What's new

Apple Lossless and Spatial Audio (2 Viewers)

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
8,935
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
As long as we still continue to get high quality (lossless) stereo w/ all releases (except perhaps those that truly necessitate use of Atmos/Spatial Audio), I'm fine w/ this experiment that may end up being more gimmickry than real substance (most of the time)...

_Man_
 
Last edited:

Josh Steinberg

Premium
Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
23,057
Real Name
Josh Steinberg
it’s just a matter of time till it rolls out everywhere.

There was a moment in time not long ago when movie studios stated that 100% of their releases would be in 3D. There was a moment when they said one day soon everything would be HFR. There was certainly an enthusiast base for at least the former, but not enough to get anywhere close to becoming the new standard for everything.

This feels similar to me. I think the general public is satisfied with and will remain satisfied with old fashioned stereo. I wonder how many people these days are listening to the majority of their music on Atmos capable sound systems vs little Bluetooth boxes.
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
8,935
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
There was a moment in time not long ago when movie studios stated that 100% of their releases would be in 3D. There was a moment when they said one day soon everything would be HFR. There was certainly an enthusiast base for at least the former, but not enough to get anywhere close to becoming the new standard for everything.

This feels similar to me. I think the general public is satisfied with and will remain satisfied with old fashioned stereo. I wonder how many people these days are listening to the majority of their music on Atmos capable sound systems vs little Bluetooth boxes.

It could easily fizzle like multichannel hirez on SACD, DVD-A, BD-A although it's benefiting from the increasingly mainstream, streaming factor (and the Apple brand) and what seems like increasing adoption of more expensive, bigger headphones that might make enough diff for a good number of people. Would probably need substantially more affordable/attractive pricing than those AirPods Maxes though (probably down below the $200 mark, if not lower)...

_Man_
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
26,756
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Multi-channel audio doesn't require extra gear no one wants to use (contra 3D glasses and special TVs), can be heard and appreciated by normal people (contra SACD), and doesn't require sacrificing mobile listening (contra DVD-A and BD-A). It's basically free, done by the producers, and comes to the listener without any effort or extra cost or special tech.

Multi-channel / surround audio by way of streaming services and stereo downmixes will likely become the new "stereo".

And like stereo in the early days, it might have a number of high-profile, over-wrought, bad sounding, experimental mixes until everyone collectively figures out how to make "spatial" sound good for all different genres.
 

ManW_TheUncool

His Own Fool
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2001
Messages
8,935
Location
The BK
Real Name
ManW
Multi-channel audio... It's basically free, done by the producers, and comes to the listener without any effort or extra cost or special tech.

Multi-channel / surround audio by way of streaming services and stereo downmixes will likely become the new "stereo".

And like stereo in the early days, it might have a number of high-profile, over-wrought, bad sounding, experimental mixes until everyone collectively figures out how to make "spatial" sound good for all different genres.

IF it's "basically free", it probably won't be that good or appreciably better enough to matter.

That was part of the problem w/ previous multichannel hirez audio, but of course, like I said, this will benefit significantly from the trend of streaming adoption and seemingly also a fair number of people willing to go w/ larger, more expensive headphones than in the past (though headphone makers will likely still need to bring appreciable diffs to lower priced models)... plus the Apple brand to promote it...

IF it's not really that good, then we may well be better off w/ good stereo in most cases instead.

You'd likely be mistaken to think previous multichannel audio formats failed only because of the issues you point out... though they are obviously big hurdles for mainstream adoption. But why didn't any of them catch on quite that much w/ people who did continue to buy music on discs? And lower bitrate lossy formats like DTS existed alongside the lossless hirez ones too. Truth is we could long have been streaming lossy multichannel music if there was all that much interest before. It didn't actually have to be hirez, lossless at high bitrates if the producers and platforms cared to provide them for a potentially burgeoning market, if such a market actually existed.

Honestly, the last thing I (and probably most any audiophile) would want is what we'll likely get w/ what you suggest. We'll just get largely mediocre multichannel mixes forced on us to be down-mixed to lower quality stereo (than what we currently get)...

Down-mixing seems to work reasonably well for movie soundtracks and the like, but probably not quite so well for music... at least for those of us more discerning than the avg Joe me thinks...

I hope that doesn't come to pass... Hate to say it, but if that's really the plan, I hope they fail and we just stay w/ the old tried-and-true stereo...

_Man_
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
26,756
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
IF it's "basically free", it probably won't be that good or appreciably better enough to matter.

It’s just studio recording and production time and talent. High quality stereo production is basically free. Soon, high quality surround production may be basically free and normal.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
61,002
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
I tried the new Apple Music spatial audio for the first time yesterday, sampling a few Pop tunes.

I was using my new iPad Pro and Airpods Max. The connection was Bluetooth.

I couldn't make out the spatial separation in any of the tunes I selected. I think I selected a Billie Ellish and Lady GaGa song to try.

I went into the Bluetooth settings and made certain spatial audio was turned on for the Airpods Max. They were, by default.

Is there something I am missing here? I did go to YouTube and listen to a spatial audio demo by Dolby Labs and that worked fine.

Perhaps I'll go back into Music again tomorrow to try again.
 

Sam Posten

Moderator
Premium
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 30, 1997
Messages
31,873
Location
Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
Real Name
Sam Posten
A make sure to listen in those playlists to be sure
B make sure you don’t have those songs already downloaded as stereo
C make sure you have Atmos music enabled and lossless on
8BDC2153-E344-4148-B8E3-2309C37577E5.jpeg
AEA335E3-71E9-45D8-8D77-402D2CDDDCB7.jpeg

58B6F64E-8ECE-4AB4-A8A6-16ACEEBC890F.jpeg
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
61,002
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
A make sure to listen in those playlists to be sure
B make sure you don’t have those songs already downloaded as stereo
C make sure you have Atmos music enabled and lossless on



Sam,

That was the issue. Would never had thought to look into the settings and turn those on specifically.

So, I am sitting here listening to Spatial Audio and I am very impressed by how open the soundstage is. Really remarkable.

Thanks for helping me with this!

BTW, really trying to get into Billie Ellish but vocals are depressing. Very downward, not upbeat. The music is interesting but I have trouble getting into her style of singing.


PS: Was having a lot of issues with my AirPods Max not connecting to any of my devices. Called Apple Support and they told me to do a factory reset which is essentially holding down the noise canceling and crown buttons together for 20 seconds. That fixed the issue and now they auto-reconnect to each device again.
 

Ronald Epstein

Founder
Owner
Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
61,002
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
She’s not my style but I love this song in Atmos:

Yes, this is an excellent song. I like the musical ”hook” which is very hypnotic. Again, there is just something so downtrodden about her voice, yet the music is pretty darn good.

Best soundstage I have heard is Rush’s Tom Sawyer. About 2:30 in Neal Peart’s drums circle your brain.

Just listened to it, and you are right, the drums almost seem to encircle your head.

I have been reading article after article about how Apple Music has gone to the top as being the best music service out there. This Spatial Audio and Hi-Rez update really puts this service in first place for me. I am really thinking about canceling my Qobuz subscription when it’s up next January. However, I still don’t know if Apple Hi-Rez is compatible with Sonos. Qobuz was advertising themselves as being the only service that Sonos supports for high resolution audio playback.
 

Sam Posten

Moderator
Premium
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 30, 1997
Messages
31,873
Location
Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
Real Name
Sam Posten
However, I still don’t know if Apple Hi-Rez is compatible with Sonos. Qobuz was advertising themselves as being the only service that Sonos supports for high resolution audio playback.

not familiar with that at all. I’m getting the THX Onyx DAC in this week to try out with a variety of services, they recommend Tidal Master Audio.

and no spoilers but this is not the only link we at HTF will see soon to THX/Razer =)
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
350,763
Messages
4,929,976
Members
142,910
Latest member
fadilale
Recent bookmarks
0
Top