Bottom line: Sony has announced an interesting new gadget for the Japanese market, which keeping with its uninteresting product naming conventions, is called the SRS-LSR200. The device is essentially a handheld speaker that features a remote control on top to let users manage and listen to their TV remotely (geddit?), by accompanying them in places like the kitchen or a garage (or the toilet).
The SRS-LSR200 won't be replacing a home theater anytime soon, but its form factor and feature set does offer nice little conveniences by combining TV audio and control in one package. It not only makes listening and watching TV easier for the elderly (or anyone with hearing problems), but its "drip-proof" design should also help with listening in the kitchen or other rooms around the house without having to raise the volume.
The unit comes with three speakers, with the left and right 2W drivers providing stereo sound, while the middle one is tuned to reproduce human voice and is enclosed in a box for preventing interference. It delivers wireless audio over 2.4 GHz and uses a diversity antenna system to minimize interruption and delay.
The speaker has a "powerful wide-angle infrared" emitter and a big chunky volume knob, along with other buttons for TV operation. The built-in battery is good for 13 hours of usage, after which the speaker needs to be put in its charging base for 3 hours to get a full recharge, though it can also be juiced up with an AC adapter.
The base is compatible with any TV - not only Sony models - over USB-C, and features a 3.5mm headphone jack and an optical audio port. Sony says that the unit, instruction manual, and the provided cables come with big, color-coded labels for easily connecting it to the TV.
The SRS-LSR200 will only be sold in Japan for now, where it releases on February 22nd with a price tag of ¥20,000 ($180).