The combined soundbar and wirelessly-connected subwoofer pack enough ins and outs (3x HDMI in, 1 HDMI-ARC out, USB-in on the side, plus optical digital and analog audio output) to make it a reasonable receiver surrogate. Even then, support for multi-room with Google Home helps take it to the next level. With control via the "OK Google" voice command, it can sync up with other speakers in the house, or just control playback in one room.
It's always hard to assess audio quality on the CES floor, but the HT-ST5000 filled the demo room and made each effect sound like it was coming from a specific place, including overhead or from behind. We didn't get any specs on the subwoofer, but suffice to say it seemed up to the job. The entire system is rated at 800w, and the inclusion of two angled speakers to project audio upward give it the 7.1.2 channels Sony claims. Naturally, it's capable of passing through 4K and HDR video. It probably won't pull you away from a full surround setup, but when it arrives later this year it will be a way to fill a room with audio without having to move too many things around.
Billy Steele contributed to this report.
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