The music industry has been a major point of interest for tech companies for decades. Where iTunes gave the world its first mainstream online music store, modern streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and TIDAL made it possible for listeners to enjoy as many tracks as their ears could handle through the power of the cloud. Hoping to make the next mark in the music streaming revolution, Sony has announced a new immersive, spatial technology it's calling 360 Reality Audio.

Sony 360 Reality Audio is a unique audio format that's designed to give a sense of dynamic spatial awareness to listeners. What this means is that instead of hearing an optimized song playing at full blast against your eardrums, some instruments may sound closer or further away, just like in a live studio.

360 Reality Audio is not a music streaming service; it's a proprietary audio format built for existing platforms that will be making its way to Amazon Music, Deezer, nugs.net, and TIDAL this fall. Only 1,000 360 Reality-optimized songs will be available at launch from both contemporary and classic artists, and headphones will be required to take advantage of the 360 Reality Audio experience.

In addition to Sony's announcement, MediaTek, also shared news that it will start integrating 360 Reality Audio technology directly into its audio chipsets, though devices packing non-MediaTek hardware will still be compatible with Sony's new format.