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SPATIAL IS THE PLACE

The hi-fi wars continue to escalate, this time with Amazon Music launching its own sonic assault; as of today (10/19), Amazon Music Unlimited customers can stream spatial audio on their iOS and Android devices and select devices that support Alexa Cast, such as the Echo Studio.

Unlike Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, Amazon’s version doesn’t require additional equipment (i.e. headphones) to maximize the listening experience. Dolby Atmos and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio codecs are both compatible, depending on which format the audio was delivered in.

For today’s Amazon launch, Alicia Keys’ entire catalog was made available in 360 Reality Audio. In November, Amazon Music will release Mercury–Act 1 (Amazon Music Live), a new EP from Imagine Dragons mixed in Dolby Atmos. The five-track EP was recorded on the roof of the Amazon Music office in Brooklyn.

Said Keys, “Over the last year, my engineer Ann Mincieli and I worked passionately to reimagine my catalog in 360 Reality Audio, a process that found us poring through music we love. Making these spatial audio mixes revealed unforgettable moments—little details that define a song but tend to hide in the mix. I can’t wait for you to fall in love with my music all over again.”

Spotify is now the only major streaming service without a high-res audio option, though the company announced Spotify Hifi back in February. Not even the fiends over on Reddit know when it’s coming out. 

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