Sony HT-A700 & HT-A5000 Soundbars now support 360 Spatial Sound Mapping

Mike Wheatley

Sony has announced that two of its top soundbars from last year, the Sony HT-A700 and HT-A5000, have both received a firmware update that adds support for its “360 Spatial Sound Mapping”, along with the launch of new rear speakers that are required to enjoy it.


The firmware upgrade can be downloaded manually for both soundbars and then installed using a USB stick, or alternatively users can download it directly from the soundbar if it has a Wi-Fi connection.

Sony first introduced 360 Spatial Sound Mapping with its HT-A9 soundbar last year, and said the technology will also be present on this year’s models.

360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology is a new technology that’s designed to work with rear speakers, and has the effect of feeling sound from every direction and distance. It relies on Sound Field Optimisation and uses built-in microphones to measure the relative height and position of the soundbar and rear speakers. Then, the technology creates multiple phantom speakers by synthesising sound waves based on positional information. Because of this, the technology is able to fill every part of the living space with sound, so everyone gets to enjoy the same sound experience regardless of where they’re sitting.

As mentioned, users will be required to invest in rear speakers for 360 Spatial Sound Mapping to work. They can choose from the existing SA-RS3S wireless rear speakers or this year’s upcoming SA-RS5 speakers that will launch in the coming weeks with a $600 price tag in the U.S.

Sony said there’s also a new feature called Acoustic Center Sync on its best TVs that enable their built-in speakers to become a part of the centre speaker in a home theatre system, along with the soundbar. This will work in conjunction with 360 Spatial Sound Mapping, Sony said.

Acoustic Center Sync is supported on last year’s Sony Z9J, A90J, A80J and X95J TVs and will also be supported on this year’s Sony Z9K, A95K, A90K, A80K, X95K and X90K TVs.