Sony’s new neck speaker combines work with Dolby Atmos fun

The SRS-NB10 neckband speaker that Sony introduced at the beginning of the summer, with its integrated microphone, was mainly intended for (more freedom of movement during) virtual meetings. Big brother SRS-NS7 literally adds a few dimensions to this: Dolby Atmos sound for a very space-saving cinema experience.

To start with, the SRS-NS7 still has the hands-free chat and calling functions of the earlier model, which, by the way, remains commercially available. This way you are no longer glued to the computer during an online meeting, but you can get a cup of coffee without missing a single word. The SRS-NS7 features echo cancellation, and also offers multi-point connection, to connect two devices at the same time, such as your smartphone and laptop. You could already read more about such gadgets in our review of the SRS-NB10. Here we are mainly going to talk about the fun factor of the newcomer. After all, the bow cannot always be tense.

Helicopter Effect

What makes the SRS-NS7 especially special is the support for virtual Dolby Atmos. That is the kind of sound where, in a cinema, you really hear the helicopters flying above your head (see also the box to this article). Until recently, you needed very expensive equipment for the same effect in the living room. Soundbars with Dolby Atmos have changed that in recent years, and although Sony’s neckband with 300 euros is not immediately cheaper, it undeniably makes the Dolby Atmos experience in your home a lot more compact.

Small side note: to enjoy that Dolby Atmos experience, a Sony Bravia XR television is required. Another necessary gem is the wireless WLA-NS7 transmitter, but the manufacturer provides it neatly (although the device is also available separately, for other headphones that support Atmos now and in the future). This transmitter is connected to the TV via an optical and USB cable. Then the SRS-NS7 is connected via Bluetooth.

Photos of your auricles

For a personalized experience, the user can use the 360 ​​Spatial Sound Personalizer. This is a special app that takes pictures of the ear cups via the camera of your smartphone to ‘deduce unique hearing characteristics’. Sony has also been using that technology for some time with other headphones from the brand, such as the WF-1000XM4 in-ear noise-cancelling in-ears.

In addition to Dolby Atmos content on a TV, the SRS-NS7 also supports 360 Reality Audio. The music sounds ‘as the artist intended’ via the highest available resolutions, which are offered by streaming services such as Amazon Music HD, Deezer and TIDAL.

Autonomy and price

According to Sony, the SRS-NS7 offers twelve hours of listening pleasure with normal use and five hours at the maximum level. If the battery unexpectedly runs out, a quick charge of ten minutes is enough to continue listening for another hour.

Finally, the target price: the SRS-NB10 neckband speaker changes owner for 300 euros. That includes the WLA-NS7 transmitter, which is also available separately for 59.99 euros.

What is and does Dolby Atmos do?

The great asset of a home cinema system with Dolby Atmos is that you as a viewer are completely immersed in the film and the action. This is in contrast to classic 5.1 or 7.1 setups, which really just form a ‘horizontal ring’ of sound: the audio comes from the left, right, front and back, through channels predefined by the sound designer (think to a lightning strike or slamming door on the rear left speaker).

With Dolby Atmos, a 3D space is created, a so-called ‘sound bubble’, in which each sound can be given a specific place – in height and depth. In a cinema extra loudspeakers are mounted in the ceiling for this purpose. With a soundbar such as the Sonos Arc or neckband such as this Sony SRS-NS7, that is no longer necessary.

© Sony

To start with, the SRS-NS7 still has the hands-free chat and calling functions of the earlier model, which, incidentally, remains commercially available. This way you are no longer glued to the computer during an online meeting, but you can get a cup of coffee without missing a single word. The SRS-NS7 features echo cancellation, and also offers multi-point connection, to connect two devices at the same time, such as your smartphone and laptop. You could already read more about such gadgets in our review of the SRS-NB10. Here we are mainly going to talk about the fun factor of the newcomer. After all, the arc cannot always be tense. What makes the SRS-NS7 especially special is the support of virtual Dolby Atmos. That is the kind of sound where, in a cinema, you really hear the helicopters flying above your head (see also the box to this article). Until recently, you needed very expensive equipment for the same effect in the living room. Soundbars with Dolby Atmos have changed that in recent years, and although Sony’s neckband is not immediately cheaper at 300 euros, it undeniably makes the Dolby Atmos experience in your home a lot more compact. To enjoy it, a Sony Bravia XR television is required. Another necessary gem is the wireless WLA-NS7 transmitter, but the manufacturer provides it neatly (although the device is also available separately, for other headphones that support Atmos now and in the future). This transmitter is connected to the TV via an optical and USB cable. Then the SRS-NS7 is connected via Bluetooth. For a personalized experience, the user can use the 360 ​​Spatial Sound Personalizer. This is a special app that takes pictures of the ear cups via the camera of your smartphone to ‘deduce unique hearing characteristics’. Sony has also been using that technology for a while with other headphones of the brand, such as the WF-1000XM4 in-ears with noise reduction. In addition to Dolby Atmos content on a TV, the SRS-NS7 also supports 360 Reality Audio. The music sounds ‘as the artist intended’ via the highest available resolutions, which are offered by streaming services such as Amazon Music HD, Deezer and TIDAL. The SRS-NS7 offers twelve hours of listening pleasure with normal use and five hours on the maximum level. If the battery unexpectedly runs out, a quick charge of ten minutes is enough to continue listening for another hour. Finally, the target price: the SRS-NB10 neckband speaker changes owner for 300 euros. That includes the WLA-NS7 transmitter, which is also available separately for 59.99 euros.

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Sony’s new neck speaker combines work with Dolby Atmos fun

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