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Sony’s HT-AX7 Portable Home Theater System Offers 360 Spatial Sound Mapping

The Sony HT-AX7 offers portability, strong battery performance, and support for 360 Spatial Sound Mapping.

Sony HT-AX7 Spatial Audio Example

Sony has engineered some very interesting consumer A/V products throughout its storied history; some have been massive hits and others have been rather signifiant misses. The new Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theater System with 360 Spatial Sound Mapping looks and feels innovative but there are some quirks.

The HT-AX7 offers a rather innovative design, with a compact soundbar form factor similar to the LG Eclair (original model) and the portability of the recently released Soundcore X600 portable speaker. Where it spreads its wings is with the added feature of two detachable wireless surround speakers.

Also, since the system is portable, you don’t have to run either the main unit or the surround speakers off AC power – but you do need to plug it all in to charge, and you can also run the main unit via AC through the charging unit if you desire. 

Key Features

Speakers: The HT-AX7 has two front speakers and two passive radiators on each side. The main speakers feature Sony’s X-Balanced rectangular speaker design. The rectangular shape increases the effective diaphragm size and reduces the amount of in-out motion needed to produce sound. The passive radiators extend the low-frequency response. 

Comparison of Regular vs. X-Balanced Speaker Drivers

In addition to the main speaker, the HT-AX7 also includes two detachable surround speakers that can be placed to the side or behind the listening position. 

Sony HT-AX7 Detachable Speaker

360 Spatial Sound Mapping: The HT-AX7 provides 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology which is designed to envelop the listeners in spatial sound by creating multiple “phantom” speakers at the front and rear. 

Sony Spatial Mapping Demo Video:

Tip: To set this up on the HT-AX7, place the main and surround speakers where you want them and turn the Sound Field effect on. This will activate Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping.

Stereo to Surround Upmixer: This feature looks for cues in stereo audio signals and redistributes the sound to create a more immersive listening experience. Although this isn’t accurate as a native surround sound signal, it can still provide a satisfying surround sound listening experience for many listeners. This process works with any two-channel video or music streaming source via Bluetooth or USB.

Sony HT-AX7 Stereo to Surround Upmixer Diagram

Tip: The HT-AX7 does not feature Dolby or DTS audio format decoding or processing. 

Battery Playtime: The HT-AX7 provides up to 30 hours of battery life and the quick charging feature can provide up to 2.5 hours of play with a 10-minute charge.

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Bluetooth Multipoint: The HT-AX7 allows you to simultaneously connect and instantly switch between two Bluetooth devices and it automatically links to your last connected device when you turn it on.

Tip: You can also switch between Bluetooth and USB sources.

Hands-Free Phone Calling: Hands-free calls can be done via the front speaker with a smartphone or mobile phone that supports the Bluetooth HFP (Hands-free profile) or HSP (Headset Profile).

Sony Home Entertainment Connect App

Sony Home Entertainment Connect App

The Sony HT-AX7 is not only compact and portable it is also very easy to use via the Sony Home Entertainment Connect App which is available for Android and iOS – no separate remote control is needed (although there are limited push-button controls on the main unit).

  • The Connect App features include:
  • Adjust volume and related settings
  • Animated setup guide
  • Troubleshooting function
  • Download updates
Sony Entertainment Connect App Menu Examples

Sony HT-AX7 Specifications

  • Amplifier Type: Sony S-Master
  • Sound Effect: Night Mode, Voice Mode
  • Sound Modes: Sound Field, Virtual Surround Technology. 360 Spatial Sound Mapping
  • Wired Connectivity: USB Type A (WAV, MP3, WMA)
  • Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth® ver 5.2 (includes Multipoint)
  • Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Bluetooth Codecs: SBC, AAC (which is interesting is that the HT-AX7 doesn’t support Sony’s own LDAC Codec)
  • Battery Playtime on full Charge: Approx. 30 hours
  • Charge Time: Front Speaker: Approx. 4 hours, Rear Speaker (ea): Approx. 4.5 hours
  • Play Time with 10 Minutes Quick Charge: Approx. 150 minutes

Dimensions

  • Main Unit (WHD – Body Only): 12.13 x 3.88 x 4.88 inches
  • Rear Speaker: (WHD – ea): 4.88 x 1.56 x 4.88 inches

Weight

  • Main Unit (Body Only): 3 lb 2 oz
  • Rear Speaker Weight (ea): 11 oz

Tip: Although Sony promotes the HT-AX7 as a portable home theater option, it does not provide HDMI-ARC/eARC, Digital Optical, or Analog input connections. Big disappointment Sony!

Sony HT-AX7 Portability

Pricing and Availability

The HT-AX7 is priced at $499.99 MSRP and is available for pre-order at Sony.com 

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