Sony expanding 360 Reality Audio System
Leading up to CES 2021, Sony announced the expansion of its 360 Reality Audio services and product offerings, including adding new video streaming capabilities and content creation tools. Through these efforts, Sony will continue to expand the 360 Reality Audio ecosystem.
Introduced in 2019, Sony's 360 Reality Audio makes it possible for artists and creators to produce music by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments with positional information and placing them within a spherical space. This revolutionary musical experience, powered by Sony's spatial sound technologies, evokes feelings of being in a music studio or live concert venue – all without leaving the comfort of home.
"360 Reality Audio is a powerful platform that brings listeners an experience that honors the creator's true intent, and brings artists and fans even closer together," said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer, Sony Electronics, Inc. "We are thrilled to enhance and expand our audio ecosystem with innovative streaming video, and powerful new ways for musicians to create an amazing experience."
Listeners can currently access approximately 4,000 songs in 360 Reality Audio from artists like Alicia Keys, Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Noah Cyrus, Zara Larsson, and more. Today, Sony adds new capabilities to this innovative music format; see below for exciting updates for listeners and creators:
Efforts to Expand 360 Reality Audio Ecosystem
First-ever Video Streaming Service in 360 Reality Audio
Sony now introduces live performance video content with immersive 360 Reality Audio sound. To showcase these new video capabilities, Sony Music Entertainment artist Zara Larsson will release an exclusive live performance in 360 Reality Audio on January 11 at 5:00 PM EST. Viewers will be able to stream this performance with the Artist Connection app1 on a smartphone. With select Sony headphones and the Sony | Headphones Connect app2, users can also optimize their experience by analyzing their individual ear shape to enjoy a custom immersive musical field that is perfectly optimized for them.
360 Reality Audio makes it possible to create a lifelike music experience, giving listeners the impression that they are in a live concert setting. Sony hopes to leverage this spatial sound technology to create an innovative solution for music lovers who are not able to enjoy live concerts due to COVID-19.
Sony, major music labels and service providers are working together to begin streaming this new video content later this year.
New 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite Introduced
Sony and Virtual Sonics, Inc. have developed a new content creation software called the 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite to enable easier creation of 360 Reality Audio content by musicians and creators. The 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite plugin software is compatible with popular digital audio workstation (DAW). Virtual Sonics, Inc., through its subsidiary Audio Futures, Inc., will release the software at the end of this month.
Additionally, Sony and Music.com, with distribution by The Orchard, are launching a Creators' Program, which makes it possible for creators to produce 360 Reality Audio content using the 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite and then stream their content.
Within CES, viewers can watch a video on how GRAMMY award-winning producer Keith Harris transforms his music using the 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite.
Compatible Devices and Licensing Expanded
Beginning this spring, 360 Reality Audio compatible speakers SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000 will be available for purchase. These WiFi-enabled speakers create an immersive, room-filling 360 Reality Audio sound experience by utilizing Sony's unique Immersive Audio Enhancement algorithm. The speakers can be controlled with Google Assistant3 or Amazon Alexa4 devices, so users can manage their music with ease.
360 Reality Audio can also be experienced using headphones from most manufacturers when combined with an Android™/iOS smartphone that has a participating streaming service app installed2. Additionally, Sony is partnering with other consumer electronics companies to promote the 360 Reality Audio experience.
In order to continue expanding its library of compatible audio devices, Sony will license out the following technologies moving forward:
-Headphones personalization technology that analyzes the listener's hearing characteristics
-Technologies that enable smartphones and automotive vehicles to play 360 Reality Audio