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Dolby At­mos is the ul­ti­mate in sur­round sound right now – but un­less you’ve got some se­ri­ous space for all the speak­ers, you’re only able to ex­pe­ri­ence it at your lo­cal mul­ti­plex. That won’t be true for much longer, how­ever, as Sony has worked some vir­tual magic and man­aged to squeeze At­mos ef­fects into a sin­gle sound­bar, sav­ing you from in­vest­ing in a load of ex­tra speak­ers. The 3.1-chan­nel HT-Z9F has three driv­ers dig­i­tally recre­at­ing a full sur­round sound setup, and a sep­a­rate sub­woofer han­dling the bass. A ‘Ver­ti­cal S’ but­ton then de­liv­ers vir­tual 3D sound whether you’re watch­ing At­mos con­tent or not. And if you sud­denly find a bit more space be­hind the sofa, you can add a set of ded­i­cated rear speak­ers to turn the sys­tem into a true 5.1 setup. It should feel just like you’re in the cinema, but with­out the tacky floors, while the added height will im­prove im­mer­sion for those lengthy ses­sions. If this is what a lit­tle fak­ery can achieve, then we’re all for it. As hot as… a gi­ant fire­ball ric­o­chet­ing off the ceil­ing US$900 /

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