Sony has announced an expansion of its 360 Reality Audio platform, bringing the 360-degree music format to more devices and media as well as offering new creation tools. 360 Reality Audio uses object-based spatial audio technology to place instruments or vocals around the listener’s head in a virtual sound field.
Now, Sony is expanding the audio tech into video. The company says it’s working with record labels and service providers to start streaming video content with 360 Reality Audio later this year, and the first example will be a live performance from Sony-signed artist Zara Larsson next week. You’ll be able to watch through Sony’s Artist Connection mobile app at 5pm ET on January 11th.
Sony is releasing two new 360 Reality Audio-compatible speakers this spring, the SRS-RA5000 and SRS-RA3000, although there isn’t much detail on either beyond support for Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Sony has also developed a new 3D audio plugin called the 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite, which is compatible with DAWs like Pro Tools and will be released at the end of this month.
There are currently around 4,000 songs available in 360 Reality Audio across services like Tidal and Deezer, Sony says. The format works with most regular headphones or compatible speakers like Amazon’s Echo Studio.