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Sony Announces 360 Spatial Audio Update for HT-A7000 and HT-A5000 Soundbars

Sony’s latest firmware update fine-tunes 360 Spatial Audio sound mapping for the HT-A7000 and HT-A5000 soundbars, but there is a catch – you need to purchase optional rear surround speakers.

Sony Spatial Audio Soundbar

Sony has announced a new firmware update for its high-end HT-A7000 and HT-A5000 soundbars that enhance Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping capabilities for a more accurate immersive listening experience.

However, to get the benefits, owners of these soundbars will have to purchase either the SA-RS3S or SA-RS5 wireless rear surround speakers – more on that later in this article.

Tip: The firmware update will be available for download beginning at 6 pm Pacific Time on April 14th, 2022

360 Spatial Sound Mapping

360 Spatial Sound Mapping enables listeners to experience sound from any direction and distance. This is enabled by Sony’s Sound Field Optimization in which the soundbars use built-in microphones to measure the relative height and position of the soundbar and rear speakers. 

360 Spatial Sound Mapping then creates multiple phantom speakers by synthesizing sound waves based on the gathering room and speaker distance information. A wide spatial sound field is created that fills the room, enabling everyone in that space to have the same sound experience.

The firmware update fine-tunes this process for a more accurate listening experience in combination with select Sony soundbars and wireless rear speakers.

How To Download and Install the Firmware Update

There are two ways to download the update:

Via USB Drive

  1. Download firmware for the HT-A5000 here, for the HT-A7000 here.
  2. Extract files to a blank USB drive.
  3. Plug USB drive into Soundbar USB port.
  4. Select the “USB software update” option on the soundbar onscreen menu.
  5. Follow prompts to set up and enjoy.

Via Wi-Fi

  1. Make sure the soundbar is connected to the internet.
  2. Select software update via “Network,” from the on-screen menu.
  3. Proceed with download.
  4. Follow any additional setup prompts.

The Rear Speakers

As mentioned at the top of the article in order to take advantage of the firmware update’s 360 spatial audio enhancements, you need to have a pair of compatible Sony rear surround speakers.

SA-RS3S

Sony SA-RS3S Speakers
Sony SA-RS3S

The core features of the SA-RS3S speakers include:

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  • Wireless connectivity with the HT-A7000 or HT-A5000 soundbars
  • Omnidirectional Block Design
  • Two-way design (woofer and tweeter)
  • Total Power Output: 100 watts x 2
  • Wall mountable
  • AC power required
  • Full features and specifications

Where to buy: $399.99 $348 at Amazon, Sony Electronics, Best Buy, and other authorized dealers. 

SA-RS5 

Sony SA-RS5 Surround Speakers
Sony SA-RS5

The Core features of the SA-RS5 speakers include:

  • Wireless connectivity with the HT-A7000 or HT-A5000 Soundbars
  • Omnidirectional Block Design
  • Includes upfiring speakers to support immersive audio
  • Activate Sound Field Optimization with OPTIMIZE button
  • Total Power Output: 180 watts x 4
  • Wall mountable
  • Can be used with its internal battery (10-hour battery life with quick charging function) or plugged into AC Power
  • Full features and specifications

Where to buy: $598 at Amazon. Available for pre-order for delivery in May 2022 at Sony Electronics and other authorized dealers. 

Compatible Soundbars

Sony HT-A7000 Soundbar
Sony HT-A7000

HT-A7000 $1,399.99 $998 at Amazon, Sony, Best Buy

Sony HT-A5000 Soundbar
Sony HT-A5000

HT-A5000 $999.99 $728 at Amazon, Sony, Best Buy

Optional Subwoofers 

SA-SW5 $699.99 $498 at Amazon, Sony

SA-SW3 $399.99 $298 at Amazon, Sony

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