Sony launches new 360 Reality Audio wireless speakers and video streaming service

Sony launches new 360 Reality Audio wireless speakers
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has announced two new wireless speakers, and they pack plenty of tech to fill your room with sound. 

The SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 both support Sony 360 Reality Audio and feature Immersive Audio Enhancement. 360 Reality Audio is a spatial sound format that allows for 360-degree sound, while Immersive Audio Enhancement upscales stereo sound so it has a surround effect.

But these aren't the only strings to these speakers' bows. The RA5000 (the pricier of the two) is also certified for Hi-Res Audio. It's the most interesting-looking of the two and boasts three up-firing speakers to spread music vertically, and three middle speakers to handle horizontal duties.

Inside the RA3000 is a full-range speaker, an omni-diffuser that spreads sound throughout the room in every direction and a dual passive radiator to handle bass. Overlapping beam tweeters form an upward wavefront, delivering sound vertically and supposedly making audio more immersive.

Sony launches new 360 Reality Audio wireless speakers

(Image credit: Sony)

Both speakers can be calibrated to your room, too. On the RA5000, you hold down a button and the speaker conducts a "detailed sound calibration adjustment" for its surroundings. The RA3000 calibrates itself automatically, with no button presses needed. 

They adjust the volume track-by-track to ensure it's consistent, and they work with Google Assistant, Chromecast built-in and Alexa devices, giving them voice controls. Bluetooth and wi-fi come as standard, and they work as multi-room speakers, so you can play the same or different tunes in each room. 

They work with compatible Sony TVs too, beefing up the telly's audio. Finishes? Both come with a black body and contrasting copper highlights, while the RA3000 also comes in a light grey fabric body with silver accents. The RA3000 is humidity resistant too, making it perfect for the bathroom or kitchen.

Both go on sale in February. The SRS-RA5000 will cost £500 (€599), and the SRS-RA3000 £280 (AU$449, €359). Australian pricing and release information for the RA5000 is yet to be announced.

Sony has also added video streaming to its 360 Reality Audio offering. The aim is to recreate the feel of a live gig – very timely, given that music venues around the world are currently closed. It's currently in talks with major music labels and service providers to begin streaming video content later this year.

To showcase the new feature, Sony is putting on a concert with musician Zara Larsson on Monday night. To watch, you'll need the Artist Connection app on your device.

Sony is also looking to expand its library of compatible 360 Reality Audio devices, and to help it achieve this, the company has announced it will start to license out certain technologies.

There is a headphones personalization technology that analyzes the listener’s hearing characteristics, and also technology that enable smartphones and automotive vehicles to play 360 Reality Audio.


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