When it comes to technology, it’s frequently the case that, once Apple gets involved, the rest of the industry quickly gets onboard, too. Which means that things are looking very good for Dolby Atmos, the immersive audio standard that’s currently taking the music business by storm.
Dolby Atmos is coming to the Apple Music streaming service in June. This will enable listeners to experience their music in new dimensions, giving them the sense that sound is coming from all around and above them rather than - as is the case with standard stereo - just the left and the right.
With Dolby Atmos, artists and producers can be much more nuanced in the way that they position sounds in the mix, with the ability to set the volume, size and diffusion level of every instrument.
Of course, we’ve seen attempts to bring ‘surround sound’ to music before, but Dolby Atmos is different. For a start, it comes from one of the most respected names in the audio business, so won’t be dismissed as a gimmick.
Indeed, movie fans have been experiencing Dolby Atmos sound for years, as it’s become a standard in both cinemas and home cinema setups.
And then there’s the question of implementation; Dolby Atmos isn’t something we have to wait for - it’s already here across several streaming platforms.
In cases where there’s a Dolby Atmos version of a song - and there will be thousands right from the get-go - Apple Music will automatically play it on all AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip, and also on the built-in speakers in the latest versions of the iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Dolby Atmos is also supported in certain smart speakers, soundbars, TVs, laptops, tablets and other smartphones. In fact, you might already own a device that can deliver it without even knowing about it.
It’s all very well having the gear, though, but what really matters is the sound, and that’s what Dolby Atmos is all about. Check out the manufacturer website or find the logo on your device to find out if it is Dolby Atmos - enabled.
Listening to a track in Dolby Atmos is to hear it as the artist wanted you to - in fact, the sound is so natural that you’ll almost feel like you’re standing in the room with them while they record it.
With Dolby Atmos consumption on the rise, it’s no surprise that more and more producers want to get in on the action, knowing that being able to offer a mix in the format gives them an edge over the competition. You can also expect new Dolby Atmos versions of classic albums - from the likes of The Beatles, REM and John Williams - meaning that you’ll be able to experience them in a whole new way.
We’re seeing an increasing number of studios supporting Dolby Atmos, too, including Abbey Road and Dean St.
On a practical note, you’ll be pleased to learn that Dolby Atmos tracks don’t take up any more space on servers, and won’t take longer to download, such is the technology’s elegance and efficiency.
What’s more, Dolby Atmos is a badge of quality, ensuring an optimal and consistent
listening experience for fans, and keeping an artist’s original vision intact.
To experience Dolby Atmos for yourself, and to find out more, head to the Dolby website. You can also download a 90-day trial version of the Dolby Atmos Production Suite to try for yourself.