Sony’s streaming speakers offer premium design and 360 Reality Audio support – CNET

sony-ra3000

Sony

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

Sony has announced a premium set of streaming speakers during CES, the SRS-RA3000 and the SRS-RA5000, which offer both Chromecast built-in and 360 Reality Audio support.

Both Sony models offer top-mounted controls and while the entry-level RA3000 is humidity resistant — making it suitable for wet areas — the premium RA5000 is more of a statement piece.

The speakers first appeared on the Sony UK and Sony Australia websites over the weekend before CES, but a Sony spokesperson has confirmed that “these will be coming to the US at a later date.”

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SRS-RA5000


Sony

The speakers offer a 360-degree sound field and can even upscale stereo content with their Immersive Audio Enhancement feature. Sony says the RA3000 and RA5000 can “easily be added to a speaker group in the Google Home or Amazon Alexa” ecosystems, but don’t feature onboard microphones. The products also include Spotify Connect and Bluetooth support and can be paired wirelessly with a Sony TV.

Sony introduced its Dolby Atmos-like 360 Reality Audio format at CES two years ago, but this is the first time it’s announced a product that supports it other than headphones. The Amazon Echo Studio was the first affordable speaker to offer 360 Reality Audio, costing $200, £190 and AU$329. However, the Studio also includes the Alexa voice assistant onboard.

US pricing is not yet available but the speakers will go on sale in February in the UK for £280 for the SRS-RA3000 and £500 for the SRS-RA5000. Based on that starting point, expect pricing of around $300 and AU$450, and $500 (Australia price TBA), respectively.

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