Surrounding the listener with your music has the potential to re-ignite the musical passion in us all.
Dolby Atmos has been used in movie theaters since 2012. But only in the last few years has it started gaining traction in music. The greatest advantage of the Atmos technology is the scalability of the deliverable file. One file can play back on up to 35 speakers, down to a simple 5.1.2 home theater system, a standard 2 speaker home stereo, car stereo and even headphones complete with a binaural 360 spatial effect.
How does atmos work irl
It's true. Currently, most people listen to music using headphones and earbuds. So, how does that work for Atmos? Well, there is a provision built into Atmos for music that will play a binaural render of the mix. This will work on any headphones and earbuds. But, it's not really Atmos. Binaural is an emulation or simulation of how humans hear based on time delays, diffusion and reflections based on your torso, head and ear canals. This is referred to as Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF). The Atmos mix is folded down to only 2 speakers and some filtering, equalization and reverb is added to give a spatial effect that only works with headphones or earbuds.
When someone listens to an Atmos mix on Apple Music using AirPods, AirMax or some versions of Beats, they will automatically hear Apple's Spatial Audio instead of binaural.
Apple Spatial Audio
Apple has licensed Dolby Atmos to offer their own special version of audio that surrounds the listener when wearing their (specific models) AirPod or Beats headphones. It really sounds like the music jumps out of your head, into it's own space.