Despite making its debut in 2019, Sony’s immersive 360 reality audio formats are still limited to a handful of services and devices, including Tidal, Amazon Echo Studio, and the Japanese company’s own speakers and headphones. But, object-based spatial audio technology – which promises sound that fills the room, as if it seems to be coming from all directions – can be about being shot in the arm. Xda developers Have seen Android code reviews suggesting that Google is working with Sony to integrate 360 reality audio into its mobile OS.
The code mentions adding support for the MPEG-H 3D audio format – which allows vocals, instruments, and other sounds to be placed around the listener – to Android’s MPEG4 Extractor system component. Other parts also specifically reference 360 reality audio, including a commentary from Sony software engineer Kei Murayama that confirms the partnership between the two companies. “This is one of the patches mentioned in the ‘Android OS 360RA support’ meeting between Google and Sony,” the code reads.
While the work is still at an early stage, support for the format will eventually make it easier for Android app makers to integrate 3D audio playback into their apps. While services already offering the format may not require supported devices, a bit in the code mentions virtualizers that work with “virtual headphones”.
The move certainly fits with Sony’s grand plan to take 360 reality audio to the masses. As such, it focuses on creating software tools that can promote the format’s scanned library (with only 4,000 supported tracks in January) and create concerts and studios that can capture better audio. To get the feature on phones and audio devices, Sony said it would license headphone personalization technology to other manufacturers from its headphone app. Getting Google’s Android – a most popular The mobile OS will mark a major victory – globally.