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Audible brings immersive Dolby Atmos to its audiobooks

Amazon-owned Audible, one of the largest sources of audiobooks, has announced a new partnership with Dolby Labs that will see Dolby Atmos come to its audiobook collection for the first time. Dolby Atmos is a spatial audio surround sound format that is used for movies and music to create a more immersive, 3D experience that goes beyond traditional stereo sound.

The Dolby Atmos collection includes more than 40 of Audible’s most popular Originals, including titles like The Little Mermaid, a new version of the story featuring an underwater soundscape and original music; and the Audible Theater production Marrow, part of the company’s Emerging Playwright Commission program, which is designed to elevate emerging theatrical voices while increasing access to plays and performances.

Other titles in the series include:

  • Letters From Camp: Jamie Lee Curtis’s hit series is a heartfelt comedy told through letters written from camp. The tween-aged Mookie tries to uncover the legend of the Lady of the Lake and make friends with literally anyone, all while learning what it means to be a Camp Cartwright camper.
  • Maejor Frequency: a groundbreaking sound experience by renowned music producer and performer, Maejor.
  • Marrow: Aditi Kapil’s original drama tells the story of an ambitious young audio producer who gets more than she bargains for when a routine masterclass interview with a legendary novelist reveals a shocking confession.
  • Oliver Twist: an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic, executive produced by Academy-Award-winning director Sam Mendes, with an original score by The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells (Everyone’s Taking About Jamie), and features an all-star cast including Brian Cox (Succession) as Fagin, among others.
  • The Prophecy: Featuring a star-studded cast including Emmy Award-winner Kerry Washington and Daniel Dae Kim (Lost), The Prophecy is a supernatural thriller written by Randy McKinnon from Washington’s Simpson Street Productions, along with premium content studio and podcast network QCODE.
  • The Sandman Act III: The third installment of the New York Times best-selling audio saga. Award-winning audio trailblazer Dirk Maggs adapts and directs the blockbuster DC graphic novel series written by Neil Gaiman (Good Omens).

To find these titles, search for “dolby atmos” in the Audible app. To listen to them, you’ll need an Audible membership and the Audible app on an Android or iOS mobile device that is Dolby Atmos-enabled.

This isn’t the first time that Audible has dabbled in content that goes beyond standard two-channel stereo. It already has a collection of audiobooks that make use of 3D audio, a similar but not identical version of spatial audio to Dolby Atmos.

Audiobooks are very popular with drivers and an increasing number of vehicles now come equipped with Dolby Atmos-capable sound systems. Likewise, wireless home speaker company, Sonos, has just launched the Era 300,  its first speaker designed specifically for Dolby Atmos Music. And yet, so far, there’s no word on when Audible’s Dolby Atmos audiobooks will be available outside of the Audible mobile app.

Amazon is no stranger to Dolby Atmos. Many of its movies and shows on Amazon Prime Video are available in Dolby Atmos, while its Amazon Music Unlimited streaming music subscription has one of the largest collections of Dolby Atmos Music tracks.

Now that Audible has announced its first collection of Dolby Atmos titles, it will be interesting to see if Apple follows suit. Apple also has its own audiobook collection and has been a big supporter of Dolby Atmos spatial audio on its Apple Music service as well as its wireless AirPod family of headphones and earbuds.

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Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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