Sony HT-A9 Wireless 360 Sound Speaker System Announced
If you're looking for an alternative to Sony's new HT-A7000 7.1.2 Atmos soundbar, Sony's HT-A9 home theatre system promises to create up to twelve phantom speakers from just four units, resulting in 360 sound.
The HT-A9, along with Sony's unique 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology, is said to result in a wireless and flexible Home Theatre System to fit any living room.
Sound Field Optimization, we're told, ingeniously measures each speaker's relative height and position and, based on that positioning, synthesises the sound waves to create up to twelve phantom speakers from just four speakers, resulting in 360 sound. This means that you can also experience cinematic surround sound from the comfort of your home with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support on the HT-A9.
Because the four speakers connect wirelessly to a control box, there are no speaker cables across your living room. Furthermore, there's no need to rearrange your furniture or precisely position your speakers as the HT-A9 uses dual microphones in each speaker to do all the measurements. This is where the system generates that dozen phantom speakers to completely encircle your room. All you have to do is select Easy Setup from the home menu on your TV screen.
The HT-A9 speakers feature bevelled edges to reduce sound diffraction as well as being loaded with X-Balanced Speaker Units. These drivers sport a rectangular design to maximise the diaphragm area, which, says Sony, results in richer bass and vocal clarity.
The speakers also feature a new Wide Directivity Woofer that has reduced cavity effect by minimising the depth of its concave shape. This works with the 19mm Soft Dome Type Tweeter. Additionally, the up-firing speakers' sound is reflected off the ceiling for overhead audio.
Naturally, you can add an optional subwoofer to handle the lower frequencies, which should also add greater impact to your soundtracks. The SA-SW5 features 300W of deep, rich bass from a 180mm driver with a passive radiator. The SA-SW3 features 200W of sound from a compact bass reflex subwoofer with a 160mm driver.
If you're wondering where you can get 360 Reality Audio, you should check out the playlists on Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net, and TIDAL (above). However, the HT-A9 speakers also feature DSEE Extreme, which uses Edge-AI to upscale compressed digital files in real-time, which restores the high-range sound lost in compression for a richer, more complete listening experience.
You also get access to all the other streaming services thanks to Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2, along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for networked audio. In addition, the HT-A9 is compatible with Google Assistant-enabled devices with Chromecast built-in as well as Amazon Alexa-enabled ones.
Even Better With Sony TVs
Of course, Sony says that if you hook up the HT-A9 using the supplied cable to a compatible BRAVIA TV with Acoustic Center Sync, you will be rewarded with “the ultimate immersive audio-visual experience”. You see, with Acoustic Center Sync, you can have even more immersion by precisely matching where the audio is coming from with what's on the screen. You'll hear dialogue from exactly where the character is standing in the scene, says the brand.
The HT-A9 system will be priced at approximately $2,299 RRP with the omnidirectional speakers finished in light pearl grey, designed to blend with any decor.
The SA-SW5 optional subwoofer will be priced at approximately $999 RRP, and the SW-SW3 optional subwoofer will cost $599 RRP.
All will become available in September 2021.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION
Want to share your opinion or get advice from other enthusiasts? Then head into the Message Forums where thousands of other enthusiasts are communicating on a daily basis.
CLICK HERE FOR FREE MEMBERSHIP
Each time StereoNET reviews a product, it is considered for an Applause Award. Winning one marks it out as a design of great quality and distinction – a special product in its class, on the grounds of either performance, value for money, or usually both.
Applause Awards are personally issued by StereoNET’s global Editor-in-Chief, David Price – who has over three decades of experience reviewing hi-fi products at the highest level – after consulting with our senior editorial team. They are not automatically given with all reviews, nor can manufacturers purchase them.
The StereoNET editorial team includes some of the world’s most experienced and respected hi-fi journalists with a vast wealth of knowledge. Some have edited popular English language hi-fi magazines, and others have been senior contributors to famous audio journals stretching back to the late 1970s. And we also employ professional IT and home theatre specialists who work at the cutting edge of today’s technology.
We believe that no other online hi-fi and home cinema resource offers such expert knowledge, so when StereoNET gives an Applause Award, it is a trustworthy hallmark of quality. Receiving such an award is the prerequisite to becoming eligible for our annual Product of the Year awards, awarded only to the finest designs in their respective categories. Buyers of hi-fi, home cinema, and headphones can be sure that a StereoNET Applause Award winner is worthy of your most serious attention.