Posted Mon Oct 21, 2019 at 12:45 PM PDT by Steven Cohen
Object-based music tracks will be available via a variety of services.
Sony has announced launch plans for its new 360 Reality Audio technology. Songs utilizing the advanced sound format will be available via Amazon Music HD, Deezer, nugs.net, and TIDAL later this fall.
"360 Reality Audio is a proof point that innovation never stops," said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics (North America). "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."
Similar to Dolby Atmos technology, Sony's 360 Reality Audio format uses object-based spatial audio technology. This process allows mixers to position various audio elements, like vocals and instruments, in different spots inside a spherical space, creating an omni-directional soundscape with multiple virtual speakers in all directions. The format can be enjoyed through virtually any pair of headphones when connected to an Android or iOS smartphone playing compatible tracks through a supported streaming app. Select speaker systems with support for Sony's 360 Reality Audio decoder and signal processing will also be able to play compatible tracks, including the new Amazon Echo Studio when paired with Amazon Music HD.
Music label partners set to support 360 Reality Audio include Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. The initial launch lineup of 360 Audio tracks will include around 1,000 songs from a variety of artists like Mark Ronson, Pharrell Williams, Billy Joel, and Bob Dylan. And in addition to studio mixes, the library will also include more than 100 concert recordings from artists like CHARLI XCX and Kodaline.
An exact launch date for 360 Reality Audio has not been announced, but tracks using the format are scheduled to arrive on Deezer, nugs.net, and TIDAL mobile apps this fall for headphone playback. Meanwhile, Amazon Music HD is set to offer compatible tracks for speaker playback via the Echo Studio this fall as well.
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