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Dolby Atmos Music: Everything you need to know about the immersive sound format

Now that sound bars and cutting-edge wireless speakers are becoming commonplace at home, the immersive cinematic sound format Dolby Atmos is more accessible than ever.

But did you know that Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound can be applied to both your music and your films?

Dolby Atmos Music is designed to give you the feeling of being in the song. It is one of the most exciting things that can happen Music streaming for a long time – here you will find everything you need to know about it, as well as the best devices to experience the 3D audio format.

What is Dolby Atmos music?

Dolby Atmos Music is music that uses Dolby̵

7;s object-based surround sound to give the impression that different instruments and effects are approaching you from all angles.

The effect is far more impressive than normal stereo sound or even 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups, as the sound stage is given a feeling of height and width.

This is usually accomplished through overhead speakers, as well as speakers and sound bars with tweeters upwards that allow the sound to bounce off the ceiling and get back into your ears.

In the cinema, Dolby Atmos is mixed in recording studios, where audio engineers record sound effects in films and move them digitally in three-dimensional space.

When you play the movie on Dolby Atmos-enabled audio devices, you can hear the effects moving around you just as the audio engineers intended – and it works the same with Dolby Atmos Music.

A sound engineer takes elements of a track such as instruments and effects and places them in a 3D sphere – and this can be done with new music or as part of a remaster, provided the original audio stems are available for editing. When you play the music, it should feel like you are surrounded by a sound dome.

Dolby atmos music

(Photo credit: Dolby)

Does Spotify support Dolby Atmos Music?

No, you can only stream Dolby Atmos Music through Tidal and Amazon Prime Music, and you cannot offer the codec as part of their cheaper subscriptions.

Choosing Tidal means paying $ 19.99 / GBP 19.99 / AU $ 23.99 per month for Tidal HiFi, which gives you access to high-definition audio files. If you prefer Amazon, you’ll need to subscribe to Amazon Music HD, which costs $ 12.99 / £ 12.99 for Prime members and $ 14.99 / £ 14.99 for everyone else.

The best Amazon Music Unlimited deals today

How do I listen to Dolby Atmos music?

To listen to your music in Dolby Atmos, you need access to a streaming service that supports the object-based format, as well as a Dolby Atmos-enabled playback device, regardless of whether it’s a wireless speaker, a soundbar, or a pair Headphones or even a compatible smartphone or tablet.

Technically speaking, you need overhead speakers or a device that can radiate sound to your ceiling and back to your ears to achieve the full Dolby Atmos effect. Of course, this is not possible with headphones or a non-burning speaker.

Instead, these devices use clever signal processing to create the illusion of height in your music, and they can be pretty compelling.

Sonos bow

The Sonos arch (Photo credit: Sonos)

The best devices for Dolby Atmos Music

While a huge overhead speaker setup gives you the most authentic Dolby Atmos music experience, there are many cheaper (and less time consuming) ways to hear your music in 3D surround sound.

If you’re using Amazon Music HD, the Amazon Echo Studio smart speaker is a great option as it combines Atmos’ immersive sound with all Alexa smarts. This means that it can act as a control node for all of your smart home devices.

If you want to watch movies with Dolby Atmos, a soundbar like the Sonos Arc or the Samsung HW-Q90R is the best choice – these hard-working devices are far more effective than the tiny speakers in your TV. You can also choose an AV receiver like the Onkyo TX-NR676.

Have you already set up a cute speaker? You can use two high-powered Dolby Atmos speakers like the KEF R50 Dolby-enabled Atmos speakers or the PSB Imagine XA.

If you want to use Dolby Atmos Music on the go, you need a phone or tablet that supports the format. Compatible models include the iPhone 11, OnePlus 7 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S10, the Sony Xperia 1 and Amazon Fire HDX 8.9.

With Dolby Atmos support, you will soon receive real wireless earphones. At its WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple announced that the AirPods Pro would receive spatial audio support when iOS 14 launched in September.

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