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Sony SLS-1A Powered Line-Array Loudspeaker Unveiled


Sony is not only well-known in consumer electronics, but its professional division offers up state-of-article display and audio products for use in movie/TV productions, education, business, retail, and houses of worship.

As part of its continuing presence in this space, Sony has introduced a new Powered Line-Array Speaker (SLS-1A) to complement medium and large video displays and business and large presentation venues.  

This is not a speaker you would put in an average home, but that doesn’t mean that its design and technology might not filter into the home space at some point. Also, some of you may be looking for a speaker system for professional use for a large venue. 

SLS-1A Concept

The Sony SLS-1A is designed to solve common issues that occur in medium and large venues that use large format video displays such as bad acoustics, visual and sound separation, and the inability to create a listening experience that can be heard by each event attendee or participant.

According to Rich Ventura, Vice President of B2B, Sony Electronics: “This powerful new line-array speaker offers superior, intelligible, localized audio…As a company with a rich history in sound, we’re looking forward to putting the audio back into AV with a solution that prioritizes sonic quality. We did our homework with the launch of the SLS-1A, deliberately developing and designing an immersive product that enhances listeners’ experiences and solves customers’acoustic challenges related to uniform sound distribution, modularity, and installation.”

Sony SLS-1A Core Features

Modular: An important feature of the SLS-1A is that it is modular. This means that several speakers can be added to a system through a single Dante® connection, while flexible fine beam control optimizes audio for multiple space types, including lecture halls and office lobbies. 

Wide Sweet Spot: The SLS-1A’s modular bar-style speaker design allows for a wide sweet spot, which creates a clear sound field in larger spaces. 

Flexible Installation with Compact Size: Packing eight channels of amplification and DSP processing into a rigid aluminum casing, the SLS-1A can be placed vertically or horizontally. This provides installation flexibility for different environments and configurations. 

Center Screen Sound Localization: This feature provides center screen sound localization technology using horizontally placed speaker arrays to create a “phantom” center channel effect, making it well suited to large displays where center channel localization is challenging due to speaker position.  It also creates a uniform sound experience no matter where a viewer is positioned. The SLS-1A is designed to be paired with multiple large format display types, including Crystal LED (aka MicroLED), BRAVIA® 4K Professional Displays, as well as business projectors to create a connected AV ecosystem.

Sony SLS-1A Specification Highlights

Enclosure Type: Bass reflex 

Driver Complement: Each SLS-1A incorporates eight full-range driver units measuring 35 x 35 mm (1.38 x 1.38 in) supported by an integrated multi-channel amplification system. 

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Driver Construction: Flat and square diaphragm driver construction reduces inter-modulation distortion. Magnetic fluid eliminates the voice coil damper found in standard speakers, reducing distortion for clearer sound.

Line Array: Unlike standard speakers, the drivers in each SLS-1A are arranged in a line array. This minimizes sound reflections from ceilings, walls, and floors allowing for directed sound with less attenuation over long distances, independent of room size or shape.

Integrated Class-D Amplifiers: 8 x 10 W (at 6 ohms, 1 kHz, 1% THD) amplification plus integrated 8-channel 96 kHz DSP with separate bass reflex driver for extended low frequencies. The frequency response is 80Hz to 20kHz

Compact Cabinet: The SLS-1A  has a rigid aluminum body measuring 3.62 x 15.12 x 4.33-inches. 

Connectivity: Dante Network and analog inputs are provided for flexible and simple installation.

Paintable:  The speaker enclosure and grill are paintable which allows the blending in with almost any decorative need. 

Control Features: 

  • A Line-Array Speaker Manager PC Application is available for settings control. This provides a lot of flexibility in controlling sound in a large venue.
  • Sound settings can be adjusted using hardware switches, third-party EASE® Focus software, or Sony’s PC app that controls beam steering, spread, and EQ. 96kHz fine beam control with fine beam steering using a 96kHz sampling rate DSP for staircase floors. This limits the poor sound quality that staircase floors present.
  • The SLS-1A can be used in combination with Sony’s MAS-A100 beamforming microphone to improve the performance of its speech reinforcement technology in lecture halls and classrooms.
  • FIRmaker® 3D by AFMG® coverage optimization technology is also supported. The FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filter (1024tap@96KHz) is integrated into each speaker unit and allows fine beam control from low frequency to high frequency. This means better all-around listening quality for presentations, music, and multi-media presentations. 

Availability and Pricing

The SLS-1A is expected to be available in January 2023 in North America via Sony’s Professional Dealers (no pricing available yet).

Tip: For more information including detailed specifications, refer to the Official Sony Professional SLS-1A Product Page.

Related: Check out more Architectural Speakers


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