Sony 360 Reality Audio at CES 2020 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-23-2020, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Sony 360 Reality Audio at CES 2020

Sony's 360 reality audio is an object-based audio format (like Atmos of DTS:X) but for music. The company has demoed it in the past, but now the format is beyond the conceptual stage with streaming support from Tidal, Deezer and Nugs.net. You can use the technology with any headphones. Sony also demoed the technology working with a soundbar as well as with a "reference" (i.e. CES 2020 prototype) standalone speaker. Any way you listen, the idea is you get 3D envelopment, for a better listening experience.

With headphones, the technology "personalizes" the effect to the shape of your ears. Three quick selfies is all it takes to map you ears to work with 360 Reality Audio. With a speaker system you don't need any sort of profile to enjoy an expansive soundfield, even when playing music from a single speaker (which Sony demoed).

I demoed 360 Reality Audio playing through a soundbar, through the dedicated speaker, and through headphones while at CES 2020. I was particularly impressed with its effectiveness through headphones, the sound was natural and genuinely sounded like it was coming from outside my head.

With the "reference" speaker, what was really impressive was how you could walk around the demo room and still hear the expanded soundstage. And the soundbar demo revealed how well adapted home theater systems are for a technology like this. In comparison, regular stereo music coming from a soundbar sounds diminished in scale and scope.

Will this new format catch on? If you enjoy listening to music through headphones, or want your lifestyle speaker system to sound more like a proper stereo, or want your living room soundbar system to double as a Hi-Fi rig, then the answer should be yes. This technology does more for the average person's listening experience than any hi-res format because it offers improvements in presentation that are readily apparent, even in the tough environment of the CES show floor.

It is axiomatic that technology allows things to become smaller, faster, and cheaper. And so it is with audio playback, where the quality of sound that you can expect from a single, comparatively affordable speaker is now something interesting and worth listening to, instead of just being background noise.


This is what the soundbar demo looks like


This is the CES 2020 demo room for the Sony 360 Reality Audio speaker demo, you can see the speaker itself in the background



Here is a close-up of the speaker

Mark Henninger
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-24-2020, 09:21 AM
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I wonder if this is related to what Sony is planing to do with the PS5 (3D audio)?
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TV: TCL 75R615
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-24-2020, 09:39 AM
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Very interesting, Mark. This format is also supported by Amazon music. I recently bought two Echo Studios and the Echo sub as a replacement for a soundbar on one of my TVs. The experience of 3D audio (Amazon does not indicate whether an individual stream is Atmos or Sonny 360) varies widely from track to track, but, having listened to a number now, I have to say that the overall experience is impressive and well worth the investment. It will be interesting to see the final price point for the Sony speaker.

Thanks and all the best,

Brian

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post #4 of 10 Old 01-24-2020, 10:34 AM
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I have an 11 channel DTS:X / Dolby Atmos gaming system ready to be installed in a gaming/media room. I know Microsoft plans to support me on this with the new Xbox since they came out said they will support those formats on both Xbox and PC. Not Sure if Sony' PS5 is targeting low brow gamers with headsets or serious enthusiasts yet. They have yet to state what kind support they'll provide. I suppose with the lack of UHD player in the PS4 Pro they may continue to be a generation behind for the sake of pushing their licence free proprietary crap on people. The 3D audio on their Gold Headsets wasn't impressive and was barely supported. The killing blow for consoles this gen for me is the ability to keep up with my system. If 3D audio is limited to "simulation" and headphones, Playstation is dead to me. Let the clowns using soundbars for their "Home Theaters" have their fun with it. Rumors are already suggesting Sony exclusives will come to PC.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-24-2020, 02:37 PM
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Meh. . .

This is one of those "I'll believe it when I hear it", but I have huge doubts about sound out of a single speaker and I don't see my self buying one. I know there is more than one speaker in that thing, but still all the sound is coming out from one location.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-27-2020, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hk2000 View Post
This is one of those "I'll believe it when I hear it", but I have huge doubts about sound out of a single speaker and I don't see my self buying one. I know there is more than one speaker in that thing, but still all the sound is coming out from one location.
Very good point! I've tried the Echo studio in both single speaker and stereo setups. The surround 3D sound option, in both cases, produces an expanded should field both vertically and horizontally (though it varies by recording). Unlike some reviewers, I have not heard sounds fly over my head or heard sounds from behind me. I have, however, heard sounds coming from areas beyond the speaker and the overall effect is a richer experience and improved positional imaging. It definitely will not replace (or even compete with) my 9.2 Atmos setup, but it's a worthwhile option for music and movies where space is a premium.

All the best,

Brian
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-30-2020, 02:18 PM
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Hey Brian, why 9.2 DA over 7.4 DA?

Sony XBR65x900e / STR-DN1080 / original PS4 / WOW! Ultra TV / Quantum Access Mini PC Stick w/Windows 10 / 8 x Rockville SPG88 8“ DJ PA Speakers / Dayton Audio SA1000 / Kicker 08S15L74 in a Tapped-Tapered Quarter Wave Tube (negative flare tapped horn).
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-30-2020, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by BP1Fanatic View Post
Hey Brian, why 9.2 DA over 7.4 DA?
Did not do a good job of explaining. I have a 5.4.2 setup--love those 4 overhead channels!

All the best,

Brian
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-30-2020, 02:36 PM
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Actually, its 5.2.4.

Sony XBR65x900e / STR-DN1080 / original PS4 / WOW! Ultra TV / Quantum Access Mini PC Stick w/Windows 10 / 8 x Rockville SPG88 8“ DJ PA Speakers / Dayton Audio SA1000 / Kicker 08S15L74 in a Tapped-Tapered Quarter Wave Tube (negative flare tapped horn).
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-30-2020, 02:51 PM
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Duh! Another senior moment! Thanks for the correction!
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