Sunday, June 20

Apple Music could be what Spatial Audio needs to go mainstream

Apple Music has been promoting its new Spatial Audio feature, and after spending time with it, MobileSyrup pop-punk expert Patrick O’Rourke and Whalberg fan Brad Bennett have some initial thoughts on whether it really is. the future of music. .

We decided to break this up similar to how MobileSyrup covered the iOS and PC beta of Xbox Cloud games, given the sound quality is quite subjective and everyone hears things a little differently.

We haven’t been able to test all the songs yet either, so if you’re an Apple Music listener who has found a really interesting Spatial Audio track, please drop us a comment or tweet us at ‘@Patrick_ORourke ‘o’@TheBradFad.

“I expected the sound to move and fly around my head when I listen to songs with Spatial Audio,” Bennett.

Apple isn’t saying how many songs are available on Spatial Audio, and the company only claims there are thousands. For this story, we focus on the songs available at Apple’s’Made for spatial audio‘playlist on Apple Music.

It’s worth noting that Spatial Audio with Apple Music currently doesn’t work the same as audio technology with Apple TV. For example, while Spatial Audio with Apple Music offers a wider soundstage and 3D effect, there is no head tracking that adjusts the location of the sound when you turn your head. Apple says it has plans to bring Apple TV’s head-tracking feature to the platform this fall, likely in conjunction with the release of iOS 15.

It’s also worth noting that Spatial Audio isn’t the same as the high-quality Apple Music Lossless Audio that the tech giant has been promoting that requires wired headphones to get the most out of it (it will eventually work on the HomePod mini).

With that out of the way, let’s get into it.

There is potential

Brad bennett

So far I’ve tested Spatial Audio wirelessly through a pair of AirPods Max and wired through Shure Aonic 50s.

My first reaction to the feature is that it’s a bit disappointing, but at least Spatial Audio’s tracks always sound pretty good. With that said, I didn’t really notice any outstanding audio effects with the current selection that Apple Music has available, that is until I heard Diana Ross I’m leaving.

The audio mix in that song places the backing vocals further back in space, so it really feels like there are people singing in the background and less like a lower volume version of Diana playing below the main part of the song. .

Other songs I tried were able to make some sounds come from slightly different directions, but beyond making the overall soundscape bigger, nothing seemed to take advantage of this new recording feature. For the most part, since you wear headphones, the music still feels like it’s predominantly coming from the left and right channels.

With that in mind, the expanded soundscape effect should not be discredited, as it is one of the things I notice the most when using high-end wired headphones. Also, the fact that Apple has been able to create software to bring that effect to more people is no small feat.

What I keep thinking while testing Spatial Audio is the first song I listened to with headphones that really took advantage of the stereo separation, the somewhat cheesy track, Ddirty Dancing by New Kids on the Block. The song has this really fun audio glitch effect that spreads from ear to ear and back that sounds really cool. It’s almost as if the music is moving through your head, in a sense.

Probably due to this experience, I expected the sound to move and fly around my head when listening to songs with Spatial Audio.

Overall, I’m very excited to see what musicians can do to take advantage of Spatial Audio. For example, a duo at Spatial Audio could do some cool stuff with calls and answers or maybe New Kids on the Block will come back to show us how it’s done. For now, I think we should wait for the music industry to catch up and master this new mixing technology.

I only listen to it with new songs

Patrick O’Rourke

I have tried Spatial Audio on Amazon Prime music in the past and was not impressed with the results. In fact, he would go so far as to say that he really couldn’t hear the difference.

Given how much Apple has been promoting Spatial Audio on Apple Music, I had relatively high expectations for the technology’s introduction to the streaming service. Like Brad, I found that Spatial Audio can be awesome at times, but it’s really hit or miss.

For example, Taylor Swift Cardigan sounds great pumping through the AirPods Max. I can really hear the separation in the backing instrumentals, and the sweeping soundscape feels genuinely three-dimensional.

“While there is definitely a lot of promise with Apple’s spatial audio, it really does seem to work better with some tracks than others.”

Good 4 u, Olivia Rodrigo’s The sheer punch of a track sounds amazing on Spatial Audio. In fact, it makes the song sound better, revealing different audio tracks and backing tracks that I haven’t heard before (and I’ve listened to this song a lot over the past few weeks).

On the other hand, Blink 182’s What is my age again It sounds like a muddy mess of pop-punk power cords, with Mark Hoppus’s iconic vocal delivery subdued to such a level that it’s almost unrecognizable. I experienced a reaction similar to The Fall Out Boy Whirlpool Sugar, let’s go down. While the track doesn’t sound any worse with Spatial Audio, it definitely doesn’t add anything to it either.

Spatial Audio and AirPods Max

There’s a chance that technology won’t suit the sometimes painful simplicity of pop-punk, especially given how genuinely cool. By Kacey Musgrave Space cowboy Y By Billie Eilish Therefore I am sound with Spatial Audio.

At least to some extent, I also feel that older songs don’t sound as good on Apple’s version of Spatial Audio, which might have something to do with more modern recording techniques that work better with audio technology.

However, Counting crows August and everything that comes after – a song that my inner Gen X loves – sounds stellar on Spatial Audio, so maybe there is no truth to my theory.

In the end, while there are definitely a lot of promise with Apple’s spatial audio, it really does seem to work better with some tracks than others.


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