Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers will now be able to access spatial audio on their headphones through the Amazon Music app for Android and iOS. Amazon is giving two formats of spatial audio including Dolby Atmos and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio. Until now Amazon’s spatial Audio was limited to devices including Echo Studio and Sony’s SRS-RA5000.
Eligible users will now be able to play spatial audio on all headphones. Spatial audio enables listeners to feel like the sound is moving around users and is coming from different directions. Users will see an Atmos or 360 badges in the Amazon Music app when playing spatial audio tracks. Users can tap on it to toggle between the spatial audio and stereo versions to hear the difference. Amazon has prepared a Best of Spatial Audio playlist for users who want to listen to music in spatial audio.
In the United States, the Amazon Music Unlimited subscription costs US $7.99 (approximately Rs 600) per month for Prime members and $9.99 (approximately Rs.700) for non-Prime members. However, in India, Amazon Music comes bundled with Prime membership. This means that if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can use Prime Music at no extra cost. The spatial audio feature is yet to be rolled out for Indian users as we could not spot any Atmos or 360 badges, however there are some spatial audio tracks available in the catalogue.
Amazon notes that spatial audio delivers a “multidimensional audio experience, adding space, clarity, and depth that is not achievable with traditional stereo music.” Back in May, Amazon announced that it would offer lossless audio as well as spatial audio for subscribers at no extra cost. The company said that it will not charge any additional fee for the HD tier of Amazon Music.
Amazon Music offers 70 million songs in lossless audio in CD quality. The subscribers get two options to choose from including HD and Ultra HD quality. The HD mode presents CD-Quality audio that preserves details of the original file whereas the Ultra HD mode offers better quality music than the CD quality and the audio captures more detail of the studio recordings.
Meanwhile, Apple has launched third generation of AirPods that support spatial audio and are sweat and water-resistant. Apple promises an improved battery life, claiming a playback time of up to six hours and up to four hours of talk time on a single charge. The new AirPods come with a custom driver and a high dynamic range amplifier for optimum audio quality. They are also equipped with adaptive EQ that tunes sound in real-time based on how AirPods fit in the user’s ear. There is spatial audio support with dynamic head tracking to provide a three-dimensional theatre-like experience.