TIDAL unveils Sony 360 Reality Audio

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humprof

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>Sigh<. Jeez, Tony: you're someone who's actually done true surround mixes. Did Sony pay you a shit-ton of money to flog this, or are your ears shot, or did you just drink the Kool-Aid? At least Atmos exists in both faux and vrai versions, even if Dolby's marketers are doing their level best to confuse the issue. But Sony 360 is all smoke and mirrors, as far as I can tell. The masses can have their 360 Reality Audio mix if they want it. But why in the world would Sony imagine the masses would care? For those of us who really do care about surround sound: give us a genuine immersive mix designed for "seven speakers in your front room." We'll eat it up!
I had somehow missed an entire thread devoted (more or less) to Visconti's remix of Space Oddity when I wrote the dyspeptic words above. (I only discovered it after I saw the album on sale at HD Tracks and began Googling.) Anyway, sorry for inadvertently repeating what others had already said.

Sounds like the title track is the only one he remixed for 360 Reality Audio. So has anyone who ponied up for Amazon Music HD actually heard it on an Echo Studio speaker (or over headphones with Deezer or Tidal)?
 

Bob Romano

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When I had Tidal I checked out the 360 audio. Itā€™s just sounded like mud. I have decent headphones and tried it with everything from AirPods to Bowers & Wilkins to Sony. It was a waste.
 

edisonbaggins

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Sounding fine, neither hollow nor muddy, on my earbuds and my 2.1 system here at work.
Desktop app via Win 10.
Surround effect (over earbuds)? Zilch.
 

QUIX4U

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According to this article, you need the app, so it'd be nice to hear from someone who has listened through the app, on a decent set of cans.
Or - if one doesn't dabble in digital . analogue is way easier and better to listen to anything really - in full form all frequencies - multiple channel surround sound..
 

beerking

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Here's my take on what they are doing with this 360 Reality Audio.

I have listened to most of the tracks on Tidal..
It seems to me that they are isolating the main voice/music in the centre/front speakers and using double stereo to emphasise the rest of the music/voice in the surrounds. In doing so they reduce the volume slightly to give more emphasis to the fronts.

There is not an element of separation going on.

Think we need an industry insider to explain what technique they are using, to achieve this dummy surround .
Or maybe that's the intention, to create Reality in all but name. and produce it as cheaply as possible.

The sound is perfectly clear, through my speaker set up.

In fact I've just checked out a few tracks on my Audio Technica ATH M50X phones.
Very nice stereo separation and clarity.
 
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edisonbaggins

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FWIW, yesterday I listened to some Tidal S360 and ATMOS tracks, both via headphones (Sennheiser HD Pro 380's, IIRC) using my Android phone.

I compared some S360 tracks to their normal stereo counterparts. I liked the normal stereo better.

I then tried some Atmos, since the app was suggesting it... I liked it much better than the S360! Not as dramatically surroundy as my HTS, of course,
but immersive, yes! And I was given the sense that plenty of the songs were out in front of me, rather than completely coming from the sides.
I didn't get that from S360. I liked the Atmos well enough that I didn't feel the need to switch over to stereo. The Atmos tracks through headphones felt right.
 

beerking

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FWIW, yesterday I listened to some Tidal S360 and ATMOS tracks, both via headphones (Sennheiser HD Pro 380's, IIRC) using my Android phone.

I compared some S360 tracks to their normal stereo counterparts. I liked the normal stereo better.

I then tried some Atmos, since the app was suggesting it... I liked it much better than the S360! Not as dramatically surroundy as my HTS, of course,
but immersive, yes! And I was given the sense that plenty of the songs were out in front of me, rather than completely coming from the sides.
I didn't get that from S360. I liked the Atmos well enough that I didn't feel the need to switch over to stereo. The Atmos tracks through headphones felt right.
I've just played a few Atmos tracks through my phones Mike.....especially the ones that are really good mixes and it's like night and day, the difference between 360 and Atmos.
 

QUIX4U

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Here's my take on what they are doing with this 360 Reality Audio.

I have listened to most of the tracks on Tidal..
It seems to me that they are isolating the main voice/music in the centre/front speakers and using double stereo to emphasise the rest of the music/voice in the surrounds. In doing so they reduce the volume slightly to give more emphasis to the fronts.

There is not an element of separation going on.

Think we need an industry insider to explain what technique they are using, to achieve this dummy surround .
Or maybe that's the intention, to create Reality in all but name. and produce it as cheaply as possible.

The sound is perfectly clear, through my speaker set up.

In fact I've just checked out a few tracks on my Audio Technica ATH M50X phones.
Very nice stereo separation and clarity.

As cheaply as possible - hah I like that one - I only charge for speakers and wiring - oh and cable ties / clips and a few other bits & bobs, plus labour - at a mere fraction of what I should charge - wounded bulls I call other commercial operators.. as they charge as if the world's economy rested entirely on their shoulders to uphold . cheaply - no one seems to know the real meaning of that word..

- ps.
I just read the simplistic approach - of the system called:
360 reality audio
Google results state:

What is 360 reality audio?
The app is downloadable on iOS and Android.
It works by taking a photograph of your ear on your smartphone
(tip: get someone to help you so you get the position of your ear in the photo just right) and working out from that exactly how you hear.

It then optimises the playback for your personal hearing.Feb 21, 2020

[\QUOTE]

Say what ?
Just photograph the ear - from the outside - so that the app - can USE THAT to produce a sound (that) it thinks YOU can hear - completely devoid of course, by the FACT that anyone's AUDIBLE hearing IS NOT RELIANT only upon the physical look - of your outer ear - as DEAFNESS and hearing abnormalities take scant regards for - the shape - size or colour - of your ear?

What a load of codswallop ?
Sony advertising madness at it's best - talking B/S from the get go..
As I neither have a smart phone (?)
And if I ever did get one the tiny speakers in it or the earbuds they toss up at you as if they were way better than a home audio system's ones -
I also don't believe in the tripe that a photograph of one's ear canal - can DECIDE FOR YOU, what your ability to hear at various levels, or to discern noises from background sounds nearby - as well as old age hiss from severe tinnitus?

Take a picture - as that lets Sony get away with a few thousand less advertising words..

Oh and I don't believe in the hype either.
As - neither app - for either smart (dumb user) telephones - will ever be able to play with music - that I still use on vinyl & compact cassette tape, or on Youtube Videos or anywhere else that I get sound from?

Sorry - I may be old but I ain't daft.
 
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Audiowannabee

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As cheaply as possible - hah I like that one - I only charge for speakers and wiring - oh and cable ties / clips and a few other bits & bobs, plus labour - at a mere fraction of what I should charge - wounded bulls I call other commercial operators.. as they charge as if the world's economy rested entirely on their shoulders to uphold . cheaply - no one seems to know the real meaning of that word..

- ps.
I just read the simplistic approach - of the system called:
360 reality audio
Google results state:



As I neither have a smart phone (?)
And if I ever did get one the tiny speakers in it or the earbuds they toss up at you as if they were way better than a home audio system's ones -
I also don't believe in the tripe that a photograph of one's ear canal - can DECIDE FOR YOU, what your ability to hear at various levels, or to discern noises from background sounds nearby - as well as old age hiss from severe tinnitus?

Take a picture - as that lets Sony get away with a few thousand less advertising words..

Oh and I don't believe in the hype either.
As - neither app - for either smart (dumb user) telephones - will ever be able to play with music - that I still use on vinyl & compact cassette tape, or on Youtube Videos or anywhere else that I get sound from?

Sorry - I may be old but I ain't daft.

Welcome to the forum
 

MagnumX

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As a PS4 owner, I'm quite concerned about Sony not supporting Dolby Atmos (or DTS:X) while Microsoft (and presumably the XBox) supports both. From what I've read about Sony's 360 format, it appears to be a 2-channel based system that will eventually offer a customized binaural template to match up with your particular head size for headphone use. That's all good and fine for headphone use (I'm a fan of binaural audio ever since I heard Disney's demo of it at the MGM Studios clear back in the 1990s where you get a haircut, etc. in binaural and in fact, I have a demo disc with similar effects that I find most people have never heard and are amazed (and horrified) when bees appear to land in their ears, etc. in the demos).

But what about speaker use? I have my PS4 in a 11.1.6 Atmos home theater and I keep thinking how awesome it would be to play games like Star Wars Battlefront in Dolby Atmos on my system instead of just an upmixer like Neural X. It did sound like Sony plans to eventually expand the format to have home theater support, but will it be a new format requiring new AVR support or is it going to be a software version of something like Dolby's height virtualizer or DTS's Virtual X?

I'm honestly contemplating switching to an XBox because of this. Playing Jedi Fallen Order in Atmos is too tempting.
 

MagnumX

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I'm not buying a speaker set to get Sony 360. They need to either get AVR support or use Atmos or X as an output device on the PS5, IMO.
 

BJMarsh

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I'm not buying a speaker set to get Sony 360. They need to either get AVR support or use Atmos or X as an output device on the PS5, IMO.
Agree. Iā€™m not buying hardware to support the ā€œFormat of the Month Clubā€. How many more unfulfilled formats do we need? I wonder what P. T. Barnum thinks...
 

solaris

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But they look so cool. I also need another room to put them in. If only they could play every format.
they are still kind of pricy
Really a sound bar with an eating problem
 

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bracelis

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Someone was able to get hold of the Sony 360 / MPEG-H 3D encoder/decoder library/utilities (Windows or Mac).
I tested it on "Love Is The Message" by MFSB which is one of the many Sony 360 songss on Tidal, and converted it to 7.1.4 and 5.1 WAV.

MFSB_LoveIsTheMessage.jpg


This is the media info on the 360 file:

Format :MPEG-H 3D Audio
Format profile :LC@L3
Codec ID :mha1
Duration :6 min 41 s
Bit rate :666 kb/s
Channel(s) :12 channels (7.1.4)
Channel layout :L R C LFE Lb Rb Lss Rss Tfl Tfr Tbl Tbr
Sampling rate :48.0 kHz
Frame rate :46.875 FPS (1024 SPF)
Source stream size :31.9 MiB (99%)
Signal group #1 :4 objects
Type :Object
Number of objects :4 objects
Codec configuration box :mhaC


You can convert the track so that the channel layout of the WAV output is the same as the input 360 file (7.1.4).
Since this is from a quad source, we see the
* L/R channels,
* empty Center/LFE channels,
* the L/R rear channels,
* two Top (ceiling) Front channels (I'm assuming this is just an upmix)
* and the other top extra two channels which are empty.

Output WAV file:
MFSB_12ch.jpg



The decoder has the option to output a 6-channel (5.1) WAV (i.e. downmix).
Again the Center and LFE channels are empty, so now we have the quad.
And of course we can convert it to FLAC to reduce the file size.

WAV:
MFSB_quad.png



This is one is an example of a recent track, where all the 7.1.4 channels have audio (except the LFE).
And you can also convert it to 5.1.

DuaLipa_12ch.jpg


Note:
The decoder is not intended for consumers -- so I won't put any information here on how to obtain the decoder.
And you can only use the decoder if you have the 360 track/file.
I'm only posting this as information about the Sony 360 audio format and what's possible.
 
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MagnumX

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Converted it to 7.1.4? What does that even mean? Atmos? DTS:X? Just some WAV files?

I think what people want to know is whether there will be any support to output as Atmos or X on a home AVR system or AVR support for the mode. Otherwise, the system is more or less worthless as a playback medium for music outside headphones.
 
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