Sony is known for the fantastic audio technology and hardware it brings out year after year. Along the same vein, the company has now announced the scheduled launch of its upcoming new 360 Reality Audio technology. The technology, which is being launched in collaboration with several partners, is coming out this fall.
What makes this technology special, is the fact that it will place different elements of music around the listener in a spherical environment. In optimum conditions, this will create a virtual concert-like environment, as different sounds come at you from different directions.
Right at the outset, Sony and its partners will launch the device with 1,000 songs. This includes popular tracks and live concert recordings from artists like Pharrell Williams, Bob Dylan, Charlie XCX, Kodaline and Billy Joel. While Sony is a formidable music level in its own right, it will also be leveraging content from competitors like Universal, Warner, and Live Nation while creating 360-Reality tracks.
Speaking on the topic, Sony Electronics (North America) president and COO Mike Fasulo said:
360 Reality Audio is a proof point that innovation never stops. The confluence of deep technical roots, tireless artists and forward-thinking hardware and semiconductor partners illustrates the tremendous draw of this radical new way to make music even more moving. Together with valued industry partners, Sony has architected the most powerful, realistic music experience for listeners and a new medium for artists to create.
To take this technology to the general public, Sony has partnered with Amazon Music HD, Deezer, Tidal, and nugs.net, and you can expect the technology to arrive through these partners. Specially Echo Studio, which was specifically called out by Sony as a potential candidate for outputting 360 Reality Audio. Some other existing speakers could also play these tracks through a combination of Sony’s 360 Reality Audio decoder along with multiple speaker units and signal processing technology.
Meanwhile, don’t expect too much support for headphones at the outset either, not even on Sony headphones. The technology is still fairly new and it is probably going to take some time to mature. Meanwhile, we will keep our eyes peeled (or rather, ears sharp!) and let you know as soon as we have an update.
Do let us know your views once you try Sony’s 360 Reality Audio!