Sony to license high-res audio tech to jump-start market

TOKYO -- Sony will provide its high-resolution audio technology to other companies in a move likely intended to spur growth of the relatively new market for compatible equipment.

The Japanese electronics giant will begin licensing its LDAC technology, which allows for wireless transmission of high-quality music without losing sound quality, as soon as the current fiscal year. It has not disclosed licensing fees but will reportedly keep them low.

Licensees will be able to make wireless headphones compatible with high-resolution audio. The first of these companies are likely to be manufacturers of high-end audio devices.

The market for high-resolution audio, which offers better sound quality than CDs, is still rather small and there is a shortage of compatible music content. By licensing its technology to others, Sony aims to bring numerous wireless headphones and speakers with high-resolution quality to market. As more hardware appears, interest in software development will increase, helping to popularise the technology and expand the market.

Sony in the past helped transform the audio market by providing CD and MiniDisc standards to other companies. This time, too, it is looking to take the initiative in making technology easier to use, and so advance its image as a company offering high audio quality. It already sells wireless headphones and speakers as well as portable audio devices compatible with high-resolution audio, with plans to include the technology in high-end smartphones.

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