CES 2019: Sony announces 360 Reality Audio surround sound with support of Pharrell Williams


Sony has created a new form of audio technology it says recreates the feeling of listeners being surrounded by music on all sides.

Called 360 Reality Audio, it supposedly creates a three-dimensional sound field that can add distance and angle to sound, simulating the experience of being at a live music event.

However, unlike traditional surround sound systems that use multiple speakers, the technology emits audio from a single source, for example a pair of headphones or one speaker.

The Japanese technology giant said it will produce 360 Reality Audio content in collaboration with music labels and hopes to make it available through some music streaming services.

Grammy award-winning singer and producer Pharrell Williams made an appearance on stage to voice his support for the new technology.

The innovation was announced as the company prepares to showcase a range of new gadgets at the CES technology show in Las Vegas.

They include a new range of 8K resolution TVs, a wireless turntable and the Glass Sound Speaker (pictured below), which uses the vibrations of its glass body to help emit sound.

Sony’s glass sound speaker

Sony chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida said: “Sony is a creative entertainment company. We at Sony partner with content creators who make the music, the movies, the television shows and the games that engage billions of eyes and ears and minds around the world.

“We’d like to showcase how Sony’s professional grade technologies support creators across the entertainment industries to produce compelling content. You will also see how our consumer products connect creators and users, by enabling people to enjoy content at the highest possible quality.”

Also among the company’s announcements was confirmation that its high-end WH-100XM3 headphones are to become compatible with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant for the first time.

Chris Price
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