Wireless speakers are hot right now. It seems we’re all dumping our traditional hi-fi in favor of multiple speakers all over the home, providing a far more integrated listening experience. The likes of Apple, Sonos and Denon are all vying for a slice of this burgeoning market at the moment. Now another big name has stepped in with new wireless speaker offerings. Sony has just announced the new SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 wireless home speakers at CES 2021.
These new wireless speakers are designed to fill a room with enveloping sound and are easy to set up and they can build into a whole-home audio system where different music can be played in individual rooms or else the same tune can be blasted around the whole home.
Both speakers are based on Sony’s Immersive Audio Enhancement and 360 Reality Audio technologies. The RA5000 and RA3000 are compatible with 360 Reality Audio tracks that are are available on compatible music streaming services. Using a unique algorithm developed by Sony, both speakers can transform stereo tracks into a spatial 3D sound that can fill a room with music.
The Sony RA5000 is certified for Hi-Res audio and features a trio of up-firing speakers that can project music vertically, while three middle-sited speakers spread the sound horizontally. The speaker incorporates powerful neodymium magnets and a mica reinforced cellular diaphragm that gives strength to the driver whilst enabling it to be constructed in a compact format. The drivers are complemented by a subwoofer that also helps to fill a room with deep and moving bass.
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The Sony RA3000 can also deliver omnidirectional sound with a deep bass by using a full range speaker. According to Sony, the speaker’s omni-diffuser can spread sound throughout a room in every direction, while a dual passive radiator pumps out the deepest of bass frequencies. The RA3000’s overlapping beam tweeters form a wavefront that goes upwards and delivers sound vertically.
Both the RA5000 and RA3000 feature Sound Calibration that offers optimal sound performance wherever the speakers are placed. By holding down the Immersive Audio Enhancement button on the RA5000, a detailed sound calibration adjustment is initiated for optimum audio performance tailored for a particular room. The RA3000 has an auto adjustment feature which takes place in the background while the speaker is playing music. To activate the RA3000’s automatic recalibration process, the user simply needs to turn the speaker on wherever it is and it will automatically recalibrate itself.
The days of fiddling with a remote to create a consistent volume level are over for owners of the two new speakers. The Auto Volume feature on both the RA5000 and RA3000 adjusts the volume level so that it’s perfect for each track. The speakers can adjust the sound levels on a track-by-track basis.
The RA5000 and RA3000 are both compatible with Google Assistant-enabled devices that support Chromecast built-in. They can also work with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, enabling users to manage their music simply by using voice commands. Both speakers can also support multi-room playback that lets them play the same, or different, songs, in separate rooms at the same time via speaker groups set up usingGoogle Home or Amazon Alexa apps. The speakers can also be controlled from anywhere in the home using Sony’s Music Centre app on a smartphone, enabling settings to be customized with various settings to achieve a personalized listening experience.
The RA5000 and RA3000 are both able to connect wirelessly with compatible BRAVIA TVs and so they can be used to enhance the TV’s sound. Both devices are Wi-Fi enabled and include Bluetooth technology with quick NFC pairing. Finally, there’s support for Spotify Connect and Chromecast built-in so the speakers can be paired directly with a smartphone or tablet to stream music.
Sony claims its new speakers have unique designs that blend audio engineering and contemporary styling. Both models are available in a black body with contrasting copper highlights, while the RA3000 is also available in a light grey fabric body with silver accents. The RA3000’s compact footprint means it can fit in just about anywhere around the home and, thanks to humidity resistance, the speaker can safely be used in kitchens or bathrooms.
Pricing and availability: The Sony SRS-RA5000 model will be priced at approximately £500 / €599 and will be available from February 2021. The SRS-RA3000 model will be priced at approximately £280 / €359 and begins shipping in February 2021.