Updated: March 16, 2021 8:56:20 am
Early last year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, there was something at the Sony stall that stood out and sounded very different, despite the din of the world’s largest tech show. The Sony’s SRS-RA3000, the premium wireless speakers that stole many hearts at CES 2020, is now available in India… with a price that makes premium accessible to everyone.
The Sony SRS-RA3000 clearly falls in the genre of the Apple HomePod and the Echo Studio, though with a different kind of smartness. The design is cylindrical to assist with the ambient room filling 360 reality audio tech from Sony.
The speaker gives the same sound output wherever you choose to keep it in the room and you don’t even need to calibrate it to do this. And wherever you keep the SRS-RA3000, it fills the room in a balmy kind of way.
The controls are on the top of the speaker, where the touch panel houses volume buttons surrounded by power, source, Bluetooth and a button for the immersive audio. The sound distinctively changes when you press the immersive audio button, and the music flow from floor to ceiling as the combo of side-firing tweeters and top-facing radiator do their bit. The fabric finish is classy, but in Indian condition is just ends up being a dirt magnet.
The Sony SRS-RA3000 is not exactly a smart speaker. Certainly not one that can on its own response to a query. But you can set it up along with an Echo or Google Home Nest device to give it some assisted brains. Also, the speakers can be set up using the Google Home app to connect to your Spotify account to play music directly without any help from a smartphone. All this while it plays music as a simple Bluetooth speaker connected to a smartphone or TV.
This also means the speaker is not interrupted by the calls and alerts on your phone when streaming directly from the web. Otherwise, a room-filling alert or ringtone can be quite scary. In fact, this is a loud speaker when the need arises, and do keep the volume levels under control.
The audio quality is great, but the profile is different from a lot of the speakers I have tested recently. The Sony SRS-RA3000 is perfect for when you are listening to Sid Sreeram on a Sunday morning waiting for the food delivery to come with your Masala Dosa. The audio profile is more casual and not very sharp. Yes, it gets more focused when you switch off the immersive audio button.
But with the 360 reality audio on is when this speaker comes on its own. Playing Toca Toca on Spotify, you can feel your room boom, even at lower volumes. And when you switch to Jazz classics, you just want to sink into the sofa with a cup of coffee… pleasures the pandemic times can’t afford us work from homers anymore.
What I really enjoyed though was listening to some soulful Carnatic numbers and melodies. For instance, the experience listening to Gahana Kusuma was out of this world, though I switched off the immersive audio for a sharper profile. Remember, the bass has the distinct Sony signature, but without being a put-off.
Given its immersive audio capabilities, the Sony SRS-RA3000 is also great for taking over the audio duties for your cinema experience. Pair it with your TV, or the Amazon Fire Stick and you can take your home theatre experience to a whole new level given that there is nothing much to look forward to otherwise. I loved the layered feel of the audio while watching The Witcher again, with the background music as well behind the rattle of the monsters. And you can do this with any Chromecast-enabled app on the phone or tablet too, but just tapping the cast button.
This powerful package from Sony comes at a very competitive price of Rs 19,990, which makes this one of the best premium audio experiences available in India right now. Even as it does not come inbuilt with smart assistant capacities, when it comes to audio quality this is right up there with the Echo Studios and Apple Homepods. Now, you decide.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.