Technology

Can the cans: Sony launches neckband speaker for personal home cinema sound

Is it really possible to have an immersive home cinema audio experience without surrounding yourself with a plethora of physical speakers, or wearing surround sound headphones? Sony says you can, if you use its new wireless neckband speaker, the SRS-NS7.

The SRS-NS7 is hailed as the world’s first Dolby Atmos compatible wireless neckband speaker, a personal wearable theatre as it were, but it comes with plenty of caveats.

It reportedly only offers virtual Dolby Atmos when paired with Sony Bravia XR TVs, although other TV brands just deliver stereo; while Sony’s own 360 Reality Audio technology is also on the call sheet, this won’t go live until a firmware update sometime in 2022. It’s not clear if the neckband also needs a firmware update to work with Dolby Atmos Music from streaming services.

The SRS-NS7 is hailed as the world’s first Dolby Atmos compatible wireless neckband speaker, a personal wearable theatre…

A cutaway image of the Sony SRS-NS7 neckband speakers
The SRS-NS7 offers twin stereo drivers plus passive radiators

The SRS-NS7 neckband ships with a wireless transmitter, which connects to a TV using the set’s optical audio output and USB cable. The SRS-NS7 then pairs with the transmitter over Bluetooth.

The design is IPX4 splash-proof (for use in the kitchen?), with a silicone finish and soft-feel rear coating, to enhance comfort.

For a truly personalised sonic experience, Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Personalizer app can be used to take photos of your ears, to analyse your unique hearing characteristics. The necklace employs an upwards-firing X-Balanced speaker unit; a passive radiator used to maximise low frequency audio. 

The SRS-NS7 isn’t just In addition to TV audio, it can be partnered with laptops, tablets and smartphones, and used as an alternative to headphones. They can also be used for hands-free calling, with echo cancelling to minimise feedback.

The SRS-NS7 run for up to 12 hours, or 5 hours at maximum volume.  If you do run out of juice during a boxset binge, a 10-minute quick charge with USB type-C gives up to an extra 60 minutes of extra play time.

 The SRS-NS7 also features Multipoint Connection, which lets two Bluetooth devices connect at the same time.

 Available from November, the SRS-NS7 will sell for £270.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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