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Sony SRS-RA5000 review: Limited sound

Sony SRS-RA5000 review: Limited sound

Sony SRS-RA5000

Packing seven driver units, the Sony SRS-RA5000 Premium Wireless Speaker aims to fill your room with sound. And it works, sorta. While it has the goods to sound great, its Immersive Audio Enhancement mode doesn't work well for normal tracks, making them sound compressed and hollow.

Quick specs

  • 3x upfiring speakers (46mm), 3x mid-speakers (46mm), 1x subwoofer (70mm)
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Supports SBC, AAC codecs

I was expecting really good sound — and the wireless speaker did deliver with the immersive sound mode off. It has balance, and feels really clear. However, my sound issues stem from when you turn immersive mode on, even after calibration. The audio with normal stereo sources feels hollow, and poor. But it does fill the room, and sounds the same — though poorly — from any spot. Without it, the audio feels like it comes just from the speaker.

Sony SRS-RA5000
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

All is not lost, though. If you have a Tidal, Nugs, or Deezer subscription, you can play what Sony calls 360 Reality Audio. Without a doubt, these spatial tracks sound a lot better: Balanced, and well-fleshed out. Not all tracks support this format, and the popular online streaming platform Spotify does not. Furthermore, Apple Music has its own Spatial Audio format. I did not test this as I don't have an Apple Music subscription.

Sony SRS-RA5000
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

I do like the design of the RA5000, though. While it does look like an oversized shaver, the Sony speaker oozes premium appeal. But I want to point out that the fabric material may attract cats to scratch it. Connectivity-wise, the speaker has Bluetooth and Google Chromecast support, and can also work with a 3.5mm cable. The Auto Volume feature keeps audio levels consistent from track to track. There's no battery inside, unlike the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7, but this speaker is meant to stay in one spot at home.

Retailing at S$849, the Sony SRS-RA5000 Premium Wireless Speaker's sound doesn't quite match up to its price. While it has all the features of a premium speaker, it's Immersive Audio Enhancement feature doesn't quite do the trick. I'd recommend only getting this if you're using a music service with 360 Reality Audio tracks that you listen to. Get the speaker directly from Sony.

See Also
Asus Expertbook B7 Flip

Note: Review unit provided by Sony.


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Verdict



CANNOT BUY

Cool features, but its main audio enhancement feature doesn't quite work.

Available from Sony

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