Google plans to bring Sony’s 360 Reality Audio to every Android phone
What is 360 Reality Audio?
Sony uses clever spatial audio technology to create surround sounds on any pair of stereo headphones. 360 Reality Audio is based on the MPEG-H 3D audio codec but only high-end Xperia smartphones offer support for it. At least for now.
The lines of code, found in the Android Open Source Project, describe extensive support for the MPEG-H 3D audio codec and also mention 360 Reality Audio specifically.
There’s also a comment from one of Sony’s software developers, saying that “This is one of the patches mentioned in the meeting ‘Android OS 360RA support’ between Google and Sony,” suggesting that the whole thing is a group effort.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this technology is that it requires songs that are specifically mastered to make use of it. Sony’s website lists Amazon Music HD, Nugs.net, and Tidal as the only streaming services that offer 360 Reality Audio tracks but if more Android phones start to support the format, this will lead to broader adoption.
Taking everything into consideration, it seems that 360 Reality Audio is almost certainly coming to Android. The question is whether Sony and Google would be able to get it done in time for the Android 12 release later this year.