Spotify, for many, has become a mainstream product when it comes to finding and listening to music. It’s a minimalist application found on many phones that allows users to build out their curated options of music and listen to them anytime. Although a great service, there are several limitations it has to other streaming services.
Can Spotify support Dolby Atmos?
Unfortunately, regardless of what plan you select with Spotify, there’s no option yet that allows or supports Dolby Atmos. This is a demand that is slowly growing, and some services are offering it. There’s also no roadmap or plan if and or when Spotify will actually provide any type of support regarding Dolby Atmos.
In addition, not only does Spotify not support Dolby Atmos, it doesn’t support 5.1 surround sound for its music options either. It’s possible through audio modulation and manipulation through your computer to enhance the quality of the sound, but it isn’t a standard option.
When it comes to the quality of sound that comes from Spotify, its standard setting is only offering music at 160kps (when you use the mobile application). You’re able to pay for Spotify premium that will stream music at a maximum of 320kps. In most cases, this is sufficient enough but doesn’t even come close to high definition or CD quality.
What is Dolby Atmos all about?
Why even care about Dolby Atmos? Well, it’s the latest when it comes to how clear and crisp we’re able to hear our music. It essentially creates an area where the sound is such high quality; it sounds as it would in real life. It’s near-perfect to the real thing and is an amazing tool when it comes to artists, creators, and purists in the music world.
It’s the epitome of how far we’ve come with digital audio and how life-like we’re able to make it sound. It also has advanced functionality for the power user to be able to isolate all the different sounds and parts of the music.
That means you can isolate the percussion from the vocals and even take away any of the instruments one by one. So essentially, you’re able to hear music in different variations on the spot through this separation and isolation.
Dolby Atmos goes beyond even 7.1 surround sound systems. This is due to the creation of the sound being so unique that as you move around in an area that has the Dolby Atmos hardware, each area will sound unique. Also, depending on if it’s combined with a movie, it will shift to be more in line with the angles of the movies.
Where will I find Dolby Atmos?
Right now, many movie theaters are making upgrades to Dolby Atmos, as it truly enhances the viewing experience with exceptional audio combined with the video portion. With Dolby Atmos, you can suspend disbelief enough that you can actually feel inside of the movie, without the need for gimmicks such as 3D glasses or specialized VR or AR headsets.
You can also find it on many video streaming services. As our TVs, laptops, and tablets continue to push the limits of hardware, the compatibility with these video streaming services and your home hardware shouldn’t be a problem.
There must be some music streaming services offering Dolby Atmos.
Well, there are actually only two that are able to support it. Streaming music is so successful because of how compact and non-resource-intensive it is. There would need to be a massive upgrade to the storage capacities of music to be able to include the object-oriented strategy of Dolby Atmos.
It’s the idea of a song being combined through separate musical pieces. Each piece is the equivalent of a song on Spotify or another streaming service. When combined, we get the same song in Dolby Atmos quality, but it’s exponentially bigger.
With that said, Amazon Music HD currently is offering Dolby Atmos. They were already providing 24-bit 192 kHz (compared to Spotify’s 16-bit at 44.1 kHz). Yet with their unlimited music pass, they’ve included Dolby Atmos. Their next-gen devices, such as Amazon Echo, are able to play this ultra-high quality music easily.
Another music streaming service offering Dolby Atmos is Tidal, the Norwegian-based musical streaming service. You can enjoy Dolby Atmos on their mobile app or their TV app, as long as your TV or hardware is compatible with Dolby Atmos.
A version of the Dolby Atmos codec is also available through Apple devices and Apple Music. This also makes it highly compatible with ancillary hardware such as their Apple Air Pods.
What can I do with Spotify?
Well, if you’re happy with the service and you don’t feel as if there’s anything wrong with the music quality, then there’s nothing that needs to be done with your Spotify account. Other types of music streaming apps like Pandora offer 5.1 surround sound codecs for an enhanced musical experience, but they, like Spotify, don’t have any integration with Dolby Atmos codecs still.
It also depends on your preference. As mentioned earlier, lossless music can run even on the weakest cellular or Wi-Fi centers when it comes to being cost-effective. With this, there are some amazing benefits to using Spotify, Pandora, or similar low latency products.
However, Dolby Atmos requires a lot more horsepower that doesn’t always mean it’s going to be such a mind-blowing experience as you might think.
Think of what your needs are
This is another item to consider. Unless you’re actually in the music or movie industry, you may not have even known that Dolby Atmos even existed. Maybe the corner of your eye caught it recently when you saw a blockbuster movie at the theater recently, but the nuances of what we can hear and what our brains will process are two very different things.
The ideal solution would be to simply try services with Dolby Atmos and see if it’s even going to be a relevant addition to how you listen to music.