In the realm of entry-level soundbars, manufacturers have to make tough decisions about which features to focus on and which to leave out. This means that there are many soundbars at almost identical prices that take very different approaches.
The Sony HT-G700 is different from our current favorite soundbar in this price range, the Sonos Beam. Unlike the Beam, the Sony HT-G700 has a wireless subwoofer, supports Dolby Atmos, and has a dedicated HDMI input, but does not have music streaming, multi-room, or voice control. The focus is more on movies, and for some, that will be just fine.
The Sony HT-G700 is well suited for dialogs and TV broadcasts. Although it has a boomy sound profile, it is able to reproduce voices clearly and accurately. It can get loud enough to fill a large room or crowded environment, and there is also a dialogue enhancement feature to make voices clearer. You can also use Bluetooth to stream your favorite podcasts or audiobooks to the bar.
It has both fire and ports on the front, so it can be placed anywhere, even if it is closed on all other sides, and there is nothing to prevent you from placing it flat. It has a single 16cm bass cone, weighs 7.5kg and has 100W of power inside. There are only two buttons on the back: power and “link”. You probably won’t need either of them, as the subwoofer is linked to the bar and turns on as soon as it receives a signal.
During our test, it failed to turn on three times, but restarting the system managed to wake it from its slumber. That being said, your main task is to place the subwoofer in the right spot so that its bass complements the soundbar’s higher frequencies. For this, the bar has a set of three full-range drivers, each a 45 mm x 100 mm oval.
There are no separate tweeters. The bar also has no apertures; it’s a sealed enclosure, which is less efficient in terms of required power than an enclosure with apertures. This may explain why Sony quotes the whopping power of 100 W for each driver, although no measurement criteria are given for this figure. At a frequency of 1 kHz and a maximum distortion factor of 1%, the power drops to 60 W per channel.