Sony says the new “360 Reality Audio” audio format it announced at CES in January will become available to consumers yet this fall on Amazon HD, Tidal, Deezer, and nugs.net.
The new technology lets music producers situate sounds all around a spherical audio space, so you can hear voices, instruments, and other sounds coming from behind, beside, and in front of you. Sony says the effect works on regular headphones. The company also has an app that uses pictures of your ear to tailor fit your audio experience.
Amazon announced last month that its new Echo Studio home speaker will play 360 Reality Audio content from the Amazon HD streaming service.
To start, approximately 1,000 360RA songs will be made available from Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, with more songs to be added after launch. The music will come from current stars like Pharrell Williams and classic artists like Bob Dylan. The price of the new 360 Reality Audio streams would be available at launch from its streaming partners.
“Personally I am a huge music fan and when I first heard a song by my favorite artist, Billy Joel, via the 360 Reality Audio I felt like I was right on stage sitting somewhere between the vocals and drums,” said Sony Electronics North America president and COO president Mike Fasulo in an email to Fast Company.
Sony is also working with Live Nation to capture live performances and reproduce the audio in the 360RA format.