What you need to know
- Google and Sony are working together to bring 360 Reality Audio support to Android devices.
- Android's MPEG4Extractor system component may gain support for MPEG-H 3D spatial sound codec later this year.
- Amazon Music HD and Tidal are two of the major music streaming services that support Sony's 360 Reality Audio codecs.
Sony's 360 Reality Audio technology, which is currently exclusive to its flagship Xperia phones, could soon be coming to the best Android phones from other OEMs. As reported by the folks over at XDA Developers, code reviews submitted to the Android Open Source Project have revealed that Google and Sony have joined forces to bring 360 Reality Audio support to more Android devices.
The two companies are working together to add support for the MPEG-H 3D spatial sound codec to Android's MPEG4Extractor system component and bringing broader 13-channel audio layout support for 360 Reality Audio to the platform.
According to Sony, Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Nugs.net are currently the only three music streaming services that support its 360 Reality Audio codecs. Unlike some rival 3D audio codecs, Sony's 360 Reality Audio can work with any pair of headphones or speakers.
As per one of the comments by a developer, a virtualizer "can place individual sounds in a 360 spherical sound field from these channels on any headphones." However, the technology offers a much better experience with speakers that are built for 360 Reality Audio, such as Sony's own SRS-RA500 and Amazon's Echo Studio.
Sadly, there's no word on exactly when 360 Reality Audio will be coming to Android. However, it is possible that support for the spatial sound codec will arrive along with the Android 12 later this year.