People who prefer to spend their nights at the club rather than in the concert hall can now listen to Apple Music’s spatial audio feature. Today, the service is offering DJ mixes in Dolby Atmos, which promises a more immersive dance music experience — not quite as intense as sweating through an all-night rave, but still a step up from the norm. In addition to an enhanced One Mix set from Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills, the initiative will feature 15 Boiler Room sets from artists such as Boys Noize and The Blessed Madonna.
You can expect more spatial audio mixes through the year, including monthly One Mix episodes and Boiler Room albums, among other things. Apple hasn’t teased any upcoming artists, though it has promised the “finest DJs” from the dance and electronic music genres in the coming months.
The only headphones that automatically enable spatial audio are the Apple AirPods and a few Beats headphones. You can use third-party equipment capable of supporting the game, but you must manually enable support and forego head tracking.
Not surprisingly, Apple has expanded Atmos support to include those who like to mix and scratch their own music. In theory, knowing that a favorite DJ might create an Atmos mix that you won’t be able to find on competing services makes you more likely to keep your Apple Music subscription. Apple Music and AirPods, of course, are selling points for spatial audio. But electronic artists were among the first to embrace surround sound, as anyone who has seen one of Amon Tobin’s concerts can attest.
Apple has already stated that it will make Dolby Atmos content more easily discoverable through curated playlists and special badges. It collaborates with Dolby to make it easier for musicians, producers, and engineers to create music for Dolby Atmos surround sound systems. However, we are unsure of the number of available songs. Apple has stated that “thousands” of songs will be available at the launch but has not provided specific figures. Apple has also said that it collaborates with artists and record labels to bring existing material into the format. Based on the original announcement, we anticipate that more tracks will be added: “regularly.”