Sony’s 360 Reality Audio format is like VR music for your ears

sony 360 reality audio

Sony’s new audio format is ready for your ears.

First announced at CES 2019, the company on Tuesday revealed that more than 1000 songs will be available to listen to in its upcoming 360 Reality Audio format.

The format “makes it possible for artists to create the ultimate music experience by mapping sound sources such as vocals, choruses and instruments with positional information and placing them within a spherical space,” Sony explains in a press release.

“When listeners hear content produced in the 360 Reality Audio music format, they experience an immersion into sound that closely mimics the omni-directional soundscape of a live musical performance.”

It’s effectively an object-based spatial audio technology, and should give the illusion of space and position when listening to music.

Tracks supporting the format are heading to music streaming services like Amazon Music HD, Deezer, and Tidal.

Artists jumping head first into the tech includes Charli XCX, Mark Ronson, Zara Larsson, and Pharrell Williams, just to name a few. Tracks from the likes of Billy Joel will also be remastered.

Labels like Sony Music Entertainment, Universal, and Warner Music are also on board.

Notably, Google Play Music, YouTube Music and Spotify are among the services that are not listed by Sony as supported.

Sony demoed the tech using its Sony Xperia 1 flagship and its WH-X1000M3 headphones this week in New York, but the tech can be experienced on any smartphone using any pair of headphones.

Feature image: Sony

Andy Walker, former editor


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