Sony’s new spatial sound system is actually portable

Detachable speakers create a moveable ‘bubble-like sphere’ of audio.

Sony Electronics, Inc.

When you think of true surround sound stereo systems, you imagine cumbersome multi-speaker affairs that take all day to set up. Sony may have just upended that notion with its HT-AX7 portable theater system, complete with 360 spatial sound mapping. The hook here is that the speakers are detachable and the whole system can easily be moved from room to room without a trip to the chiropractor.

The system uses the company’s proprietary spatial sound mapping technology to create phantom speakers at the front, rear and overhead. These audio sources integrate with three detachable and fully portable speakers, enveloping listeners in a “bubble-like sphere” of spatial sound. The system is designed so anyone can set it up, so there’s no need for a special installation of any kind.

Beyond the portable form factor, the HT-AX7 system uses a real-time algorithm to upscale stereo sound into 3D surround sound. You can also disengage this feature for garden variety “room-filling sound.” All of the associated speakers are wireless and automatically pair with one another, further easing the installation process. This is a stereo system released in the year 2023, so there’s also an app for making adjustments to the sound and to the spatial field.

As for other bells and whistles, the wireless speakers get 30 hours of use per charge and boast quick-charging capabilities. These are Bluetooth-enabled speakers, so you aren’t tied to the TV, which is traditional with home theater setups.

Sony’s HT-AX7 home theater system costs $500 and is available for preorder right now. The units begin shipping on July 18. That price is fairly decent if you’re looking to build a budget-friendly home theater system.

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