Apple's Zane Lowe Introduces Apple Music Spatial Audio

Apple Music over the weekend highlighted a Spatial Audio-focused "special event," and it turns out that event is a discussion between Apple's Zane Lowe and music producers No I.D., Sylvia Massy, and Manny Marroquin.


The ‌Apple Music‌ event can be watched in the ‌Apple Music‌ app or on YouTube, and it features Lowe and the music producers discussing the evolution of music and the sound improvements for music fans.

Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio for ‌Apple Music‌ began rolling out last night, with special Spatial Audio tracks now available in the ‌Apple Music‌ app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos is a feature that artists need to implement when mixing music, so it is not available for all songs. Apple has, however, introduced thousands of Spatial Audio songs, including popular titles like Lady Gaga's "Rain on Me."

For those unfamiliar with Spatial Audio, it is a three-dimensional audio format that is designed to let musicians create songs where the instruments sound like they're coming from multiple places in the spaces around you.

In an interview shared earlier today, Apple's Eddy Cue likened Spatial Audio to watching high-definition TV for the first time.

Top Rated Comments

steevn Avatar
2 weeks ago

I’ll be over here listening to the Beatles in mono on wax. No amount of gimmicks is going to make Billie Eilish music appetizing.
You don’t need any gimmicks to like at least some of her songs.

The fact that there are so many people who say the same exact thing you just did while using the Beatles as some type of nod to knowing “good” music is one of the most confusing things I’ve ever witnessed in my life.

The Beatles literally made all different types of music and sounds and experimented, but when there’s anyone new making different sounding music it’s suddenly all the Beatles “fans” that are most against these things. It’s mind blowing the lack of self awareness in these type of statements, and they’ve been happening for like 50 years now.

No I’m not a huge Billie fan, but even I can appreciate “everything I wanted” and not immediately write it off.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JoshuaBru Avatar
2 weeks ago
I’ll be over here listening to the Beatles in mono on wax. No amount of gimmicks is going to make Billie Eilish music appetizing.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FightTheFuture Avatar
2 weeks ago

You don’t need any gimmicks to like at least some of her songs.

The fact that there are so many people who say the same exact thing you just did while using the Beatles as some type of nod to knowing “good” music is one of the most confusing things I’ve ever witnessed in my life.

The Beatles literally made all different types of music and sounds and experimented, but when there’s anyone new making different sounding music it’s suddenly all the Beatles “fans” that are most against these things. It’s mind blowing the lack of self awareness in these type of statements, and they’ve been happening for like 50 years now.

No I’m not a huge Billie fan, but even I can appreciate “everything I wanted” and not immediately write it off.
Yep. The Beatles > everything after gets tiresome. Had a friend in college who couldn’t get over that. I’ll listen to anything these days. Ariana Grande, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Justin Bieber. As long as you can find enjoyment that’s all that matters. Being open to new things instills youth.
Spatial audio and Dolby Atmos is just icing on top of an AM sub.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
decisions Avatar
2 weeks ago
The fact that Buddy Holly is right there in the sponsored playlist when the Atmos mix for it is so woefully awful makes me worry about the amount of thought that Apple put into this.

I also wonder why most people were saying that Atmos mixes or surround sound mixes were made for most songs. It seems that they are only available for a subset of mainstream music. Some songs, like Here Comes the Sun, sound different, but I am not sure they actually sound better. Other songs like Buddy Holly, Sugar We're Going Down, What's My Age Again? and the new Gojira album all sound way worse than the stereo mix.

Overall, seems rushed. Glad we got lossless though.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cayden Avatar
2 weeks ago
I haven’t found a single song that actually sounds better in any way compared to normal stereo sound. Maybe some people will like it, but it just completely destroys the actual mix IMO. To me it just sounds distant, adds more phase cancellations and offsets, and adds way too much reverb. I couldn’t hear any more details and actually lost clarity on a good number of songs I tried. Also, it doesn’t really add to the dynamic range because it just decreases the volume of everything, meaning you just have to turn it up making it harder to do A/B comparisons
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brianjlambert Avatar
2 weeks ago

I’m struggling to hear much of a difference with the spatial audio playlists and my Sennheiser's. If anything the music sounds a bit quieter and kind of muffled. I'm a little confused. Do headphones need a specific feature to make this work correctly?
[HEADING=2]If you choose Automatic, here’s what you need[/HEADING]
Supported songs automatically play in Dolby Atmos when you're listening with:

* AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max
* BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, or Beats Solo Pro
* The built-in speakers on a MacBook Pro (2018 model or later), MacBook Air (2018 model or later), or iMac (2020 model or later)

[HEADING=2]If you choose Always On, here’s what you need[/HEADING]
If you want to use other headphones that don’t support automatic playback, choose Always On. This setting only applies to headphones.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212182
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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