Sony releases firmware update to expand 360 Spatial Sound Experience

An OTA firmware update has been released for Sony’s HT-A7000 soundbar, which will add its 360 Spatial Sound Mapping capabilities that first premiered last year in the HT-A9 home theatre system.

Customers can access this innovative feature when connecting their soundbar to Sony’s new SA-RS5 wireless rear speakers, which will launch this summer, or the currently available SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers.

Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology gives users a fully immersive audio experience, allowing them to feel sound from all directions and from any distance.

Using Sound Field Optimisation, the soundbar uses built-in microphones to measure the relative height and position of the soundbar and rear speakers. The 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology then creates multiple phantom speakers by synthesizing sound waves based on positional information. This technology allows Sony’s wide spatial sound to fill every part of a room to give everyone the same listening experience wherever they are positioned.

To enhance the experience for an immersive home cinema experience, users can pair the soundbar with a compatible BRAVIA XR TV. Using the Acoustic Centre Sync feature, both the soundbar and TV become the centre speaker in the system as part of the 360 Spatial Sound Mapping set up, enabling sound to precisely match what’s on the screen for clearer dialogue and a more immersive experience.

SA-RS5 rear speakers

Launching this summer, Sony’s new SA-RS5 wireless rear speakers deliver optimal sound quality and wide directivity for 360 Spatial Sound in combination with a compatible soundbar. They feature up-firing speakers for richer and more immersive 360 Spatial Sound as well as built-in battery power for up to 10 hours of playback.

The up-firing speakers reflect sound off the ceiling for immersive overhead audio. Both wide directivity woofers and soft dome tweeters create a rich, expansive soundstage that offers more clarity. Dual passive radiators enhance low-end tones, boosting the bass.

The SA-RS5 comes with OPTIMISE buttons and dual microphones in each speaker for one-touch sound calibration. Users can activate Sound Field Optimisation by pressing the OPTIMISE button on the unit and the speakers, and combined with a compatible soundbar, it will intelligently measure the distance between the speakers and ceiling using dual microphones.

The speakers are designed using an Omnidirectional Block concept to match Sony’s compatible soundbars. The cylindrical shape represents a single solid block and their flat rear surface fits against a wall.

The SA-RS5 has an SRP of £700 / €800.