Starting at 6 p.m. tonight (April 14) Sony is releasing an over-the-air firmware update for its premium HT-A7000 and HT-A5000 soundbars, enhancing their 360 Spatial Sound Mapping capabilities.

Sony said the update to the HT-A7000 and HT-A5000 soundbars will enable accessing the expanded 360 Spatial Sound benefits when connecting either soundbar to Sony’s SA-RS3S rear speakers, or the new SA-RS5 wireless rear speakers, which will be available soon.

Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology was developed to allow music listeners to “feel” sound from any direction and distance. Using Sound Field Optimization, soundbars use built-in microphones to measure the relative height and position of the soundbar and rear speakers.

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360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology then creates multiple phantom speakers by synthesizing sound waves based on the positional information.

Sony said its wide spatial sound field fills every part of the living space, giving all listeners in the room the same sound experience, regardless of location.

SA-RS5 wireless rear speakers have a suggested retail price of $599.99 and will be available to order in May through authorized Sony dealers.

SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers have a suggested retail price of $349.99 and are available to order now.

The firmware download will be available via the following methods:

Via USB Drive:

  • Download firmware for the HT-A5000 here, for the HT-A7000 here.
  • Once downloaded, extract files to blank USB drive.
  • Plug USB drive into Soundbar USB port, select “USB software update” option on soundbar interface, follow prompts to set up and enjoy.

Via Wi-Fi:

  • On a Wi-Fi-connected soundbar, go to the user interface and select software update via “Network,” and proceed with download. Follow prompts to set up and enjoy.

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By Greg Tarr

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