Apple Music on Android devices will not include Dolby Atmos support when Apple launches Spatial Audio on the streaming service in June. That’s the claim from MySmartPrice, which says it received confirmation from Apple India that the sound technology would not be crossing the divide between Apple and Android ecosystems.
For anyone confused by all the audio nomenclature that’s been bandied about since the Apple Music announcement on Monday, Dolby Atmos is based on surround sound technology that first appeared in cinemas but is now found in many home cinema setups.
It improves on standard 5.1 and 7.1 channel setups by adding extra channels that sound as if they’re coming from overhead, resulting in a more immersive experience. The virtualized technology has since been used by sound engineers to enrich the recordings of both original and remixed music tracks.
Spatial Audio, based on Dolby Atmos, is basically Apple’s way of delivering a similar immersive three-dimensional audio to listeners through Apple hardware. Spatial Audio takes Dolby Atmos signals and applies its own directional audio filters to make sounds appear to be coming from all around you. However, as mentioned, it only works on Apple devices and Apple headphones like AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, and there’s no dynamic head tracking for Spatial Audio music like there is for movie soundtracks.
It’s not clear exactly why Dolby Atmos won’t be available for Apple Music users on Android when it launches, but it could be due to the lack of control Apple has over the handset and tablet hardware used, or perhaps rollout could come later. On the flip side, however, the higher quality Lossless audio streaming tier that Apple announced this week will be available on Apple Music for Android.