Sony's new home cinema AV receiver makes speakers appear from nowhere

With 8K, great gaming support and 360 degree spatial sound Sony's latest AV amp is a sonic sensation

Sony TA-AN100 AV amplifier receiver
(Image credit: Sony)

When it comes to box set bingeing, music listening and home cinema viewing, I really think one of the best upgrades you can buy for your home entertainment setup is one of the best AV receivers. Adding one to my Samsung TV has made PS5 gaming more fun, music more magical and movies even more immersive. So I'm quite excited to see a brand new high-end Sony with hi-res audio support and some clever surround tech.

The new TA-AN100 is a 7.2ch 8K AV amplifier with 4K120 support, gamer-friendly HDMI 2.1 features including VRR and ALLM and PS5-specific passthrough for Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode on compatible BRAVIA TVs. But it's the 360 Spatial Sound Mapping that I'd particularly like to hear, because Sony says it makes speakers appear where there aren't any speakers.

What is 360 Spatial Sound Mapping?

360 Spatial Sound Mapping uses the positional information from Sony's auto calibration system (DCAC IX) to create "multiple phantom speakers" by building a 3D model of your room and then automatically adjusting the distance, angle, sound pressure and speaker response of your actual speakers to deliver a more realistic and immersive sound stage.

In addition to Sony's own spatial audio there's also support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, DSD audio streaming and Sony's Acoustic Centre Sync 5 where the TV and centre speakers combine for clearer in-show audio. You can connect it to Sony's wireless rear speakers and subs, and there are 6 HDMI 2.1 inputs and 2 outputs including eARC.

I haven't heard this in action myself but our pals at What Hi-Fi have had this amp in their labs already, and they were very impressed: they say it's an "outstanding" piece of home cinema kit.

At £999 it's sadly beyond my budget but Sony's put some serious hardware into this receiver, and it supports everything you might possibly want to listen to including AirPlay 2, Spotify, Chromecast, Sonos and Bluetooth connectivity. It'll go on sale in June.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (