360RA decoding via hardware - McIntosh and other MPEG-H ready receivers

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Lucanu

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I know the thread name won't mean much to most of you, but all that talking about McIntosh capable decoding of 360 Reality Audio is not that clear to me.
Sony and McIntosh claim that the MX123 is capable of doing that, but how?
I know that Tidal or Amazon Music could let us play that format only via headphones and smartphones, which means nothing to me.
The "old" simulated surround thing is like spending 100,000$ on a perfect mixed song at 384khz or even better only to hear it at "full quality" at mp3 128 joint stereo
I'm asking myself, and maybe Sony and McIntosh, how I can enjoy 360RA on that 15,000$ receiver.
I know for sure that Tidal/Amazon/Deezer stream those files in stereo with no real bitstream.

I suppose it could be done via HEOS but actually it's not.

I also downloaded the user manual from McIntosh and there is NO mention of 360 or MPEG-H, so no luck.


BTW, I forgot to say I'm a proud owner of a Marantz SR7015 that could handle mpeg-h audio as well but the question remains the same
 
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fredblue

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the failure to get 360 Reality Audio decoding into more gear other than a couple of their own Soundbar and wireless Speaker systems is really quite palpable at this point.

also (and i'm not complaining about it but it is intriguing!) how comes Sony's Quad and 5.1 offerings on Apple Music are in discrete (albeit Lossy) Dolby Audio and not the 360 Reality Audio format as they are on Tidal, Deezer, Amazon, etc...? 🤔
 

quicksrt

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how comes Sony's Quad and 5.1 offerings on Apple Music are in discrete (albeit Lossy) Dolby Audio and not the 360 Reality Audio format as they are on Tidal, Deezer, Amazon, etc...? 🤔

Well, it wouldn't seem quite right if there were no format wars going on now would it. Apple and Tidal/Amazon just had to do things differently and likely slow the rollout of proper quad streams even 50 years after the fact.

I can stay positive for now just knowing some very difficult Q mixed masters to license have now appeared. Some of my most desired quads finally did show up. We'll get there.
 
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Lucanu

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Anyway, 360 RA is a process that can create a spherical effect on headphones, just like Apple Spatial Audio. The stream of the 360 material is encoded in MPEG-H that McIntosh and Marantz/Denon should manage (but they don’t. I never read or see any test about that feature). Actually the 360 RA material is available only on apps via smartphones or pads, IIRC.
Once apps are implemented in some form in those receivers MAYBE we will hear it in multichannel as it was created
 
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Out of interest...

Can those of you with MPEG-H capable AVR's try playing the attatched (zipped) 'MPEG-H Test Sample' via a USB flash-drive and report if it works?
 

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MrSmithers

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Out of interest...

Can those of you with MPEG-H capable AVR's try playing the attatched (zipped) 'MPEG-H Test Sample' via a USB flash-drive and report if it works?
I have a Marantz SR7015 which added MPEG-H (360RA) decoding through a firmware update. But it only accepts/plays stereo through the USB input infuriatingly! Same applies with FLAC/WAV/DSD etc...

This is the issue right now. There is no software that can pass MPEG-H through and link up to compatible hardware. It's bloody annoying. I've tried to ask J River about implementing it but they don't even do Atmos audio files so not holding my breath. @HomerJAU has tried to reach out to KODI developers to see if they could implement it there, but so far not had anyone engage. You'd think something like Roon would look at it considering the retail price.

There is the MPEG-H production format player from Fraunhofer IIS but that would only accept the BWF/ADM master file rather than anything from Tidal etc...

Hopefully something changes soon... 🤞:)
 
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I have a Marantz SR7015 which added MPEG-H (360RA) decoding through a firmware update. But it only accepts/plays stereo through the USB input infuriatingly! Same applies with FLAC/WAV/DSD etc...
Many thanks for the info... I see from the link you provided that stereo is only supported via network connected devices too :(
 

humprof

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sorry for the slight topic tangent.

this blurb makes it sound like it decodes 360 Reality Audio in software? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I donno...sounds like yet another streaming service, targeted at smartphone/headphone users, fortified with some extra "blockchain" and "NFT" bulls**t. Their sister company will have an "in-house team of producers who are consistently creating and converting new and old stereo mixes and remixes to the new format . . . vet and verify creator content, [and] consult and set up distribution for the artist/label." Uh-huh; okay; good luck with that.

Meanwhile, I heard a rumor(?) that Deezer is preparing to drop 360 RA altogether. Can anyone confirm?
 

himey

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How many 360 RA titles fall in the Alice In Chains Dirt/Facelift category of, also released as an Atmos mix, and there isn't a 5.1/4.0 that we know of?
 

sjcorne

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How many 360 RA titles fall in the Alice In Chains Dirt/Facelift category of, also released as an Atmos mix, and there isn't a 5.1/4.0 that we know of?
It's every Atmos title on Apple Music that falls under the Sony umbrella. This isn't a definitive list, but off-hand I can think of a few:
  • London Grammar - Californian Soil
  • Pearl Jam - Ten
  • Cheap Trick - In Color
  • Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing
  • Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (yes, I know there's a 5.1 too but this appears to be a transcode of SW's Atmos mix)
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity
  • Europe - "The Final Countdown"
  • Earth Wind & Fire - "Let's Groove" & "September"
All titles are Atmos on Apple, but 360RA on Tidal.
 

albertop

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It's every Atmos title on Apple Music that falls under the Sony umbrella. This isn't a definitive list, but off-hand I can think of a few:
  • London Grammar - Californian Soil
  • Pearl Jam - Ten
  • George Michael - entire catalog
  • Cheap Trick - In Color
  • Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing
  • Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (yes, I know there's a 5.1 too but this appears to be a transcode of SW's Atmos mix)
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity
  • Europe - "The Final Countdown"
  • Earth Wind & Fire - "Let's Groove" & "September"
All titles are Atmos on Apple, but 360RA on Tidal.
George Michael is streaming in Atmos on Tidal (thankfully!), but the others are 360RA.
 

himey

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It's every Atmos title on Apple Music that falls under the Sony umbrella. This isn't a definitive list, but off-hand I can think of a few:
  • London Grammar - Californian Soil
  • Pearl Jam - Ten
  • Cheap Trick - In Color
  • Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing
  • Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation (yes, I know there's a 5.1 too but this appears to be a transcode of SW's Atmos mix)
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity
  • Europe - "The Final Countdown"
  • Earth Wind & Fire - "Let's Groove" & "September"
All titles are Atmos on Apple, but 360RA on Tidal.
Would you consider Space Oddity an outlier since there was an Atmos mix on Tidal, and was pulled? They sound like two different mixes? Great list! Thanks a ton!
 

HomerJAU

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Meanwhile, I heard a rumor(?) that Deezer is preparing to drop 360 RA altogether. Can anyone confirm?

Confirmed. I got an email from Deezer about a month ago. They are discontinuing RA360 on October 31:

We regret to inform you that 360 by Deezer will no longer be available starting from 31/10/2022.​
While the 360 by Deezer app will no longer be supported, you still have access to the Deezer app, and all the exciting features you love!​
Enjoy ad-free music, FLAC quality sound, offline listening and more.​
 
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