Earlier today, Sony announced plans to expand its 360 Reality Audio platform. The key updates were a two-fold approach for expanding the limited content library, licensing tech to other companies and — most importantly — news that it would ship its own speakers built for the immersive sound this spring. At the time, the company said it didn’t have any info beyond a few vague details, but that’s wasn’t entirely true. Sony’s UK website has already posted full details for both the SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 “premium wireless speakers.”
If you’ve been following our 360 Reality Audio coverage since 2019, you’ll recognize the designs. Both of these speakers are nearly identical to the prototypes Sony used to showcase the immersive audio system at the last two CES events (2019 and 2020). The RA5000 houses seven total drivers: three up firing, three side firing and a center-mounted woofer. The RA3000 employs five: two tweeters, two passive radiators and a single full-range driver.
Both are wrapped in a cloth cover with bronze or silver accents and speaker grilles. In the case of the RA3000, you’ll have the choice of either black/bronze or light gray/silver while it appears the larger RA5000 will only come in black.
To properly project 360 Reality Audio in all directions, each speaker is capable of “ambient room-filling sound” that beams noise in all directions. If the content you’re listening to isn’t available in Sony’s 360 format, an Immersive Audio Enhancement algorithm transforms stereo tracks for a simulated experience.
Both speakers offer a range of wireless connectivity, including Bluetooth, WiFi, Spotify Connect and Google Cast. With either the Google Home or Amazon Alexa app, you can setup units as part of a multi-room audio system. You can also control the RA5000 and RA3000 with your voice via a Google Assistant or Alexa compatible device. What’s more, you can wirelessly connect both speakers to select Sony Bravia TVs to enhance your streaming binges. Sony offers a degree of customization with its Music Center app. With that software, you can control music and playlists as well as adjusting settings like the EQ and more. Both speakers will also adjust volume automatically, according to the company. With this feature, Sony promises consistent levels even if songs vary in loudness from track to track.
Sony says you’ll also be able to calibrate the RA5000 for “optimum audio performance.” With an internal microphone and an algorithm, the speakers can be setup for your venue of choice. Simply hold down the Immersive Audio Enhancement button on the RA5000 and the calibration process will begin. Sony says the RA3000 offers automatic sound calibration that handles all of the work for you — which it appears doesn’t require you to press a button. The RA5000 is also high resolution audio compatible like many of Sony’s other speakers, soundbars and headphones.
The company points out that the RA3000 speaker is humidity resistant, so you can place it in the kitchen or bathroom without worry. Both the RA5000 and RA3000 enter standby mode have 15 minutes of inactivity, regardless of whether you’re connected via WiFi or Bluetooth.
To be clear, all of this info is from the Sony UK site, so it applies to models that will be sold there. The company was clear in response to Engadget’s emails that details for North American products are still forthcoming later this spring — including pricing. The speakers are coming to the US, but specifics won’t be available for a bit longer. For now, Android Police reports the RA5000 will cost £500/€599 and the RA3000 will be £280/€359.
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