Want something extra special from your music streaming services? Well Sony's 360 Reality Audio technology, which recreates the experience of live music by enhancing tracks for a surround sound feel, is set to come your way very soon.
Sony 360 Reality Audio will be coming to a host of music streaming services later this year, with a launch window (given to Engadget) suggesting it won't arrive any later than November. There'll reportedly be 1,000 tracks available in the format, marking a somewhat hesitant launch giving the massive libraries of the services they'll be coming to.
Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Deezer will all be getting tracks featuring the technology, though Spotify won't be supporting it at launch. A lesser-known streaming service called nugs.net, though, apparently will.
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There's been an ongoing push for high-resolution audio, with Tidal's Masters tier for high-res audio tracks, and Amazon making over 50 million lossless songs available in CD quality in its Amazon Music HD tier.
But Sony 360 Reality Audio is specifically trying to give a different flavor to the music available beyond the bitrate and audio detail, with a sense of music filling the space around you – in a similar way to the Creative SXFI Air headphones, though built into dedicated tracks rather than an all-round hardware feature for whatever you're listening to.
The lack of Spotify support isn't overly surprising, given that the massive streaming service is still relying on mp3 audio (which requires less data to stream) rather than chasing high-res quality – though if you want premium audio from a music streaming service, it seems there are plenty that want to give it to you.
- What's the best music streaming service for you?
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.