Earlier today, Sony announced that it would be releasing two new speakers compatible with 360 Reality Audio, its spatial audio technology that replicates the feel of live music by placing different sounds and vocals in a virtual sphere around you. It said its plan is to release them this spring, but it didn’t share what the speakers would look like. We didn’t have to wait to learn more about them, though, as Sony’s UK website now has full product pages for the upcoming SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 speakers.
The higher-end SRS-RA5000, pictured at the top of this post, will have three up-firing speakers, three side speakers, and a woofer. It’s also certified for High-Resolution Audio. The SRS-RA3000, pictured below, has two tweeters, two passive radiators, and a full-range driver.
Both speakers can calibrate themselves to the room they’re in with an internal microphone and a “unique Sony algorithm,” too. With the SRS-RA5000, you have to press and hold a button on the speaker, while the SRS-RA3000 can calibrate itself automatically. The two speakers also have Sony’s Auto Volume feature, which adjusts the volume of each track automatically to play them at a consistent volume. And both speakers support Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
The SRS-RA5000 will cost approximately £500 / €599, while the SRS-RA3000 is priced at about £280 / €359, according to the press release on Sony’s UK website. That also says both speakers will arrive in February 2021, which is a bit sooner than the previous “spring” date we had heard before, so perhaps there will be different release dates in different regions.
Sony said it is expanding the 360 Reality Audio platform from audio to video earlier on Friday, and the company is working with major music labels and service providers to begin streaming video content with the codec later this year. Approximately 4,000 songs currently support the format, according to Sony.
These are Sony’s first 360-degree audio speakers The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Verge.