Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Soundbar for Enhanced Entertainment

The Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby is a.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with built-in subwoofer that promises to enhance your entertainment experience. With its sleek design and impressive features, this soundbar aims to deliver immersive audio without breaking the bank. In this review, we will discuss the product details and dive into the personal experiences of customers who have used the Sony HTX8500.

As an avid movie enthusiast, I was in search of a soundbar that could elevate my home theater setup without breaking the bank. The Sony HTX8500 caught my attention with its Dolby Atmos/DTS:X capabilities and built-in subwoofer. Upon setting it up, I was impressed by the sound quality and its ability to create a wide soundstage. Watching movies like Midway and Independence Day truly brought the action to life, with the soundbar immersing me in the cinematic experience. The voice enhancement feature also ensured clear and intelligible dialogues, adding to the overall enjoyment.

However, there were a few areas where the Sony HTX8500 fell short. The limited bass adjustment options left me wanting more control over the audio balance, as sometimes the built-in subwoofers were overwhelmed. Additionally, when it came to music reproduction, the soundbar didn’t quite live up to my expectations compared to other brands like Yamaha and Polk Audio. The soundstage felt lacking, and the voices occasionally sounded muddy or distorted.

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby: Immersive Movie Experience

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby

When watching movies, the Sony HTX8500 soundbar delivers an impressive cinematic experience. With its 7.1.2ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X technology and built-in subwoofers, the soundbar creates a wide soundstage that draws you into the film. During a viewing of the movie Midway (2019), the sound effects were incredibly realistic, with Japanese aircraft zooming by your head during the Pearl Harbor sequence. The proprietary vertical sound engine further enhances the surround-like effects, making you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. While it may not provide true surround sound, the HTX8500 certainly elevates your movie-watching experience.

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby: Clear Dialog Enhancement

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby

The clarity of dialog is a common issue with soundbars. However, Sony has addressed this concern with the HTX8500. The soundbar uses internal processing to make dialog more intelligible, and it does a decent job, especially compared to other soundbars in its price range. Approximately 70-75% of the time, the dialog is clear and easy to understand. This makes it a suitable choice for those who prioritize clear and crisp dialog during movie watching.

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby: Bass Level Adjustability

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby

Some users may find the three bass settings (-1, 0, +1) provided by the HTX8500 insufficient. While the 0 setting may lack a bit of bass, the +1 setting can sometimes overpower the built-in subwoofers. This limited adjustability may be a drawback for those who prefer more control over the bass levels. However, despite this limitation, the soundbar’s ability to create a large soundstage and enhance dialog clarity still makes it a worthwhile option.

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby: Music Reproduction

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby

Although the HTX8500 excels in delivering an immersive movie experience, its performance with music reproduction is not as impressive. Compared to other soundbars in its price range, the soundbar falls short in producing a smooth soundstage for music. If you prioritize music playback, this soundbar may not be the best choice. However, if your main focus is enhancing your TV’s audio for movies and TV shows, the HTX8500 can still provide a significant improvement over built-in TV speakers.

Easy Setup and User-Friendly Controls

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby

The setup of the HTX8500 is a breeze, and its user-friendly interface and included remote control make it easy to use. Whether you choose to connect it to your TV via HDMI or optical cable, the process is straightforward. The remote control is intuitive, and the soundbar offers a variety of presets and options to enhance your audio experience. However, the interface and remote can be slightly complex, with multiple options and settings that may not be necessary for everyone. Nonetheless, the default options are solid, and you can enjoy enhanced audio without spending too much time on customization.

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby: Value for Money

At an affordable price, the Sony HTX8500 offers excellent sound quality and virtual surround sound immersion. While it may not compete with higher-end soundbars, it provides a high-quality audio experience without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for a starter soundbar that delivers impressive performance without a hefty price tag, the HTX8500 is a great choice. However, if you’re willing to invest more, there are higher-end options available that may offer even better audio performance and customization options.


  • Immersive sound: The Sony HTX8500 provides a wide soundstage and impressive surround-like effects, making movies more engaging and enjoyable.
  • Dialog enhancement: The soundbar does a decent job of keeping dialog intelligible, enhancing the clarity of voices in movies and TV shows.
  • Easy setup and use: The HTX8500 is simple to set up and comes with an intuitive remote control. It can be easily connected to your TV using HDMI or optical cable.


  • Limited bass adjustment: The soundbar offers only three settings for bass levels, which may not be sufficient for fine-tuning the sound to your preference.
  • Mediocre music reproduction: While the soundbar excels in movies, it may not deliver the same quality when it comes to music, lacking the smooth soundstage found in higher-end models.
  • Distance limitation for optimal surround effect: To experience the best surround-like effects, you need to be seated within 8 feet of the soundbar, limiting its effectiveness in larger rooms.

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Overall, the Sony HTX8500 is a solid soundbar that offers a high-quality audio experience at an affordable price. It excels in delivering immersive sound for movies and provides clear dialogues. However, its limitations in bass adjustment and music reproduction may be a drawback for some audiophiles. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly soundbar that enhances your movie-watching experience, the Sony HTX8500 is worth considering. Just keep in mind its strengths and weaknesses when making your decision.

Questions & Answers:

Question: Can I use the Sony HTX8500 with my Sony TV?

Answer: Yes, the soundbar can be easily integrated with your Sony TV. It can be connected using HDMI or optical inputs, providing a high-quality audio experience.

Question: Does the soundbar support HDR10 and Dolby Vision passthrough?

Answer: Yes, the Sony HTX8500 supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision passthrough, ensuring a high-quality entertainment experience with compatible devices.

Question: Can I control the soundbar using my TV’s remote?

Answer: Unfortunately, the soundbar does not offer seamless integration with Sony TVs. The volume and settings are displayed on the soundbar itself, not on the TV screen.

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