“Phantom” speakers power full-sounding Bravia Theatre range

Sony Bravia Theatre Quad launch
Image: Sony.

Alongside its overhauled range of TVs, Sony also revealed its Bravia Theatre audio devices, including a speaker you wear around your neck.

More conventionally, the Sony Bravia Theatre Bar 9 headlines the soundbar range, alongside the Bar 8 model, using the same simplified numbered naming convention as the latest Bravia TVs. There’s also the Bravia Theatre Quad, a set of four slimline speakers designed for a wireless surround-sound experience.

Rounding out the new home audio tech is the wearable Bravia Theatre U. Billed as a “neckband speaker”, the horseshoe-shaped device looks like a travel pillow minus the padding.

Sony Bravia Theatre raises the bar

Both the Sony Bravia Theatre Bar 9 and Bar 8 soundbars support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology, along with what Sony calls 360 Spatial Sound Mapping. Described as generating “phantom speakers” around the TV, it’s supposed to create a wider soundscape than you usually get with standalone soundbars.

Sony Bravia Theatre range 2024
Image: Sony.

Equipped with 13 speakers, the Bravia Theatre Bar 9 sits at the top of Sony’s 2024 soundbars. Not far behind, the Bar 8 houses 11 speakers, with both models using quad-woofer arrays to pump out strong bass.

Like sound systems from other brands like LG and Samsung, the Sony speakers integrate with its own TVs to add a fuller sound. Referred to as Acoustic Centre Sync, the Bravia Theatre range combines its speakers with those built into the TV, which is meant to sync more seamlessly with the on-screen action, while boosting dialogue clarity with the Voice Zoom 3 feature.

Filling out your home theatre

Beyond soundbars designed to sit under your TV, Sony also showed off the Bravia Theatre Quad array of speakers. Also compatible with the brand’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping feature, the Quad lets you mount each unit on walls or stand them on available surfaces depending on your room layout.

Each Quad speaker contains four channels, adding up to 16 in total, providing an expansive surround-sound setup. They’re designed to function as a standalone system but, like the Theatre Bars, can connect to a wireless Sony subwoofer for more bass.

Completely different to the rest of the range, the Sony Bravia Theatre U neckband speaker envelops you in a personal bubble of sound. Connecting wirelessly to Bravia TVs, the wearable speaker produces 360 Spatial Sound specifically for the wearer.

Sony Bravia Theatre U launch
Image: Sony.

You can even connect two Theatre U devices at the same time, so you and someone else can set different volume levels. Due to the directional audio design, Sony claims you can still listen to content at high volumes without disturbing nearby people.

If you’re gaming, the Theatre U supports a wired connection to a controller for reduced latency. Plus, you can even make calls wearing the speaker thanks to Bluetooth 5.2 support.

Coming to Australia in July, with listings live now, here’s how much the upcoming Sony Bravia Theatre range costs:

  • Bravia Theatre Quad: $3,699
  • Theatre Bar 9: $1,799
  • Theatre Bar 8: $1,499
  • Bravia Theatre U: $499

It’s an eclectic mix of conventional versus experimental designs, with Sony aiming to appeal to a broad customer base.

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