Ole Witthøft

Is Dolby Atmos the new way to experience music?

Last week I spent three days in Stockholm as a guest of the music studio Immersive Music.

We had a 5-hour train journey ahead of us, so I bought a good stack of leading HiFi magazines for entertainment on the journey.

Immersive Music is a modern (and legendary) studio where ABBA, Roxette, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and many others have been recording music for decades.

The music studio has taken a step towards a future where we listen to music in different places and formats.

I was curious to understand what artists and engineers think Atmos can do for the music experience.

Atmos gives you the feeling of being present in a 3-dimensional sound universe where the music unfolds around you.

The technology is comparable to surround sound, but Atmos is more sophisticated.

Immersive Music remixes music from Stereo to Dolby Atmos for international record labels to make them available to users of worldwide streaming services like Apple Music etc.

After hearing what Dolby Atmos can do for a music experience in the hands of skilled artists and engineers, I have to say it's amazing.

I might have thought Atmos was all about superficial sound effects, but it's deeper than that.

When engineers remix for Dolby Atmos, they carefully consider how the sense of space and the sound of the instruments can expand the experience and reveal more of the artist's universe.

It was done far more carefully than I might have imagined.

After the music is mixed to Atmos speakers, it is mixed to headphones.

Please note this! This is a different product!

The sound of Dolby Atmos for headphones is filtered to give the psychoacoustic experience of Atmos... but it's not quite the right experience.

The true Atmos experience is made to be heard on speakers.

It's no small side project when they're recording music either!

Atmos is the PRIMARY experience, the PRIMARY format that music is made for! Not stereo.

Atmos is what the artist is listening to, whether the music is classical, jazz or contemporary.

Today, the original music format is Dolby Atmos for speakers.

When the music lover hears the music in Dolby Atmos on headphones, it's a limited experience of the artist's work.

What did I get out of visiting a leading music studio?

  • Dolby Atmos is becoming the original format for music
  • True Dolby Atmos through speakers is not for everyone. It requires more speakers than most people want in their living room
  • Upgraded music experiences are WAY MORE on the agenda of artists and record labels than I thought
  • Atmos is already a great technology for home theater. Perhaps combined entertainment systems are a way for Atmos?

Two more things:

Our Silverback speakers are ready for wireless Dolby Atmos with Surround Hub.

In leading HiFi magazines, I found no articles about Dolby Atmos for music!

Thanks to Aske Jacoby, David Stenmarck, Willem Bleeker and Fredrik Landh

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Ole Witthøft
Ole is the founder of System Audio. His 3 greatest passions are music, design and technology. Every day, Ole is working on some kind of projects, and you find him in the workshop, in the production, behind a computer or on one of his many presentations around the world.

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