Sennheiser has rolled out a firmware update for the Ambeo soundbar, which brings Sony’s 360 Reality Audio support to the device. Sony introduced the technology at CES 2019, where it demonstrated how it can create an immersive experience by placing individual tracks on a 360-degree sphere “around” the listener. It can make the drums sound like they’re coming from behind the listener, for instance, while the song’s vocals are coming from either side.
When Sony introduced the technology, though, it only worked with its then-flagship WH-1000XM3 headphones. Its availability has only expanded to a handful of other devices since then, but Sony revealed at CES this year that it’s working with other phone and audio equipment makers to make 360 Reality Audio available on more devices.
While Ambeo now supports the technology, it can’t magically turn any song into an immersive listening experience. Listeners will only be able to take advantage of the new feature if they have access to Tidal HiFi or Amazon Music HD, which are the streaming services’ pricier subscription tiers. Another option is nugs.net, a service that focuses on on-demand live music streaming. Further, Ambeo owners will only be able to enjoy 360 Reality Audio content through their soundbar if it’s streamed via Google Chromecast.
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