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on August 16, 2013
****** One year update******

After having this for a full year, we are still thrilled with it. Totally satisfied with this product. Sound is still impressive, the Bluetooth link is so easy for streaming audio, and we use it often. Voice setting is a real plus and we use that feature a lot as well. For our usage (TV, movies, games, CD/streaming audio) it has been great and the simple settings available have been enough for us; we haven't felt that it's missing something important.

We've had no frustration with it, and never wished that we had purchased something else. I would buy this again in a heartbeat!

******Original full review below******

First of all, this is a *soundbar* not a full surround setup. Some other reviews take issue with the product but if you know what you want, and what you are buying, this could be a great option for you.

I didn't want something complicated, my wife hates the million-button remotes and endless settings. This fixes that with a VERY simple remote with only absolute essentials (and a fairly simple set of options for tweaking under a slide-down panel). Remote is tiny and stylized, works quite well. She is very happy with the simplicity. The manual is tiny compared to what I'm used to for audio gear, but covers everything. Everything has been simplified to a handful of options. My old amp had a manual that looked like a phone book from a mid-sized city. It made trees cry. I was shocked how small this one was, frankly.

I also didn't want endless cords and speakers everywhere. It's a pretty big room but with the layout I just prefer a front-speaker plus a sub setup; and a soundbar fits that bill. If you really want true surround with rear speakers this is not the product for you. It does do a good job I think of 'simulating' some surround effects, as a few times I have already noticed that objects seem to 'fly by' me audio-wise and the effect was pretty cool. But you will not be convinced that there is a full-on surround setup. I think it is excellent at what it was designed to do, which is be a great soundbar.

If you leave the room the sound isn't as loud as regular speakers would be I think, which is good and bad. If for example you want music to be heard all over you house, full size speakers will fill the house better; but for us we will be able to enjoy it better in the evenings without disturbing the sleeping kids. For me this full sound in the TV room, but not as noticeable elsewhere, is a big plus.

I have played a few selections of music on it and it sounds great actually, fills a big room with powerful sound and the sub produces plenty of bass. If you are a purist you will miss the lack of true 'treble, mid, bass' adjustments, or a full equalizer. Not to be found here; it's kept very simple. If you want to hear voices better you can change the 'voice' setting (one of the main remote buttons). Has three levels and each increases the high-frequency sound output (effectively increasing treble). Under the slide-down you can adjust the subwoofer power from 1-12, default setting is 10. There is also a setting to set the tone of the sub (tighter bass, more dynamic, or somewhere in the middle). That's about it for tone. Sounds too simple but I think it gives enough adjustments for most folks to enjoy whatever it is they are listening to. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. If you want all the dials and knobs you will be disappointed, just know what you are buying! For us I think this is a good choice and really like it.

Movies/TV sounded great too. Tested out playing in the evening with a low volume and it was still quite clear. I upped the 'voice' setting and dialog was still clear, bass rumble still audible (motorcycles etc) but didn't wake anybody up. Very nice. Old setup we could never hear what they were saying without things being too loud for nighttime. Kids watched a movie and had plenty of oomph for sound effects and singing/music had a full sound and clear vocals. Everything so far sounds fantastic.

There are a few 'modes'; movie mode, music mode, stadium mode (football), and a standard if I recall. Not a million selections like even my old old setups had, but then I never really used more than a couple of them on my previous systems. Mostly I use standard or movie, this toggle is one of the main functions on the remote as well and is easy to access.

Visually the bar looks fantastic. The all-metal casing is sleek and stylish. Even the buttons on top and the removable grille are metal. Feels solid and high-quality. The sub is heavy and matches the look of the bar mostly. The sides are a standard black box but the top does have an angular and brushed look to it. Removing my old amp and speakers, the wires, all the cables and replacing with this... so nice. Clean and simple. Lots more room, and lots less tangle. Took half a mile of wires out of there. Looks very nice sitting there under the TV.

Wireless sub setup is just a matter of plugging the receivers in to the unit and sub (both are identical so doesn't matter which goes where). Pairing was automatic once receivers were installed. I'm running the sub about 20 feet away from the bar with no issues whatsoever. Setup of the bar itself has the option of using little 'feet' on the front-side ends to angle the bar upward. Initially I put them on and it looked good, but I felt for my setup (height of bar, seating height and distance to bar) it was sending the sound over me. Taking them back off was simple enough and I like it better now. Both the bar by itself and the optional feet have non-skid pads on them so it's not rubbing or sliding on your cabinet.

Be careful moving the sub, there are openings along the bottom that look like a good place to pick it up from, but don't! The passive radiator is inside there, and if you stick your hand in there and lift you are pushing against it. Could very well damage it. The main speaker is on the front. The bottom is solid and it should be lifted from there and the sides/top.

Bluetooth phone pairing works very well. Setting up NFC on my phone took just a minute and when you tap the phone against one of the angular 'facets' on the right-hand side it will automatically pair with the phone, turn on Bluetooth, and change to the right input. Not all phones will support this of course, check and see if your phone has NFC (near field communication) on it. I was able to stream music from my phone from about 30-40 feet away. The distance you can be from the bar will depend on you phone, if you have a case on it, walls in between etc. but it's very simple and easy to do. If I go any farther away than that with the phone I probably am doing something that I'd prefer headphones for anyway.

Finally, the money. It is expensive. Yup. But... you could spend a lot more on some alternatives... the speaker world is full of high-priced options. What I really wanted was to buy the 'king of the soundbars'; the best sound for TV, music, and movies I could get with minimum hassle and clutter. Not that price was NO option, I don't think I could bring myself to spend much more that this for ANY soundbar even if it did my dishes; at this price it's expensive but something I will use and enjoy for a long time, so it's worth it. High-end audio gear has never, ever been cheap. I could get a far cheaper soundbar, and some do sound *pretty* good. But for this room (and my personal taste) I wanted something more. Most soundbars are too small for what I really wanted, but a big surround setup is a clutter we didn't want and a complication my wife hates. I shopped for a booming soundbar, and I got one.
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on November 25, 2013
Read the longer reviews for more info, but being able to up the dialogue in a movie without turning up the explosions and car crashes is a huge plus. Great sound, simple set-up, easy to use, just a bit pricey, but worth it in my book.
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on November 1, 2013
I have had this sound bar for 5 weeks now. I listened to most other sound bars and chose this one.
It's expensive but really worth the money.
Music is incredible.
Movies are also amazing to listen to. This bar really manages to place different sounds in different parts of the room.
Our sitting room is about 800 sq feet. This sound bar fills the room easily.

I have listened to other sound bars, Polk, Bose, Klipsch,and this one sounds much better.

Another neat feature is that with the movie option you have 3 voice levels. Level 3 makes the voices of people in the movie more pronounced.
I turn the bass down to 9. Maximum is 11.
Volume whilst watching movies is maximum 28~30 out of 45.
We watch movies 14 feet away from the Tv.
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on August 11, 2014
This soundbar and subwoofer replaced a mid range tuner with a Bose five speaker system. It is attached to my cable box, Blueray DVD/CD player, AppleTV, and my Vinyl record turntable.

The Positives:
First and foremost the sound. The whole reason you bought it. It way surpassed even my most optimistic expectations. It is much better at everything than my old system.

Movies have a much more theater sound. But even with movies where the base booms your walls, you can set the voice enhance setting so you can actually hear and understand the dialog of every scene.

Music sounds awesome. Again much better than my old system. Comparing this to my old "true" surround system, I way prefer the the overall music experience. The music just sounds better. I even hooked up my vinyl turntable, which had a pre-amp, to the AUX input, and again, it sounded much better than my old system.

TV can be set so you always hear the dialog, TV movies sound much better than I have ever heard them, and you can turn on a feature so commercials don't have a higher volume than shows.

The Quibbles:
This is such a fine product I was tempted to not include these. But maybe Sony can use the feedback to improve future products.
First, with the HDMI control settings there does not seem to be a way to turn off the sound bar and have it turn off the TV and leave the cable box on. Since cable companies send updates to the box continuously they recommend you keep it on all the time. So, if you turn off the TV but not the soundbar you still get the TV sound. So I have found you have to turn the TV and soundbar on and off separately. Annoying to say the least. Sony needs a way to have one of the HDMI connections not send a "turn off" message to an attached device when the soundbar is turned off.

Second, the remote is very hard to use in the dark. It is incredibly stylish and sleek, but the rocker placement is hard to remember, and there is no backlighting.
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on August 20, 2013
I ended up purchasing this soundbar to upgrade the Sony CT 660 soundbar on my existing TV. I moved into a townhouse with hardwood floors and the wiring for my old 5.1 setup was going to be an issue. It was time for a soundbar. I settled on the 660 because it had hdmi inputs and had decent sound. It was pretty good for movies but mediocre for music. Plus the simulated surround was not the same as my 5.1 setup. Compromises. Last week I read about the ST7 and decided to check it out at a Sony Store. The difference in sound quality from the 660 is night and day. Not only did the movies sound better, so did the music. Music sounds very good with this soundbar. Plus the bluetooth range is amazing. On my 660 - BT audio dropped off after 10-15 feet. On this thing - I can go 40-60 feet away and it still play strong with no skips. The audio is great. Now - it is not as good as my high end 5.1 system - but for what you get - it is a very good tradeoff. The sound is very good for a soundbar. Clear audio on movies and great audio to play music. I have not previously found a soundbar that does both well and this one does. Also - the display is easy to read for the input. I cannot stress how bad the 660 was for its menu and this is great. Very easy to see the input across the room and it is dimmable. I cannot say enough about the remote. The 660 came with a cheap hard to use remote. This one is a thing of beauty. It is more like a B&O remote than a Sony. It looks cool, feels cool and is very responsive. It also has a nifty slider. Nice bonus. Plus - the soundbar is a thing of beauty. I left off the wire front and it looks great on my home entertainment center. It is of high quality construction and looks it. The subwoofer is wireless and works on a secure channel. This is a nice feature so that it does not seem to pick up interference from other wireless devices nearby.
I can't say that this is a cheap purchase. But for the products on the market - it does meet a need. If you want a soundbar that has very good quality for both tv and audio, it meets that need. It also looks very nice and looks high end. The wireless sub is a nice touch. If you want the best quality sound system out there - buy a 5.1 system and run wires. But as far as soundbars go - this is the current gold standard. At the Sony store - when this got cranked up to the highest volumes with minimal distortion - people stopped and came over to check it out. It surprised a lot of people including me when we heard it. My demo led to an immediate purchase and I am very happy with this.
Now - what to do with my 660....
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on December 3, 2015
Less than one year ago I bought this HT-ST7 Sony sound bar, which is one of the most expensive model of the Sony sound bar family.

Recently, I noticed an annoying distortion coming from its subwoofer while reproducing specific bass frequencies, such as movie explosions, videogame shooting and jazz music bass. After talking to Sony Customer Service, I received the authorization to submit my device for repair under its 1-year warranty.

After spending $50 to pack my device, I shipped it to United Radio, the company based in New York in charge of repairing Sony electronic in US (yes, regardless where you live, you will have to ship your defective product to New York). They received my sound bar and the initial diagnostic was there wasn't any problem with it. I sent e-mails to their customer service detailing the problem and offering options to reproduce the issue I found, which I believe they ignored. They decided there wasn't any problem and returned my sound bar which I just received and verified the annoying distortion keeps coming from the subwoofer speakers.

Based on my experience with subwoofers and home theaters, usually the source of this kind of problem is the subwoofer components, such as the spider or its cone, and I specifically ask United Radio check those components. Now that I had my sound bar returned with "no problems", I decided to investigate the problem further and found there were 3 HOLES (!!!) in the spider of the subwoofer speaker (the yellow membrane of the speaker) which is causing the distortion, which you can sse in the attached photo.

Now I'll have to start a battle against Sony to have my sound bar fixed, but if I could regret, I wouldn't pay the $1.300 I paid for this product. How could three holes appear in the speaker membrane in less than 1 year of use?
review image
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on April 17, 2015
So this sound bar is really great. The quality is crisp and the bass really booms. However, I've had the bar for less than 6 months and it appears the internal processor is failing. Every so often there will be a loud stutter and it appears to lag for a few seconds before correcting.
Is it a huge problem? Not really. But if I spent $1,200 I expect longevity and consistency. I'm sure you do too.

I am going to contact Sony or the seller to correct the issue and will update then.
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on April 18, 2014
UPDATE SINCE USE 08062015

I'm hoping that Sony backs up their warranties. In the past month, the sound of the soundbar has become distorted and I can't figure out why. Every setting depending on whether its a movie or TV has sound distortion. Prior to this, the sound was GREAT! HELP! This is a lot of money to have this go bad in such a short time. Will update going forward on response from Sony!

I just received this sound bar and just began to use it but am so happy at the options and the sound of this soundbar. I looked into so many others but this has the ability to hook up through bluetooth and is very easy, through the TV, DVR, so many connections for anything you might need to hook it up to. Sound is so important to me. I'm looking forward to watching movies although hadn't used that option yet. I wasn't excited about dropping 1300.00 for it but it was well worth it!! My wife purchased it for me and I'm glad she decided to. Its well worth the cost and its rated a best buy from Consumer Reports as well. Don't overlook this soundbar!
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on April 22, 2015
#####First Update (after receiving replacement) #####
Wow... I have some HD FLAC albums (Stone Temple Pilots, The Eagles, Diana Krall) and they just sound amazing. It's as close as you will get to surround sound with a soundbar. Regular MP3s also sound good. Have not had the chance yet to try my TV as it hasn't been delivered.

Not related to the soundboard itself, but I did confirm my earlier suspicion that the previous one had been returned before and sold as new: No batteries for the remote were included on the first one. Even the box was in much better condition, except for a hole on one of the sides of the box, which made a small dent on the soundboard grill.

At least Amazon was fast on getting me a replacement.

#######Original review#####
The subwoofer just won't work. The red light stays on and no sound can be heard. It seems to me that the one I got sent was opened previously as some of the plastic bags holding some of the smaller components had some additional tape beneath what pretended to be the original seal. I'm definitely returning this one. Therhe's even some minor superficial dent on the top of the subwoofer.
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on May 23, 2016
I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when I ordered this. I have worked in film and television most of my life so I know what media sound should be like. I have had fairly sophisticated home theater / media rooms since 2000 and high end stereo systems since the late 1960s. This sound bar is replacing a nice discreet 5.1 surround system in my living room, and as I said I was originally a bit skeptical, but now more.

PROS:
1. Good to excellent sound quality. Very clear sound to my 66 year old ears. Good base, good mid-range.
2. Dolby and DTS HD decoding [only on HDMI and NOT on S/PDIF]. To me this is important and having the ability to decode both is important given the content of my media library.
3. Great build quality reminds me of the early glory days of Sony audio.
4. Powerful 450Ws driving seven individual amps on seven speakers + sub-woofer.
5. Everything worked right out of the box, my Harmony One remote controls the unit perfectly, allowing for direct selection of inputs without scrolling through the entire range of selections.
6. Clean installation with wireless sub-woofer and Bluetooth mobile device connection. I GET TO PULL DOWN MY SPEAKERS AND AM FREE FROM WIRES AT LAST. I don't know about anyone else, but in my mid 60s I have seen enough "hidden" wires in my day and its nice to just walk away!

CONS:
1. It is 7.1 Sound, but the sound field / surround effect is of course limited by the physical location of the speakers. Sony and others have made a fine job of attempting to direct sound back and forward to simulate individually placed speakers with only moderate success. If all you are looking for is "separation" then this is not for you. This unit provides excellent, clear, and powerful sound with limited separation effect.
2. Relatively expensive, but only if you are thinking in terms of a "sound bar" not a "sound system". For a "sound system" the price falls in the medium range but the performance and features far exceed what you should expect at this price point.

SUMMARY:

If all you want is physical separation of speakers go with a lower cost 5.1 or 7.1 system. If you want EXCELLENT sound quality, sound that allows you to hear everything that is on your media then this system will not disappoint. When pared with a Harmony universal remote you really unlock the features of the system. Good build quality and a lot of punch for the bucks.
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