Technology

Dolby Atmos Music finally streams to a home cinema near you, courtesy of Tidal HiFi

Dolby Atmos changed the way we listen to movies, now it wants to do the same to streamed music. Tidal has become the first music streaming service to allow the 3D audio format to be streamed from a Tidal app on a streaming media player directly into a Dolby Atmos home cinema system, or Atmos enabled soundbar.

Both Tidal and rival Amazon Music HD have offering a limited number of tracks in Dolby Atmos, however they’ve only been available via headphones. Now the full 360 audio mix can be heard properly on AV hardware.

Dolby Atmos for Music is only available to subscribers on the Tidal HiFi tier. Compatible streaming players include the Apple TV 4k, Fire TV Stick 4k, Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick (second gen), Fire TV (third gen), and NVIDIA Shield TV, running the latest firmware update. Currently not all of these appear to be live yet.

Dolby Atmos for Music is only available to subscribers on the Tidal HiFi tier. Compatible streaming players include the Apple TV 4k and Fire TV Stick 4k…

Lizzo evangelises Dolby Atmos Music

To help promote the format, Dolby has commissioned a series of short films that feature notable artists, such as Post Malone, Lizzo and J Balvin, explaining why Dolby Atmos Music is ‘a game-changing way to create and experience music’.

Tidal’s library of music in Dolby Atmos is limited but growing, and includes Ariana Grande’s 7 rings, The Weeknd’s After Hours, and Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s Señorita. Tidal owner Jay-Z is said to be a big fan.

Playback is designed to be straightforward. Tidal HiFi will automatically default to a Dolby Atmos mix when compatible devices are available. To locate songs in Dolby Atmos, go to the Home screen and look under ‘Available in Dolby Atmos’ or search ‘Dolby Atmos’ to find tracks in the format.

Giles Martin talks Dolby Atmos for Music in Abbey Road Studios

It’s not only new music that’ll be made available in Dolby Atmos. Old classics are also being remastered in the format.

TLR was recently invited to the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London to hear the Dolby Atmos remix of The Beatles classic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – and the result sounded amazing. At the moment, the Atmos redux is only available on Amazon Music HD.

The multichannel mix was helmed by producer Giles Martin, who took the original four track master tapes from the original studio sessions and recreated a shiny new holographic sound mix.

Martin suggests that to best take in the Dolby Atmos for Music experience, fans should try listening in darkness, to heighten the sense of immersion.

What is Dolby Atmos Music?

Dolby Atmos Music is an audio only version of the popular immersive cinema sound system, commonly enjoyed in multiplexes and on home theatre AV systems and compatible soundbars. Dolby Atmos seeks to engulf the listener with sound, adding a height channel to the traditional 5.1 surround layout. While Dolby Atmos for movies and TV shows enables effects to be steered around the soundstage, with dialogue locked to the screen, Dolby Atmos Music can be far more experiential and inventive, allowing an artist to be completely creative with their music mix.

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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