-In-One Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos & Vertical Surround Engine £249 at John Lewis & Partners

41
Posted 20th Nov 2019

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Great all around single unit soundbar with Dolby Atmos. Sony quality. 2019 model, 2 years warranty.

Got mine yesterday in Currys price matching Amazon's 281£, went back this morning to get price matches with John Lewis

Become fully immersed in the cinematic sound of your movies with Sony's HT-X8500 sound bar. This slim 2.1ch all-in-one speaker with Dolby Atmos, DTS-X and Vertical Sound Engine creates a thrilling soundscape that seems to come from all around you. Its built-in dual subwoofer packs mighty bass power, while Bluetooth lets you connect wirelessly to compatible TVs and stream music from your smart device
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41 Comments
How does this compare with the Bose Soundbar 500?
miffyl20/11/2019 11:55

How does this compare with the Bose Soundbar 500?


Bose does "Dolby Digital" v Sony doing DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. I'm sure the Bose is good but very limited audio format support.
currently at £239 in Costco...
Sounds good. Heard it instore
Yamaha models would kick this into touch. You can get mint condition 2nd hand ones for £200-£250 and they wipe the floor with something like this.
djdave292920/11/2019 12:55

Yamaha models would kick this into touch. You can get mint condition 2nd …Yamaha models would kick this into touch. You can get mint condition 2nd hand ones for £200-£250 and they wipe the floor with something like this.



Which Yamaha models would compare with this? And do any soundbars really give anything close to Atmos?
Does a soundbar make that much difference?

Been interested in this for a while as I have a flat screen Bravia, mounted on the wall and can sometimes struggle hearing what’s being said until I turn it right up, then action happens and the roof explodes.

The other half is worried about it being too loud and waking the kids, but I’ve heard that it really improves situations like this, meaning you don’t have to ride the volume button the entire show / movie / etc...
21620/11/2019 13:22

Does a soundbar make that much difference? Been interested in this for a …Does a soundbar make that much difference? Been interested in this for a while as I have a flat screen Bravia, mounted on the wall and can sometimes struggle hearing what’s being said until I turn it right up, then action happens and the roof explodes.The other half is worried about it being too loud and waking the kids, but I’ve heard that it really improves situations like this, meaning you don’t have to ride the volume button the entire show / movie / etc...


Compare it to TV speakers it's unbelievable. Simulated Dolby Atmos is really good if you haven't had a full surround system before.
The remote has a few pre-set set ups like cinema/sport/audio and "night" which turns down the bass and makes vocals clearer.

Dolby Atmos is limited but if you have uhd Netflix subscription the contents in Dolby Atmos are insane!!
21620/11/2019 13:22

Does a soundbar make that much difference? Been interested in this for a …Does a soundbar make that much difference? Been interested in this for a while as I have a flat screen Bravia, mounted on the wall and can sometimes struggle hearing what’s being said until I turn it right up, then action happens and the roof explodes.The other half is worried about it being too loud and waking the kids, but I’ve heard that it really improves situations like this, meaning you don’t have to ride the volume button the entire show / movie / etc...


I had a look on actual Dolby Atmos bars and they are starting at 700£ but more like 1000£, so people shouldn't expect this one being able to compete with them or any high end soundbars.
What are their returns like? I want to try it.
Edited by: "Stephen123456" 20th Nov 2019
ld5120/11/2019 13:29

I had a look on actual Dolby Atmos bars and they are starting at 700£ but …I had a look on actual Dolby Atmos bars and they are starting at 700£ but more like 1000£, so people shouldn't expect this one being able to compete with them or any high end soundbars.


Thanks for the info - think my concern is the clarity, rather than the quality although they do go hand in hand to a degree - the demo unit in my local Costco has me almost sold that this is the one, and it should play nicely with my Bravia.

I’ve tried the “night mode” on the TV’s built in speakers and it didn’t seem to make any difference. If I can scrape the money together, I may take a punt at Costco - suppose I can always take it back if there’s problems.
ld5120/11/2019 13:27

Compare it to TV speakers it's unbelievable. Simulated Dolby Atmos is …Compare it to TV speakers it's unbelievable. Simulated Dolby Atmos is really good if you haven't had a full surround system before.The remote has a few pre-set set ups like cinema/sport/audio and "night" which turns down the bass and makes vocals clearer.Dolby Atmos is limited but if you have uhd Netflix subscription the contents in Dolby Atmos are insane!!


So I just purchased one of the entry levels Samsung TVs and it doesn't have dolby atmos. Would this soundbar be worth it in this case or it doesn't matter because the TV doesn't support this sound output? I know nothing about sound so I might be completely wrong, however if my prediction is correct, would it help if I get some other device which gets the netflix image and sound first and then sends the image to the tv and the sound to the soundbar? I purchased the TV just for it's cheap price and good picture and I was prepared to spend a bit more on sound because it's just as important as the image quality
Edited by: "Teo_Narl" 20th Nov 2019
21620/11/2019 13:56

Thanks for the info - think my concern is the clarity, rather than the …Thanks for the info - think my concern is the clarity, rather than the quality although they do go hand in hand to a degree - the demo unit in my local Costco has me almost sold that this is the one, and it should play nicely with my Bravia.I’ve tried the “night mode” on the TV’s built in speakers and it didn’t seem to make any difference. If I can scrape the money together, I may take a punt at Costco - suppose I can always take it back if there’s problems.


Yes, I would recommend trying it out in your own home, how does it sound and if you are not happy just take it back. I've spent most of my money on the TV so with the soundbar had to go for a budget/mid range option and I'm happy with it.
Teo_Narl20/11/2019 14:06

So I just purchased one of the entry levels Samsung TVs and it doesn't …So I just purchased one of the entry levels Samsung TVs and it doesn't have dolby atmos. Would this soundbar be worth it in this case or it doesn't matter because the TV doesn't support this sound output? I know nothing about sound so I might be completely wrong, however if my prediction is correct, would it help if I get some other device which gets the netflix image and sound first and then sends the image to the tv and the sound to the soundbar? I purchased the TV just for it's cheap price and good picture and I was prepared to spend a bit more on sound because it's just as important as the image quality



As I understand it, the source has to support Atmos. So if the TV doesn't send an Atmos signal to the bar you won't get the effect.
If you had a Bluray player that supported Atmos, you'd plug that into the bar and then use the pass through on the bar (the eARC) to take the video feed to the TV.
steve122120/11/2019 14:17

As I understand it, the source has to support Atmos. So if the TV doesn't …As I understand it, the source has to support Atmos. So if the TV doesn't send an Atmos signal to the bar you won't get the effect.If you had a Bluray player that supported Atmos, you'd plug that into the bar and then use the pass through on the bar (the eARC) to take the video feed to the TV.


Right, that's what I was thinking, thanks. So now I need some kind of a box that supports atmos and loads the streaming apps. I wonder if one of those Roku/Amazon/Google things will work but I will do some research and come back with an answer.

edit: Roku supports it but only for amazon prime and something else. The new Amazon Firestick 4k is supporting it for everything and currently costs 50 quid. I bet it will be down to 30 or even less on black friday just like every other amazon tech.
Edited by: "Teo_Narl" 20th Nov 2019
Teo_Narl20/11/2019 14:06

So I just purchased one of the entry levels Samsung TVs and it doesn't …So I just purchased one of the entry levels Samsung TVs and it doesn't have dolby atmos. Would this soundbar be worth it in this case or it doesn't matter because the TV doesn't support this sound output? I know nothing about sound so I might be completely wrong, however if my prediction is correct, would it help if I get some other device which gets the netflix image and sound first and then sends the image to the tv and the sound to the soundbar? I purchased the TV just for it's cheap price and good picture and I was prepared to spend a bit more on sound because it's just as important as the image quality


Depends how you set things up, you could buy e.g. a Firestick 4k plug into the soundbar directly to get best audio and use the arc hdmi to send signal back to TV (picture). The basic tv doesn't have to be a limiting factor if setup correctly or if TV supports eARC, plug media stick player into TV.
Edited by: "NX3" 20th Nov 2019
NX320/11/2019 14:24

Depends how you set things up, you could buy e.g. a Firestick 4k plug into …Depends how you set things up, you could buy e.g. a Firestick 4k plug into the soundbar directly to get best audio and use the arc hdmi to send signal back to TV (picture). The basic tv doesn't have to be a limiting factor if setup correctly or if TV supports eARC, plug media stick player into TV.


Thanks, that's my plan now. I will get a decent soundbar (100-200£) and firestick 4k on black friday (hopefully both heavily discounted), plug the stick in the soundbar and use hdmi to transfer the picture to the TV. Do you know if every soundbar supports this feature or what should I look for to make sure I can do this?

edit: Or make everything 10x easier by buying FireCube which is exactly the box I was looking for to manage all devices in 1 place.
Edited by: "Teo_Narl" 20th Nov 2019
Teo_Narl20/11/2019 14:27

Thanks, that's my plan now. I will get a decent soundbar (100-200£) and …Thanks, that's my plan now. I will get a decent soundbar (100-200£) and firestick 4k on black friday (hopefully both heavily discounted), plug the stick in the soundbar and use hdmi to transfer the picture to the TV. Do you know if every soundbar supports this feature or what should I look for to make sure I can do this?edit: Or make everything 10x easier by buying FireCube which is exactly the box I was looking for to manage all devices in 1 place.



Only eARC supports Atmos and DTS:X, so if you want those the bar must have eARC. . . If not, anything with an ARC socket will do.
djdave292920/11/2019 12:55

Yamaha models would kick this into touch. You can get mint condition 2nd …Yamaha models would kick this into touch. You can get mint condition 2nd hand ones for £200-£250 and they wipe the floor with something like this.


Yeah would like a genuine recommendation here. Appreciate this won’t compare with a non all-in-one systems. But also can’t justify so much on a full system.
steve122120/11/2019 14:33

Only eARC supports Atmos and DTS:X, so if you want those the bar must have …Only eARC supports Atmos and DTS:X, so if you want those the bar must have eARC. . . If not, anything with an ARC socket will do.


This sound bar supports eARC and it you plug the media player in directly (not via the tv) you get even better audio support. The Sony manual has a table showing the difference of HDMI, eARC, ARC, Optical v formats which explains clearly what you get on each. Only HDMI direct plug in (as advised) offers all formats the soundbar supports.
Teo_Narl20/11/2019 14:27

Thanks, that's my plan now. I will get a decent soundbar (100-200£) and …Thanks, that's my plan now. I will get a decent soundbar (100-200£) and firestick 4k on black friday (hopefully both heavily discounted), plug the stick in the soundbar and use hdmi to transfer the picture to the TV. Do you know if every soundbar supports this feature or what should I look for to make sure I can do this?edit: Or make everything 10x easier by buying FireCube which is exactly the box I was looking for to manage all devices in 1 place.


Firestick 4k will probably £29 as it was the other week on Amazon.

Not all sounds bars have two HDMI ports, not all have eARC or ARC (tv other end has to support as well).
NX320/11/2019 15:28

Firestick 4k will probably £29 as it was the other week on Amazon.Not all …Firestick 4k will probably £29 as it was the other week on Amazon.Not all sounds bars have two HDMI ports, not all have eARC or ARC (tv other end has to support as well).


Wait so, would this configuration work?
Soundbar with eARC HDMI Input for the 4k Firestick and HDMI Output (no need to be eARC) for the TV
Basically I am looking for soundbar with 1 input and 1 output and the input should support eARC
Teo_Narl20/11/2019 15:51

Wait so, would this configuration work?Soundbar with eARC HDMI Input for …Wait so, would this configuration work?Soundbar with eARC HDMI Input for the 4k Firestick and HDMI Output (no need to be eARC) for the TVBasically I am looking for soundbar with 1 input and 1 output and the input should support eARC


If you buy this sound bar, plug the firestick into the HDMI in and link HDMI out back to tv it will do all possible audio formats the soundbar supports. If you decided to plug the stick into the tv instead and link to soundbar via your tv (arc or earc hdmi port) you'd get less formats supported as details on the manual.
TheDon1320/11/2019 14:56

Yeah would like a genuine recommendation here. Appreciate this won’t c …Yeah would like a genuine recommendation here. Appreciate this won’t compare with a non all-in-one systems. But also can’t justify so much on a full system.


Seen the Yamaha YSP-2500 go for £200 in excellent condition, or step up to the Yamaha YSP-2700.

Regarding the full ATMOS experience with a soundbar, not going to happen in a proper capacity. Needs a proper speaker layout and stand alone amp(s) to experience it properly. You can find decent second hand soundbars if you dedicate the time to looking.
21620/11/2019 13:22

Does a soundbar make that much difference? Been interested in this for a …Does a soundbar make that much difference? Been interested in this for a while as I have a flat screen Bravia, mounted on the wall and can sometimes struggle hearing what’s being said until I turn it right up, then action happens and the roof explodes.The other half is worried about it being too loud and waking the kids, but I’ve heard that it really improves situations like this, meaning you don’t have to ride the volume button the entire show / movie / etc...


I wouldn't buy a TV without a soundbar, I have CT 790 Sony and Mt 500 both having wireless Subwoofer, good sound quality and great bass, my mate has this sounds good for the price Subwoofer built in not as good as a separate sub but still decent, plus nice neat solution all in one box
Im in this pricr region for a SB. I was considering the soundcore infini pro for £170 or a Orbitsound A70 which has rrp of £500 but can also be had for £170. Cant decide.
djdave292920/11/2019 17:37

Seen the Yamaha YSP-2500 go for £200 in excellent condition, or step up to …Seen the Yamaha YSP-2500 go for £200 in excellent condition, or step up to the Yamaha YSP-2700.Regarding the full ATMOS experience with a soundbar, not going to happen in a proper capacity. Needs a proper speaker layout and stand alone amp(s) to experience it properly. You can find decent second hand soundbars if you dedicate the time to looking.


Yeah mate of mine has the YSP 2700 and loves it. This is on my short list. Agree on Atmos, you need to go full hog not a simulated atmos experience imho.
Question to the connoisseur:
So I want to get a soundbar mostly to add voice clearance. English is my second language and even on Netflix sometimes It's hard to get a clear voice audio. The TV is a Samsung 55MU7200.
I only really want this to push my Netflix and PS4 Audio.
So if I connect this straight to the TV trough ARC I lose audio codec support?
Would that happen the same if connected trough Optical?
Or I need to connect to the soundbar and then the out for the TV?
If my soundbar is connected to my tv via ARC, how would I incorporate a 4K blu-ray player into the equation? Just HDMI into the TV as usual? Would that bypass the soundbar? Any advice would be appreciated!
ResveZ21/11/2019 13:55

Question to the connoisseur:So I want to get a soundbar mostly to add …Question to the connoisseur:So I want to get a soundbar mostly to add voice clearance. English is my second language and even on Netflix sometimes It's hard to get a clear voice audio. The TV is a Samsung 55MU7200.I only really want this to push my Netflix and PS4 Audio.So if I connect this straight to the TV trough ARC I lose audio codec support?Would that happen the same if connected trough Optical?Or I need to connect to the soundbar and then the out for the TV?


It depends what audio codecs your TV can output through the optical or HDMI check the manual. You should minimum be able to get Dolby Digital 5.1.
If you are connecting a PS4 I would connect to the soundbar as the soundbar can pass through 4K HDR.
If voice clarity is your primary concern I would look getting a soundbar with a dedicated centre speaker for speech such as the Samsung HW-MS650 or HW-MS750 both are better than this Sony soundbar.
Edited by: "i_need_bargains" 22nd Nov 2019
SteHuz9022/11/2019 21:26

If my soundbar is connected to my tv via ARC, how would I incorporate a 4K …If my soundbar is connected to my tv via ARC, how would I incorporate a 4K blu-ray player into the equation? Just HDMI into the TV as usual? Would that bypass the soundbar? Any advice would be appreciated!


4K Bluray to HDMI IN and then HDMI OUT into TV. The sound coming through the soundbar would depend on the source you have playing at the time. You might have to turn the Bluray off or in standby if you are feeding another HDMI source eg Games console, Sky Box etc through the TV and using the ARC but I'm not entirely sure.
i_need_bargains22/11/2019 21:54

4K Bluray to HDMI IN and then HDMI OUT into TV. The sound coming through …4K Bluray to HDMI IN and then HDMI OUT into TV. The sound coming through the soundbar would depend on the source you have playing at the time. You might have to turn the Bluray off or in standby if you are feeding another HDMI source eg Games console, Sky Box etc through the TV and using the ARC but I'm not entirely sure.


Thanks for the info. So ideally if the blu ray player has apps, so for instance I can watch Netflix etc, that would be a better source than the TV as its straight into the soundbar?
SteHuz9022/11/2019 21:57

Thanks for the info. So ideally if the blu ray player has apps, so for …Thanks for the info. So ideally if the blu ray player has apps, so for instance I can watch Netflix etc, that would be a better source than the TV as its straight into the soundbar?


Yes I would imagine so especially if your TV does not support eARC and you want Dolby Atmos sound from Netflix.
I'm trying to decide between this and the discounted Sky Soundbox for £189. Things putting me off the Sky box is lack of ARC support and having to manually switch input sources (I probably use PS4 and TV Netflix & Plex more than I'd use the Sky Q box, although I could switch to Netflix via Sky Q, would still have to manually switch sources for PS4 & Plex though). Also considering bluetooth pairing my Echo to it too, but again would have to manually switch sources over to Bluetooth. I assume the sound quality of the Soundbox would be good for the price though, but would anyone recommend one over the other?
joe31415924/11/2019 12:02

I'm trying to decide between this and the discounted Sky Soundbox for …I'm trying to decide between this and the discounted Sky Soundbox for £189. Things putting me off the Sky box is lack of ARC support and having to manually switch input sources (I probably use PS4 and TV Netflix & Plex more than I'd use the Sky Q box, although I could switch to Netflix via Sky Q, would still have to manually switch sources for PS4 & Plex though). Also considering bluetooth pairing my Echo to it too, but again would have to manually switch sources over to Bluetooth. I assume the sound quality of the Soundbox would be good for the price though, but would anyone recommend one over the other?


I haven't heard about the sky soundbox and can't compare it's sound but just checked it and it doesn't support Dolby Atmos. I had friends over yesterday and played some content in virtual Dolby Atmos and they were surprised by the quality, clearly better than any other sources (it can't really compete with actual Atmos speaker system but gives you a great illusion).
When I watch TV the sound is good, the bass is good but nothing special.

I think this soundbar really worth it if you are going to play Atmos and DTS content a lot and you don't want to spend a fortune, but for general TV/audio formats you can get cheaper soundbars with the same quality.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone after having a real 5.1/7.1 system cause this one would be a downgrade. Again it gives you the impression of a surround system really well but it's not a real one.

Good all mighty I love the lack of speakers/cables and subwoofers!
I can't decide between this or the Sony HT9000 at £339 that has a wireless subwoofer, but is 2.1 rather than 5.1
morethananaddict25/11/2019 14:41

I can't decide between this or the Sony HT9000 at £339 that has a wireless …I can't decide between this or the Sony HT9000 at £339 that has a wireless subwoofer, but is 2.1 rather than 5.1


I've listened to both of those ones in shop and the ht9000 with external subwoofer has more bass but for a normal living room the ht8500 is still more than enough.

I'm really impressed with the ht8500's bass capability and because I live in a semi detached there is no need for an external sub.
ld5125/11/2019 15:17

I've listened to both of those ones in shop and the ht9000 with external …I've listened to both of those ones in shop and the ht9000 with external subwoofer has more bass but for a normal living room the ht8500 is still more than enough.I'm really impressed with the ht8500's bass capability and because I live in a semi detached there is no need for an external sub.


I’m in a semi detached too. They only had the ht8500 out at Curry’s and the ZF9 which is the next model up to the ht9000 but it’s a 3.1 with the same technology and it sounded amazing. I just can’t make my mind up whether or not to pay that extra £80 for the subwoofer. I hate decisions
ld5125/11/2019 15:17

I've listened to both of those ones in shop and the ht9000 with external …I've listened to both of those ones in shop and the ht9000 with external subwoofer has more bass but for a normal living room the ht8500 is still more than enough.I'm really impressed with the ht8500's bass capability and because I live in a semi detached there is no need for an external sub.


morethananaddict25/11/2019 15:35

I’m in a semi detached too. They only had the ht8500 out at Curry’s and the …I’m in a semi detached too. They only had the ht8500 out at Curry’s and the ZF9 which is the next model up to the ht9000 but it’s a 3.1 with the same technology and it sounded amazing. I just can’t make my mind up whether or not to pay that extra £80 for the subwoofer. I hate decisions



I went for the HT-X8500 in the end, should do great for what we need it for 🏻
i_need_bargains22/11/2019 21:54

4K Bluray to HDMI IN and then HDMI OUT into TV. The sound coming through …4K Bluray to HDMI IN and then HDMI OUT into TV. The sound coming through the soundbar would depend on the source you have playing at the time. You might have to turn the Bluray off or in standby if you are feeding another HDMI source eg Games console, Sky Box etc through the TV and using the ARC but I'm not entirely sure.


Thanks for the good tips - could I ask a novice question following on from this:

Currently I have a setup without ARC and therefore I only use the surround on Sky - connected via Opitical . The sound unit (LG 6.1 Cinema system) only has a single HDMI links to the TV so Bluray plays through the untit.
If I want AppleTV or PS4 I have to manually move the Optical cable. The above makes me think that PS4 and ATV would play through the unit if I connected the Optical to the TV- is that correct.

Ive been looking for a decent replacement with ARC - but I have speaker wires through the walls so seems a shame to go to a single soundbar - but this looks neat.

Thanks


EDIT - tried it (wasnt simple given TV is on the wall) - cant believe Ive been so dump for these last years.....I thought the optical gave you one connection - eg TV built in tuner which I never really wanted , Sky, AppleTV or PS4 - working.

I almost bought an Optical splitter a couple of times but far too much hassle so I didnt - this is a huge improvement - now I just need to feed the optical cable through the wall!

Comments on here made me realise my error - so thanks for that!
Edited by: "mgk" 30th Nov 2019
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