Sony is no stranger to proprietary formats for audio and video. Sometimes that pays off, like with Blu-ray, but sometimes it’s just a massive headache for everyone before eventually dying off and leaving some devices useless, like Sony memory sticks for cameras and the PlayStation Vita.
Is that going to stop Sony from trying the same thing again with a brand new audio format? Absolutely not.
Immersive Sony sound
To be fair, this one seems a little less egregious than some of their other formats, but it does put them right in competition with Dolby Atmos for music. This new format, called 360 Reality Audio, takes the Dolby Atmos approach of object-based sound and applies it to music, which means a producer can place sound sources in a spherical space for a song. It’s supposed to mimic a live performance better than your plain old stereo MP3s, and definitely benefits the most from more complex arrangements.
To make that experience just a little bit better, they also used an Xperia 1 with some Sony headphones at an event to create extremely personalized sound profiles by photographing the interior of listeners’ ears. This is something that can also be done with their Sony Headphones Connect app to get a better listening experience at home.
Amazon and Tidal
But the biggest issue with any new format is getting it adopted. Fortunately, Sony seems to have lined up some bigger names for this, and there should be around 1000 songs available in 360 Reality Audio. They’ll be on some more mainstream streaming services, too, like Amazon Music HD and Tidal.
I doubt this will end up being something that every new album is taking advantage of, but it’ll be a nice treat for music enthusiasts.
Read more: Sony