Sony HT-AX7 Review | A Portable Surround Sound System
Updated: Dec 17, 2023
The Sony HT-AX7 is a unique, portable surround sound system that offers versatility and immersive audio in small living spaces. Its design allows it to function not just as a soundbar but also as a standalone speaker and portable home theatre system.
Measuring 12 x 5.2 x 4.8 inches and weighing 3.1 lbs, the Sony HT-AX7 is compact and lightweight. It consists of a main central unit wrapped in grey fabric and two satellite speakers. The front of the main unit houses the control buttons, which are responsive. The two circular satellite speakers, meanwhile, can be attached magnetically to the top of the main unit or placed around the room wirelessly. The magnets are strong enough to ensure the speakers stay in place but not too strong that they can’t be removed with a light touch.
The Sony HT-AX7 utilises Sony's 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology, creating virtual surround sound through its two drivers and two bass radiators in the main unit and a single driver in each satellite speaker. The system’s Sound Field processing mode splits standard stereo audio to create a spacious soundstage when the satellites are positioned behind the listener, immersing them in spatial sound and giving them the sensation of being in a movie theatre. When the Sound Field effect is enabled, Sony’s proprietary upmixer algorithm converts stereo content from video or music streaming services into three-dimensional surround sound without the use of additional music sources.
Through Bluetooth, the Sony HT-AX7 delivered surround sound with minimal lag between the main unit and satellite speakers during our tests. Its spatial sound processing created a bubble of sound around the listening position. While the rear speakers could be louder, increasing their volume in the Home Entertainment Connect app helped. The unit produced enough bass for movies through the front unit. Vocals remained clear and impacts had weight.
Spreading the satellites increased the sense of envelopment, but some tweaking was needed to balance the rear volumes. The sense of envelopment that the satellites' produced thanks to their placement on either side and slightly behind my listening position impressed me when I was evaluating movie audio. Dialog remained clear and centered, while surround effects like footsteps or off-screen sounds came from the intended directions.
Battery Life & Connectivity
The unit supports multi-point pairing with two devices simultaneously and it has a USB-C port for charging. Sony rates the battery at 30 hours, but real-world usage exceeded 40 hours at moderate volumes with wireless surround sound activated. As for the two individual satellite speakers, the battery life is rated at an average of 4 hours. I do think that this isn’t long enough for my personal use, but it is pretty convenient that I can simply attach them on the main system to charge.
Unfortunately, there are no Wi-Fi, HDMI, optical, or 3.5mm inputs, limiting the system’s connectivity options. Bluetooth 5.2 is the only supported wireless standard.
Pricing and Availability
At its price point, the Sony HT-AX7 has some stiff competition in the soundbar and portable speaker category. However, it remains unique in delivering surround sound wirelessly and portably from a tablet, laptop, television, or projector. For those seeking an easy way to enhance audio for on-the-go mobile entertainment, the HT-AX7 satisfies,, though it may be expensive for occasional usage. It is available for purchase from major electronics retailers and Sony's online store.
In conclusion, the Sony HT-AX7 is a niche but well-executed solution for surround sound on-the-move.. Its compact design and long battery life make it a good option for those who need immersive audio without wanting to be hassled by cables. It can upgrade any room’s entertainment system, giving you a convenient option to enjoy a surround sound experience.