How to Enjoy Spatial Audio with Apple Music and Dolby Atmos

How to Enjoy Spatial Audio with Apple Music and Dolby Atmos
Learn how to experience truly immersive 3D audio with UE CSX earphones and Apple Music’s Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos.



Have you ever wished you could listen to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major from the conductor’s podium? Or hear blink-182 in such detail you can measure the exact distance between Travis Barker’s snare drum and sweet ride cymbal? 

With Apple’s announcement of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos for Apple Music subscribers, you can experience immersive 3D audio when you connect your UE CSX earphones to supported iPhones, iPads or Macs. You can also enjoy Dolby Atmos on your Apple TV 4K with the latest version of tvOS and a compatible home theater system or sound bar. 



Lossless Audio vs. Dolby Atmos


As an audiophile, you’re probably familiar with lossless audio and how it differs from lossy audio files. But what’s the difference between lossless audio and Dolby Atmos? 

Lossless audio formats such as FLAC or ALAC preserve artists’ vision by providing an exact high-resolution reproduction of the original stereo digital master file. Apple’s High-Resolution Lossless Audio codec, for example, provides streaming ALAC files in a 24-bit resolution for unparalleled dynamic range and a sample rate of up to 192kHz for accurate playback across the audible frequency spectrum and beyond. In other words, if going from MP3 to FLAC is like going from VHS to Bluetooth, FLAC to Dolby Atmos is like going from HD to 8K. 

But Dolby Atmos isn’t just higher fidelity. It also replaces the stereo soundstage with an interactive 3D listening environment where artists and audio engineers can place sounds above, below and all around the listener. The result is a true-to-life experience brimming with new vertical and front-to-back dimensions like you’ve never heard before. It’s the future of ultra high-quality audio. It’s surround sound for music. 



How to Experience Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos  


Apple Music subscribers receive access to the Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos library at no additional cost. 



On iPhone


To experience your favorite recordings in Dolby Atmos, first download and install the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Although any version of iOS or iPadOS 14.6 or later supports Dolby Atmos, Apple is constantly adding features that will enhance your listening experience. 

After installation, navigate to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings Menu > Music > Audio and set Dolby Atmos to “Always On.”



On a Mac


Just like you would with your iPhone, make sure you have the latest version of MacOS downloaded on your computer. Any version above macOS Catalina should work, but you’ll get the most out of the current version. 

On your Mac, open the Music app, click on Preferences, go to the Playback tab and select “Always On” from the Dolby Atmos dropdown menu. 

With these settings and your UE CSX connected to your supported Apple device, Dolby Atmos-enabled tracks will play automatically. If your device is unsupported or a Dolby Atmos mix is unavailable, Apple Music will play the stereo mix in lossless audio. As Dolby Atmos files are quite large, a strong wifi connection is recommended. 



What to Expect in Dolby Atmos


Compared to the horizontal soundstage of a stereo master, Dolby Atmos puts you onstage and in the studio with your favorite artists as they perform all around you. For fans of classical music, it’s like stepping into the acoustic perfection of a storied and historic concert hall. 

Classic and contemporary pop, rock, jazz, folk,  hip-hop, country and R&B songs spring to life with vivid reverb effects, precise spatial positioning of instruments and energizing, in-your-face vocal performances so crystal clear it’s like you’re holding the microphone. 




Songs To Listen To In Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos


Now that you know what Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos is and how to take advantage of it, here are a few songs to listen to while testing out this new technology.



blink-182—What’s My Age Again?


Travis Barker’s drum performance shines like never before in Dolby Atmos. During the intro, Travis’ ride cymbals appear to hover above the bass guitar. Throughout the song, Barker’s powerful tom-tom fills punch through the mix with rich overtones and harmonic resonance that’s often tough to discern in a dense stereo mix.  



Prince—When Doves Cry


The Purple One’s guitar prowess are on full display throughout this classic Purple Rain cut. Notice how during the intro the guitar spirals across the soundstage from the front, sides and rear.  



Kasey Musgraves—High Horse


The opening seconds of this hit from the 2018 album Golden Hour are an impressive example of the kind of vertical listening made possible by Spatial Audio. The song literally rises up from the bottom of the soundstage to the top—when the vocals enter, it’s as though Musgraves is singing inside your own head. 



Eric Dolphy—Hat And Beard


Listening to Eric Dolphy’s “Hat And Beard” in Dolby Atmos is the closest you can get to being in Van Gelder Studios on February 25, 1964. The separation between the players is so apparent you can feel the wind coming off the bell of Dolphy’s bass clarinet. And thanks to Rudy Van Gelder’s vanguard production, the natural tape compression of the drum kit is something to hear. 



Ben Gernon & London Philharmonic Orchestra— The Planets, Op. 32 IV. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity


Dolby Atmos brings the front row center concert hall experience to your earphones for a breathtaking rendition of the fourth movement of Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite, The Planets. Listen closely to how the room acoustics reverberate all round the listener for a realistic and immersive listening session courtesy of Atmos’ three-dimensional soundstage.


Combined with the UE Custom app and its custom tone profiles, Ultimate Ears and Dolby Atmos are untouchable when it comes to a perfect fit and uncompromising audio quality at home and on-the-go. Click to learn more about UE CSX earphones.


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