A yowling guitar solo. A pumping bass line. Orchestral strings that seem to soar above you. Over the last year, music fans around the world have been unable to experience these in the flesh. But Sony's two new speakers bring the live performance home, recreating the ambience of a gig from the comfort of your lounge. And they offer plenty to enjoy, whatever floats your musical boat.
Because whatever you're listening to, both the Sony SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will deliver a stunningly musical experience. Both speakers deliver a superb listen whatever source material you feed it, be it two-channel audio, music tracks from a mobile device over Bluetooth, or something else.
They also support Sony's 360 Reality Audio and feature Immersive Audio Enhancement. 360 Reality Audio is a spatial sound format that allows for 360-degree sound, recreating the kind of immersive audio experience usually only possible at in-person events. Immersive Audio Enhancement, meanwhile, upscales stereo sound so it envelops you with a surround effect, making two-channel audio feel even more immersive.
Let's take a deeper dive and see what else they can do.
Sony SRS-RA5000: Engineered for sound
You'll be glad to hear that the room-filling sound provided by the Sony SRS-RA5000 is of the highest quality. That's because the RA5000 is certified for Hi-Res Audio, so given the right source material, you can experience music closer to the artist's true vision in the studio.
You'll benefit from superb sound quality wherever you are in the room, thanks to its powerful but graceful seven-speaker array: as well as a subwoofer, three up-firing speakers spread music vertically, while three middle speakers disperse it horizontally.
The RA5000 has a unique look, and can be moved from room to room as the occasion demands. And thanks to its upscaling abilities, it can upscale your existing sound source (be it locally stored music, streamed playlists, TV sound or something else entirely) to near Hi Res Audio quality.
Sony SRS-RA3000: Big sound from a compact speaker
If you want a speaker that's a bit more portable, the Sony SRS-RA3000 is for you. Despite being more compact than its larger sibling, it doesn't compromise on sound quality, with an omni-diffuser that spreads sound throughout the room in every direction and a dual passive radiator that handles bass. Overlapping beam tweeters form an upward wavefront, delivering sound vertically and making audio more immersive.
The SRS-RA3000 is resistant to humidity too, meaning it can be used in the bathroom. Perfect for those shower singers among us.
It shares plenty in common with the SRS-RA5000. Both speakers can be calibrated to your room – once they have taking a reading of your room size and layout, they will customise the audio output to fit it perfectly. They can also adjust the volume track-by-track to ensure it's consistent, giving you a seamless listening experience from intro to outro.
Bluetooth and wi-fi audio technologies also come as standard, so you can stream from online music services or from files stored locally on your mobile device. When you want to go handsfree, they support Google Assistant, Chromecast built-in and Alexa devices, giving them voice controls through a connected device.
They work as multi-room speakers too, within speaker groups set up in the Google Home or app, so you can play the same or different tunes in each room. Great for house parties, filling the whole house with sound, or just setting the mood in your home.
Both come with a black body and contrasting copper highlights, while the RA3000 also comes in a light grey fabric body with silver accents.