Amazon Music Starts Streaming Spatial Audio to Any Headphones Like Apple, Clubhouse Race to Introduce Spatial Audio Features
Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can now stream songs with spatialized sound to their current headphones through the service’s iOS and Android apps, along with a handful of new home speaker systems. Amazon announced its vast expansion of spatial audio support just hours after Apple unveiled spatial audio as a feature in the new AirPods 3 headphones, marking an escalation in streaming audio competition among the tech giants, especially when it comes to hearing aids.
Time to hear space
Spatial audio recreates the way people hear three-dimensional sound. Amazon Music offers thousands of songs mixed to mimic the auditory performance in the room, with relative volume and other elements adjusted to suggest direction and distance. Amazon supports both Sony Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos spatial audio systems, although this primarily concerns artists and producers. Spatial audio support is new to several Sony wireless speakers and home theater systems, with Sonos Arc and Beam joining the list later this year. Amazon Music Unlimited membership at $ 8 per month for Prime members and $ 10 per month for non-Prime members also automatically grants access to HD and Ultra HD music. Amazon’s interest seems to be focused on spatial audio right now.
“We have always believed that the highest possible quality audio should be the standard for music streaming, and that is why today we make spatial audio available to our customers without any special equipment. required and no upgrades required, ”Amazon Music Vice President Steve Boom said. “We can’t wait for even more fans around the world to hear the vibrancy and nuance of music in spatial audio with just their favorite headphones and experience new details in the albums they love for the very first time. “
3D audio contest
Amazon’s plans for spatial audio have undoubtedly been in the works for some time. Still, it’s worth noting that the company shared the update less than a day after Apple introduced the AirPods 3 wireless headphones and their built-in spatial audio using the same Dolby Atmos technology as Amazon. The $ 180 wireless earbuds look a lot like the current AirPods Pro, but with upgrades and improved battery life. Apple Music started enabling spatial audio on iOS and Android over the summer, and Spotify shared its plans for a higher quality audio service called Spotify HiFi. The moment of spatial audio extends beyond music: Netflix has revealed plans for spatial audio in its mobile apps, and its social audio platform Clubhouse recently began integrating spatial audio to improve its virtual conference rooms and make them more realistic.
Amazon is actively encouraging more mixed audio content for 3D experiences as it watches Apple, Spotify, and other competitors. The announcement included new additions to songs using the tech, including an upcoming Imagine Dragons EP that will air exclusively on Amazon Music and a remix of all of Alicia Keys’ work.
“Over the past year, my engineer Ann Mincieli and I have worked passionately to reinvent my catalog in 360 Reality Audio, a process that has allowed us to immerse ourselves in the music we love so much! Alicia Keys said in a statement. “Making those spatial audio mixes revealed some unforgettable moments, little details that define a song but tend to lurk in the mix. I’m so proud of the results and can’t wait for you to fall in love with my music again in 360 Reality Audio on Amazon Music.
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