Sony has made an exciting announcement in the realm of home audio with the introduction of the Sony HT-AX7, a versatile Bluetooth speaker that offers a unique and immersive audio experience. This innovative speaker stands out from Sony’s existing catalog of soundbars and home cinemas, presenting a hybrid design and captivating features.
One of the standout features of the Sony HT-AX7 is its removable speakers. The device comes with two detachable speakers that can be unhooked and positioned strategically around the user or placed anywhere in a room. This feature allows for a truly immersive audio experience, enveloping the listener in rich and dynamic sound from multiple directions.
With a price tag of $499, the HT-AX7 is positioned as a premium audio device.
Sony HT-AX7: Video Review
|Main unit plus two up-firing rear satellites
|Home Entertainment Connect
|Up to 30 hours
|2.5 hours from 10 minutes on charge
|Input and Output
|USB type A
Design and features
The Sony HT-AX7 is a stylish and versatile audio system designed to elevate your listening experience. Comprised of a base unit and two satellite speakers, this speaker system offers a range of features for immersive audio enjoyment.
The satellite speakers can be conveniently docked on top of the main unit when not in use, thanks to their magnetic docks. This not only ensures their safety but also enables easy charging. The entire system is covered in a light grey fabric, which is crafted from 100% recycled PET bottles, showcasing Sony’s commitment to sustainability. The fabric finish adds an elegant touch to the overall design. The top of the main unit features a rubberized control panel, while the base sports a similar finish to ensure stability when placed on a flat surface.
Within the main unit, you’ll find two of Sony’s X-Balanced speaker units and two passive radiators, which work together to deliver powerful and balanced sound. The satellite speakers also contribute to the audio experience with their upward-firing drivers, enhancing the immersive quality of the sound. While the HT-AX7 utilizes Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound mapping technology to create a captivating soundstage, it’s important to note that it does not provide a full 360-degree sound experience. To fully enjoy the system’s audio performance, it is recommended to be seated directly in front of the speakers.
Connectivity options for the HT-AX7 are centered around Bluetooth, with no support for Wi-Fi or LDAC for high-resolution audio playback. Additionally, there are no additional inputs for charging external devices. The USB-C input is exclusively meant for charging the HT-AX7 itself. However, the speaker system does offer multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, enabling you to control the system from one device while simultaneously watching content on another. This convenient feature allows for seamless volume control and EQ adjustments without interrupting your viewing experience.
The HT-AX7 is a wireless product, offering an impressive battery life of up to 30 hours, though this may vary depending on the volume level. Additionally, the system supports fast charging, providing 2.5 hours of playback time with just a 10-minute charge.
This ensures that you can quickly resume your audio enjoyment even when you’re running low on battery.
Setup and performance
The Sony HT-AX7 offers two distinct uses that cater to different audio experiences. The first use is centered around creating a “360° home cinema” sound experience. To achieve this, you position the base unit in front of you and place a satellite speaker on each side. The satellites should be positioned at a lower angle, approximately 30°, relative to your head, ensuring that the sound reaches your ears. This setup works well when placed on the back of a sofa or even on a bed. The key is to position the two satellites at the same height and equidistant from your head.
In our testing, both indoors and outdoors, the initial impression of the system was highly positive. When watching series or films from a smartphone, tablet, or computer, the immersion is remarkably good. Sony has implemented a technology in the system that converts stereo tracks from this content into a surround track, enhancing the surround sound experience. For music, the effect is also pleasing, although it cannot fully replace a high-quality pair of headphones, such as the WH-1000XM5. We have not tested this system for gaming, but it’s worth noting that reducing latency, especially in real-time gaming scenarios, can be challenging.
Sony claims that this usage is family-friendly. However, from our perspective, it is more suitable for solitary enjoyment. When used together, it is difficult to achieve the perfect spatial experience, as it requires being perfectly opposite the base and equidistant from the satellites. On the other hand, when used alone, the user can position the elements precisely for a balanced experience between the central voice and the two satellites, resulting in a significantly improved audio experience.
The second use of the HT-AX7 is more user-friendly and versatile. A key on the top of the base unit deactivates the immersive mode, switching to a “mono” mode. In this mode, all three elements of the system broadcast the same audio content simultaneously. This is perfect for creating a harmonized sound environment in a room. Imagine having friends over, playing some music, and placing the HT-AX7 elements throughout the living room. Regardless of where you are in the room, you can enjoy the playlist, and the sound distribution is even and consistent. Additionally, there is no need to increase the volume as the distribution is homogeneous. However, it’s important to pay attention to the orientation of the satellites, as the loudspeaker is positioned above them.
Sony HT-AX7: Conclusion
The Sony HT-AX7 is an innovative and versatile audio system that offers a range of features to enhance your listening experience. With its unique design, including a base unit and detachable satellite speakers, the HT-AX7 allows for customizable placement and immersive sound reproduction.
The HT-AX7’s ability to create a “360° home cinema” experience makes it ideal for solo viewing, delivering a surround sound effect that enhances movies, TV shows, and music. The inclusion of Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound mapping technology further enhances the audio immersion, ensuring an engaging and enjoyable experience.
The speaker system’s Bluetooth connectivity enables easy pairing with multiple devices simultaneously, providing flexibility in audio source selection.
While the HT-AX7 excels in solo viewing scenarios, it also offers a user-friendly “mono” mode, where all elements of the system broadcast the same content simultaneously. This mode is perfect for creating a harmonized sound environment, whether you’re hosting guests or simply enjoying music throughout a room.