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May 3, 2016

Sony’s Google Cast speakers are ready to put music in any room

by John_A

Back at CES, Sony announced new multi-room audio gear with a soundbar and two speakers to put music all over your house. Now, a few months after their debut, those devices are ready to handle tunes. As a refresher, the HT-NT5 soundbar features six speakers that are angled upward to better project sound and Sony’s so-called Super Tweeter tech to lend a hand with high-res audio. It’s also Google Cast-friendly, so streaming music, podcasts and more from the likes of Play Music, Spotify and more is a few taps away.

If speakers are what you’re after, the SRS-ZR7 and SRS-ZR5 can handle the multi-room audio duties. The larger SRS-ZR7 houses four speakers tuned to support high-res audio with S-Master HX technology that keeps noise to a minimum. It also offers an HDMI jack so you can connect directly to your TV. Need something a little more compact? The SRS-ZR5 also has an HDMI connection alongside Bluetooth and support for LDAC and NFC pairing. You can use Google Cast to beam audio to both the SRS-ZR7 and SRS-ZR5 and handle any multi-room controls and setup with Sony’s SongPal app. In fact, you can use the company’s mobile software across all three of these devices.

So, how much will these things cost? The soundbar and two speakers are on sale now online and are slated to hit shelves May 15th. As you might expect, the HT-NT5 soundbar is the priciest of the bunch, setting you back $800. The SRS-ZR7 and SRS-ZR5 speakers are priced at $300 and $200, respectively. Of course, you’ll need more than one of these for a proper multi-room setup, but you can group multiple SRS-ZR5s together in the same spot for more robust sound. If you’re looking for more info, take a look at our hands-on from CES for some initial impressions.

Sony also revealed a high-res audio turntable back at CES. Keeping its word on spring availability, the company is shipping that device this month as well. The PS-HX500 is priced at $600 and is up for sale online now. If you’ll recall, this turntable not only spins your vinyl collection, but it also digitizes those records in either DSD (up to 5.6 MHz) or WAV file formats (up to 192 KHz/24-bit). Of course, if you’re looking to take those files with you on the go, you’ll need a gadget that can play them. Sony has debuted new high-res media players over the last year, but you may have to empty your savings account to nab one.

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