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Video: What is Sony 360 Reality Audio and Spatial Sound Mapping?

Watch the video to get the scoop on two exclusive immersive audio technologies from Sony; 360 Reality Audio and Spatial Sound Mapping.

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is a new immersive format that has been receiving a lot of press coverage recently, but very few actually know what it is and how it differs from Dolby Atmos.

On this week’s episode of “eCoustically Speaking,” our newest video contributor, Ealan Osborne, explains what you need to know about Sony 360 Reality Audio and its sister technology — Spatial Sound Mapping.

For those that remember Betamax, Sony has a long history of doing its own thing.

In this case, Sony’s 360 Reality Audio (aka 360RA) format is a competitor to Dolby Atmos Music. Dolby Atmos is an encoding format for theatrical cinema, home theater and music. Whereas Sony 360 Reality Audio is only for music (at this time).

Both 360RA and Atmos provide an immersive musical experience, but the formats are not compatible.

Not only are the digital music files different, but accessing them is further limited by the streaming platform. For example, Apple Music only offers spatial audio in Dolby Atmos format. Whereas TIDAL offers both on their highest tier plan.

Which format is better? It’s impossible to say, because the most important factors with either technology is how well the music was originally recorded and how well the audio engineers mixed and mastered the music. Regardless of the technology, spatial audio music can be both mind blowing and head scratching. No different than regular music.

Watch the full video on YouTube (5:30) or click play above.

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  1. Steve H

    March 13, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    Tidal Music’s revenue went down $16 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. What they offer is no longer relevant.

    • Ian White

      March 13, 2023 at 5:04 pm


      Where did you see the TIDAL revenue figures?

      Very curious to read them.


      Ian White

  2. SteveH

    March 13, 2023 at 8:36 pm

    Block Inc’s 4th quarter 2022 shareholder letter, page 15 Other Revenue.

    I have Tidal’s financial statements from 2015 to 2020 as well.

  3. Bill H

    July 29, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    Yes. It shows enough promise that I bought. I have the Sony AZ3000ES which is supposed to decode 360 content from the likes of Amazon Fire Cube and Amazon Music HD. I have multiple playlists, pop/rock, classical, jazz – which include many Dolby Atmos and 360RA tracks.

    So far, tech support from both entities, and Sony’s sales team cannot figure out how to facilitate streaming 360RA from anything connected to the amp.

    Chromecast will play 360 content. Given that my 360 content is integrated in my playlists, that is an impractical solution. AND, I don’t believe chromecast is a full bodied transmission.

    The only way that 360RA is going to get traction is what? To make it easy and seamless to stream into the amplifiers and connected speakers that you so aptly stated are the ideal way to enjoy the format.

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