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Why? Recordings and surround sound

Sancus

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Moving beyond stereo, like Amazon Music and Apple Music are, is definitely emerging, but in the case of those two companies their target markets appear to be smart speakers (Echo & HomePod). Yuck.

Apple's target is spatial audio with their own headphones. AppleTVs will also play the Atmos music direct to your AVR or whatever, it works well. It's actually the best source of streaming multi-channel music out there.

You don't really need special headphones -- what you do need is some way to do head tracking. There are various approaches including some that use webcams etc. But obviously the best usability is headphones with that hardware built-in like the Apple ones.

Amazon sucks at music or really any media lol, Prime Video is terrible too.

I'm not convinced that multi-channel headphones are driving the recording industry in any way.
I can only tell you what I've been told by a manager at UMG, which is that they're strongly encouraging all their artists to opt in to Atmos versions of their albums if they're even remotely popular. I'm sure it's not universal but there is a strong drive at some of the biggest labels.
 

Putter

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Agreed. The issue is how far in expense and annoyance one is willing to go to get the advantages of multichannel sound. The annoyances are, of course, speakers and cables everywhere. Having discussed this question with several people over the years, the factor that needs to change is readiness of the recording industry. Most recordings, even in the classical and jazz realms, just aren't created for multi-channel masters. And I refuse to become one of those audiophiles who choose their recording library based on how well it complements their equipment. If anything, I see the music industry focusing more on headphones, earbuds, and car audio than they are high quality home environments, as I've bitched about multiple times before in this forum. For the time being, L/R speakers and subs are as far as I'm willing to go.
Most of my NEW purchases are multichannel although not necessarily highest quality which is to say that a multichannel DVD beats the pants off of it's CD equivalent IMO. I make the distinction between new and used because most of my CD purchases are thrift store CD's for $1.00 or less. Besides being cheapskate CD's especially the older ones are not highly compressed like most recent pop music.
 
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