Sony 360 Reality Audio Speaker
If you haven’t heard or experienced the Sony 360 Reality Audio Speaker, you may be missing out! Having come down in price, this is a really sleek looking speaker released earlier this year from Sony that delivers an immersive sound to any room.
However, there are some restrictions, and not all options available with the SRS-RA3000 will deliver the note-worthy 360 Reality Audio experience.
Although this speaker has seen a 34% price drop since releasing, is it worth the money? And does it give you that full 360 reality feel at home?
Within my review, I’ll give an overview of the product, some design comments and spec information, as well as some things to consider before purchasing. Hopefully by the end of my review, you’ll have a better understanding as to whether or not you’ll be able to capture the full experience with this speaker.
Join me in reviewing the Sony 360 Reality Audio Speaker SRS-RA3000 to find out!
Released in March of 2021, the SRS-RA3000 is a beautifully made stand up speaker that is designed to deliver on Sony’s 360′ Reality Audio, available through numerous speakers and soundbars made by Sony.
360′ Reality Audio is a feature through Sony that takes the regular stereo format sourced through 2 different speakers, and sources vocals, instruments and effects through a 360′ sphere that surrounds the listener with immersive sound.
The SRS-RA3000 comes in two different colors, black and gold or two toned grays (which really looks more like 2 toned cream).
It supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa through their individual apps and can be added as one of your home speakers. You can also control EQ and music selection through the Sony Music Center app. It also has Chromecast built-in along with Spotify Connect.
The speaker requires an AC plug-in and therefore is not portable at all. It is designed to be placed in a single spot, and for the most part, remain there.
The controls along the top of the device are touch sensitive and control volume, play/pause, Bluetooth pairing, auto-calibration and more.
Rated 4/5 from 81 ratings on Amazon, most consumers seem happy with thier purchase.
Design & Specs
The design of this speaker is gorgeous, and is shaped as a tall cylinder measuring just under 10” in height and about 6” in width. It’s a decently sized speaker and weighs 5 1/2 pounds.
This speaker was not designed to be portable, and is not water or dust proof as most on the market are. It is however, humidity resistant and can be placed in areas like your bathroom.
The RA3000 can connect via Bluetooth, Wifi, or by a 3.5mm connection. I would suggest Wifi as it seems to send a higher quality audio signal, getting clearer sounds and less distortion at high levels.
Featuring several neat functions, this speaker is built to conform to the room, the music, and the streaming service to deliver the best and most immersive sound possible.
You’ll get to experience things such as auto calibration, which allow the speaker to understand where it is in the room and how it can best deliver sound, as well as volume normalizing, so when you’re going from genre to genre the speaker won’t deliver different volumes for each track.
The biggest downfall to this speaker is that the 360′ reality audio experience is only available through a subscription based compatible HD streaming service.
Services such as Amazon Music HD, Spotify Connect, nig.net, Tidal ect, work best to deliver the HD 360′ Reality Audio experience. Without these you really just have a 360′ speaker. There are lots of these on the market for a bit less.
You can connect this speaker wirelessly to your BRAVIA Sony TV for a similar 360; reality audio experience as well.
Inside the tall cylinder shape are 2 passive radiators and 2 beam tweeters, as well as one full ranged speaker on the top. The shape of the tweeters, being beam or long length tweeters, allows the sound to be directed floor-to-ceiling. This helps create the 360′ sound.
The 360′ reality audio tracks and incorporates three-dimensional sound location data and adjusts accordingly. The omni diffuser on the top of the speaker spreads sound horizontally through the room.
All together you receive the feeling that the sound is immersing you, rather than coming directly at you. In order to fill the space around you, the speakers create sound waves that overlap each other and form an upward facing wavefront.
The speaker performs well, and have crisp highs and even centered lows. The bass is sufficient, but won’t blow the socks off of any guests you have over.
The sound of this speaker was designed to create atmosphere as opposed to creating a bumping vibe.
Cons and Other Considerations
What I love about this speaker:
I think this is a beautiful speaker, and compared to other Sony speakers, I can admire this one in any room. Because it has soft color tones, either the black or gray colors can match any room.
Sony has taken 360′ degree speakers to another level by breaking down and enhancing the 360′ experience and sound delivery. Although this comes with limitations. If you use the appropriate services to play your music, you’ll be extremely satisfied.
For a top of the line speaker, that can potentially create one heck of a cool sound experience, the price is reasonable. If I was looking for a stand alone speaker, I would spend the $200 on this speaker. However, again this comes with limitations.
I really like that you have options for connectivity. Whether it be Bluetooth, Wifi, or the 3.5mm AUX connection it really is up to you how you want to stream your music with this speaker. You don’t see that all the time, and usually only get either Bluetooth or Wifi.
What I think could be better:
It seems to be a classic theme for Sony, that you can only get the full benefit of their products if you use the services and devices they want you to.
You can experience a wireless connection to your TV and have the 360′ Reality Audio experience with your favorite movie. BUT, your TV must be a Sony BRAVIA model.
You can plug in the SRS-RA3000 and experience beautiful 360′ reality audio ONLY if you use a HD streaming music service. These services usually require a subscription. Without an HD streaming service, you won’t get the same effect with this speaker as advertised.
My Verdict: A great speaker that comes with restrictions..
The design of this speaker is great, and it has a lot of industry leading features that help make this speaker top-notch wherever you place it within your home.
However, as on point with Sony, a lot of these features have restrictions, and are not available simply by connecting your phone to any playlist and enjoying your music.
I find Sony over complicates some of their products and makes it feel like the consumer has to jump through hoops to enjoy the product.
Perhaps one day soon we can find a way to enjoy these industry leading features without the hoops to jump through.
For those of us who subscribe to an HD music streaming service compatible with the Sony 360 Reality Audio speaker, you’ll have hours of endless music enjoyment and immersion.
Let me know your thoughts below!
Until next time,