Sony has just announced two new wireless speakers that come with a number of smart features, along with Sony’s spatial sound technologies. The Sony SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 are both supposed to create “ambient room-filling sound”, with the idea being to help you “relax as if you were at your favourite cafe”—perfect, seeing as working in cafes isn’t exactly advised right now, due to COVID-19.
So, what exactly does all of that mean? Basically, both speakers feature support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio technology, which tries to replicate the sound and feel of live music. How this works is that the speakers “spread” background music both horizontally and vertically, and it creates a virtual sphere of sound around you.
360 Reality Audio uses location data to map this sphere, while working along with Sony’s Immersive Audio Enhancement (IAE) technology to convert standard 2-channel stereo playback into “ambient room-filling sound”. Meanwhile, both speakers can also be calibrated for different rooms in a house, with Sony promising automatic re-calibration if you move the RA3000 between locations.
In any case, the SRS-RA5000 is the range-topping model here, with three up-firing speakers and three side speakers paired with a subwoofer. Meanwhile, the more affordable SRS-RA3000’s triple-driver layout is made up of two tweeters, two passive radiators, and a full-range driver.
Another difference between the two is that the RA3000 has humidity resistance, which should make it the better option if you wanted a bathroom or kitchen speaker. However, the RA5000 comes with NFC (for easy pairing) and High-Res audio support, so those are also aspects you should keep in mind.
Both speakers come with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity (of course), and you’ll be able to use Spotify Connect or Google Chromecast to wirelessly stream audio. Meanwhile, a strength that is present across the range is support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant—the two most widely-used virtual assistants around.
However, you should note that the speakers themselves don’t look like they will actually work as input devices—which means that you’ll need a separate device that’s compatible with the virtual assistants (such as a Nest Mini), before you can use voice commands to control the Sony SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000.
In any case, the Sony SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will be available in Malaysia in February 2021, although local pricing will only be available at a later date. In the UK, the RA5000 is priced at GBP500 (~RM2,729), while the RA3000 is going for GBP 280 (~RM1,528). We’ll be sure to update this post when Sony Malaysia shares official pricing information with us, so be sure to keep this article bookmarked.
If you’re keen to try out 360 Reality Audio, Sony is also providing a free trial in the form of a coupon with new purchases of the SRS-RA3000 and SRS-RA5000. To find out more about that, click here.