Sony has announced a new music format called “360 Reality Audio” that gives listeners the feeling of being immersed in sound from all directions. It is delivered by Sony’s object-based spatial audio technology and makes it possible for artists to create a 360-degree musical experience by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus, and instruments with positional information of distance and angle to suit their creative and artistic purpose.Currently, Sony Corp. is working with major music labels, music distribution services, and a number of other music organizations to provide the technology for building a musical ecosystem around 360 Reality Audio, which it says will include the creation, distribution, and playing of music content.
Dennis Kooker, President, Global Digital Business & U.S. Sales, Sony Music Entertainment, said: “Sony Music is pleased to be partnering with Sony Corporation to support the growth of 360 Reality Audio. We are long-running believers in high quality audio solutions that enhance the listening experience for consumers, and this three-dimensional sound format is an exciting new option for fans seeking a more immersive way to hear their favorite music. We look forward to working with a growing number of digital service providers to make songs from our artists available for streaming in 360 Reality Audio.”
Ole Obermann, Chief Digital Officer & Executive Vice President, Business Development, Warner Music Group, added: “We are always looking for new ways to amplify our artists’ music, and fostering a diversity of listening options is great for our artists and their fans. Sony’s immersive audio tier will add a new dimension to streaming services and offers music lovers a high quality experience they won’t get elsewhere. We are impressed with what we have heard so far and happy to support the launch of this new technology.”
According to Sony, existing music that is already in multitrack sound format will be able to be converted into a 360 Reality Audio compatible format using the production tools they provide.
At present, the plan is to distribute 360 Reality Audio compatible content on the premium plans offered by music distribution services including Deezer, nugs.net, Qobuz, and TIDAL.
Sony is also looking into the potential for a variety of audio devices to support this new music content, but it will initially focus on the technological development of Sony’s headphones and speakers.