Dolby Atmos Music, the immersive music format that uses the same object-based technology as Dolby Atmos for movies, is now available on Tidal to subscribers of that service’s HiFi tier. Tidal now hosts a growing library of music available in Dolby Atmos from Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. The current library includes songs from some of the world’s biggest artists such as The Weeknd, Blondie, Ariana Grande, and others. Tidal says it is also working with its artist-owners, including Jay-Z, to mix their catalogs in Dolby Atmos, which are expected to become available in 2020.
To take advantage of Dolby Atmos Music on Tidal you’ll need a HiFi level membership which normally costs $20 per month, and a compatible device. For now, that list of devices is limited to specific Android smartphones and tablets that Tidal has authorized to receive Dolby Atmos:
- Samsung (Galaxy S10, S10+, Galaxy Fold, Tab S5, and others)
- Huawei (Mate 20 x, Mate 20 Pro, and others)
- Oppo (Reno ACE and others)
- RAZER Phone 2
- Sony Xperia 1 and 5
If you have one of these devices, you can hear Dolby Atmos Music through the built-in speakers, or a set of connected headphones.
Dolby Labs says it’s working with Tidal and its device partners to bring Atmos Music to more devices in the future.
Prior to this announcement, the only way to experience Dolby Atmos Music was via Amazon Music HD, but only if you own Amazon’s Echo Studio, a 3D-sound smart speaker that is compatible with the immersive format. Strangely, there’s currently no way to get Atmos Music on an Atmos-equipped home theater speaker system or soundbar, even if you can access Amazon Music HD or Tidal HiFi on those setups.
The addition of Dolby Atmos Music to Tidal brings the total number of streaming services that support it to two. Hopefully, 2020 will bring further announcements about streaming and device support.
Dolby Atmos Music is expanding its reach at the same time that Sony is developing access to its own immersive music format, Sony 360 Reality Audio, which is available on Amazon Music HD, Tidal, and Deezer. It’s not clear yet whether artists will release their music in both formats, or if certain labels will be exclusively connected to one format.
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