Sony has announced two table-top wireless speakers with a unique feature dubbed Sony 360 Reality Audio. The new spatial audio format is not your typical surround sound or an acoustic EQ approximation. It requires specially mastered music which maps vocals, chorus and instruments in a spherical space. Sony has been pushing this format since 2019, although it doesn’t seem to require Sony products to hear a difference. Music encoded as 360 Reality Audio can be heard through regular headphones. However, it seems enabling such audio effects through regular speakers requires a special design. That’s what makes Sony’s new speakers intriguing.
360 Reality Music
Although Sony 360 Reality Audio has a lot of potential, there are some limitations — mainly where to access the music and the amount of it. Previously users could only access 360 music through Sony’s app. As of today, Amazon Music HD will begin offering 360 Reality Audio tracks. TIDAL, nugs.net and Deezer are expected to follow by summer 2021. However, music selection is limited to about 4,000 songs from artists including Alicia Keys, Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Cyrus, Zara Larsson, Paloma Faith and more.
“360 Reality Audio has emerged as a powerful audio format for the industry, with the ability to virtually transport listeners to their favorite live venues and performances for a truly immersive experience.” Mike Fasulo, President and COO, Sony Electronics Inc.
Although you’ll pay a premium for Sony’s new SRS-RA3000 ($299.99) and SRS-RA5000 ($699.99) wireless speakers, it’s the latter that looks most interesting with its array of drivers. Both speakers offer 360 Reality Audio and Immersive Audio Enhancement technologies that fill a room with sound — both vertically and horizontally – to create a broad and wide sweet spot. With non-encoded 360 Reality tracks, each speaker is capable of what Sony calls Immersive Audio Enhancement. It’s a unique algorithm that transforms any two-channel stereo track to fill a room with sound to further enhance the listening experience.
The SRS-RA5000 features a trio of up-firing speakers that spread music vertically, while the three middle sited speakers spread sound horizontally. The speaker unit incorporates high-magnetism neodymium magnets and a mica reinforced cellular diaphragm that gives strength to the speaker while still maintaining a compact size. These are complemented by a subwoofer, which helps to flood the room with rich, deep bass. This speaker is also Hi-Res Audio certified.
The SRS-RA3000 achieves omnidirectional sound with deep bass by using a full range speaker, an omni-diffuser that spreads sound throughout the room in every direction and a dual passive radiator to produce deep bass. The speaker’s overlapping beam tweeters form a wave front that goes upward, which delivers sound vertically.
Seamless Home Integration
The RA5000 and RA3000 both feature Sound Calibration that offers optimal sound performance wherever they are used. Simply hold the Immersive Audio Enhancement button on the RA5000 and it will conduct a detailed sound calibration adjustment for optimum audio performance for the room it is placed in. The RA3000 provides effortless auto adjustment, which takes place in the background while you are enjoying your favorite tracks. To activate the RA3000’s automatic recalibration, simply turn the speaker on wherever it is placed in the home and it will recalibrate itself to the new position.
Gone are the days of fiddling with the remote to create a consistent volume; the Auto Volume feature on both the RA5000 and RA3000 takes the stress out of finding the perfect volume for each track. The speaker adjusts the sound, track-by-track, to make the listening experience stress-free.
With a compact size and small footprint, the RA3000 fits just about anywhere. Since it’s humidity resistant (not waterproof) users can even enjoy the RA3000 in the kitchen and bathroom. Whether it’s used to enjoy some relaxing music in the bath or dance around the kitchen while cooking, the RA3000 is the perfect companion.
The SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 are compatible with Google Assistant-enabled devices with Chromecast built-in and Amazon Alexa enabled devices. Customers can now start or stop music, adjust the volume and other actions, all hands-free.
Control the speakers from anywhere in the house with the Sony | Music Center app on a smartphone, allowing users to customize various settings for a personalized listening experience.
The RA5000 and RA3000 also wirelessly connect to compatible BRAVIA TVs (requires Bluetooth A2DP support) to easily enhance the audio performance and make movie night even more exciting. Both speakers are Wi-Fi enabled, feature Bluetooth technology, have NFC, are compatible with Spotify Connect and have Chromecast built-in to easily pair the speaker with a smartphone or tablet.
Pricing & Availability
Both products are expected to start shipping on April 7, 2021. Pre-orders are now being accepted.
- For product details, visit: sony.com
- For product details, visit: sony.com