Sony Shows Off Speaker that Uses 360 Reality Audio Standard

Multinational conglomerate Sony recently flaunted its new music mixing standard called 360 Reality Audio (360RA) using its new wireless speaker prototype. Fast Company said that this new mixing standard recreates live music experience through headphones or speakers.

Sony seeks to provide a surround sound experience for listeners using the 360RA standard. This new mixing technology uses technology that renders audio using equipment as users would hear it in real-life. With this innovation, Sony also aims to recreate the revolutionary effect of stereo audio used in its Walkman series back in the 80s.

Sony 360 Reality Audio Standard

Sony’s second attempt at virtual surround sound

Engadget remarked that the new speaker prototype is the company’s additional efforts to provide immersive audio. Back in the 2019 International CES, Sony demonstrated the capabilities of the 360RA mix using a prototype.

Users were not able to use this format until Sony partnered with Amazon to integrate 360RA playback with Echo Studio. However, this tech is now accessible through its headphones and companion app. This software uses an ear calibration tool using a camera.

Recent demos used a live performance by Alicia Keys using a soundbar, a subwoofer and two satellite speakers. However, the article said that this attempt not as convincing as it was supposed to be. Especially as it used multiple speakers to demonstrate a 360 audio format.

The launch of the wireless speaker prototype gave hopes for Sony supporters. As it is designed for 360RA format playbacks.

Sony’s Architect

This new format is created using a software called Architect. According to Fast Company, the program uses “complicated audio processing algorithms” to produce the soundstage of live audio. Soundstage refers to the recreation of width, depth, and height of the stage, combined with stereo imaging.

The mixing software is basically designed to construct surround-sound effects for music, especially for live recordings. The article emphasized that the 360 approach primarily seeks to “recreate a concert experience, not so much to capture the soul of a piece of music.” Mike Fasulo, Sony’s president and COO in North America said that the 360RA format offers an experience that made him “[feel] like [he] was right on stage sitting somewhere between the vocals and drums.”

Fast Company also noted that the immersion experience offered by the new standard is captivating. The 360RA format is now available for Tidal, Deezer and users.