Sony HT-AX7 Bluetooth Speaker Can Split Apart For A Surround-Style Setup On The Fly
It looks like any semi-portable Bluetooth speaker – big enough to bring satisfying sound at home, but compact enough to move from room to room. It’s battery-powered, too, so you can take it to areas of the house without a single power outlet in sight. The Sony HT-AX7, though, also comes with a unique design that allows it to break up into three separate speakers, allowing you to surround yourself with sound coming from different directions for a more immersive listening experience.
Designed for use as home theater audio, the system allows you to create a surround setup on the fly by physically positioning the speakers around you. Whether you’re plopped on the couch watching an active movie, bingeing on a sci-fi series on your laptop in the bedroom, or catching a game on a tablet in the backyard, this thing lets you pair the visuals with immersive sound that feels nothing like a typical portable speaker.
The Sony HT-AX7 consists of three modules: a bar-shaped main speaker and two disc-shaped satellite speakers. In stereo mode, you keep all three modules in one place, mounting the two satellite components on top of the bar-shaped module. It should make for a quality sound box even in this form, as the main unit houses two front-firing drivers and two passive radiators on each side, allowing it to deliver clear and powerful sound. The front-firing drivers are made up of Sony’s X-Balanced Speaker Units, by the way, while the passive radiators takes on a rectangular shape that maximizes diaphragm area to deliver a punchier bass sound. Each of the satellite units, on the other hand, comes with a single upward-firing driver each.
To create a surround-style setup, you can place the main unit in front and put the two satellite speakers on either side. Since Bluetooth can only transmit audio in stereo, it’s not quite comparable to an actual surround setup, but having sound come at you from three different directions still makes for quite a more interesting experience.
The Sony HT-AX7 is equipped with Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology, the outfit’s proprietary spatial sound solution that converts erstwhile stereo audio into immersive cinematic surround. The result is a larger sound stage that simulates additional virtual speakers, so different sound appears to come from different places, just like in a conventional home theater surround setup.
Because it’s battery-powered, you’re completely free from wires, allowing you to place the speakers any place where they’re most convenient anywhere you are in the house. Speaking of battery, the system holds enough juice to allow for up to 30 hours of playback, so you only have to charge every other day or so, unless you’re using the speaker all day. According to Sony, it supports multipoint connections, so you can pair the speakers with up to two devices (e.g. your TV and your laptop) for quickly switching from the game on the TV to YouTube on the laptop in a whim.
The Sony HT-AX7 is available now, priced at $499.99.