Dolby Atmos Music is now available to Tidal HiFi subscribers

Do we really need all this to listen to music? MQA, Dolby Atmos and other similar stuff? isn’t this just an enhanced tone controls?
If anything we need a technology which will skip using air and ears so the music would be transmitted straight to the brain without any third party inferior elements.

I beg to differ. Multichannel is a flawed idea at best for music reproduction and liable to all kinds of mastering foibles. When we go listen to a live band, they’re in front of us, not all around us. When we sit at a concert, they’re in front of us, not all around us.

When I watch a solo artist playing in a bar, again, the sound is in front of me, not all around me.

What exactly are the rest of the channels doing? Given that a two channel system can perfectly present soundstage width, depth and placement in a plane in FRONT of the listener.

I don’t think I need to hear the sound of coughs, claps, and squeaky chairs from behind me, which is the only nonsense I think multichannel would be used for.

But what about the acoustic space I hear you cry. Yes, well funnily enough, most hifi systems sit inside rooms, and rooms have acoustic space. In fact by definition of being used in a confined space, all sound systems are surround.

I have absolutely no interest in hearing a sonic picture which places music around me, behind me, to the side of me or otherwise, as it’s simply not how anyone in the real world listens to music.

Lastly, multichannel music makes up what? less than 1% of available recordings on the market. Why on earth would you spend tens of thousands on a replay system only capable of being enjoyed <1% of the time.

Your “preference” is not a fact. Someone elses “Argument” for that preference is not a fact.

Multichannel audio, much like 3D TV’s will die a death like every other fad format. in 10 years your system will be utterly obsolete, a good 2 channel system will survive far beyond that.


You don’t even need roon to listen to music.
1 small wireless speaker is enough. :slight_smile:

But there are better ways, only in terms of high fidelity, dynamic range, frequency response, etc.
High fidelity has nothing to do with how much you love or enjoy music. Many music lovers, true music lovers, enjoy music every day with a low fi audio source, even radio, an old turntable, cheap low fi speakers, etc.

High fidelity is another hobby. :wink:

Ok, that’s your opinion, it is quite clearly stated.

In terms of high fidelity, these are wrong, but you can enjoy music the way you prefer, of course.

Many people enjoy listening from valve amps, with so high THD and low dynamic range, that there is no meaning to talk about high fidelity, but this is what they prefer.

No need to argue.

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Indeed but those preferring valve distortion, do not present this preference as absolute fact.

Multichannel audio has no relation to resolution, clarity, dynamics and detail that form part of the sonic image. In fact, in a typical room, avoiding room modes for multiple speakers is significantly more troubling than just two.

It is not I who is arguing, it is you. I’m simply stating that your preference is an opinion and belief of what is better. It does not make it factually “better”, as “better” is a subjective term in this topic.

Better would be a reduction in digital timing errors, Greater bass depth, More detail, Smoother speaker response in room. None of these are specific to multi channel.

Simply preferring “surround” audio, doesn’t make it factually better than two channel.

Well, usually (but not always) not, you are correct.

But they never agree to change the full of distortion & noise and quite expensive valve equipment, with a cheap class D amp, which is hands down better in every possible measurement, and of course a true high fidelity gear.

So, the preference of them, has nothing to do with what is actually better, in terms of high fidelity and true reproduction of the recording.

And this is my answer to you. Preference, doesn’t mean high fidelity. If a pink Floyd recording has the drams playing behind you, which means that this is the way they intended to make their music, high fidelity means that you have to hear it that way. Your preference doesn’t comply with the recording, ok, you can hear it anyway you prefer.


Problem with this hobby is everyone thinks they know what is best. What is best for you may not be best for the next guy. Everyone should enjoy music on THEIR setup they way they like. I don’t see why people have to knock other people’s preferences. I have heard amazing 2 channel setups and amazing multi channel setups.


absolutely, and which of those you prefer is entirely up to you.

But coming into an open forum and telling us that Atmos is absolutely the best format ever and everything else is sub par, isn’t really feeding into that ethos is it.

I always present my opinions as such, and I present fact as such. They’re two very different things.

Audiophile ethernet cables being sonically identical to any other network cable is FACT, preferring two channel is opinion.


A few comments on topics touched on in this thread.

As I understand it, 360 Audio is currently designed to work with headphones. If you have one of the specifically supported Sony headphones, they give you the ability to take a picture of your ear and then the 360 audio is further optimized for your ears and the specific headphones. Without this, it is optimized for a generic set of ears (if there is such a thing) and can be used with any headphones. At the end of the day, what Tidal and others are streaming is specially processed 2 channel music and Roon needs to do nothing to support this. In order for it to be optimized for home systems, you’d have to have an audio or a/v system that embedded the specific codec that sony created for 360 audio (for which there are none today asfaik) and get the encoded music before it is processed into the format streamed by Tidal and others optimized for headphones. Getting new codecs into audio and a/v systems is very long process and i’m skeptical Sony will be successful here. Or alternatively Sony would have to create some way for it to be transcoded into ATMOS which of course is supported by most new AV processors. One of these things has to happen for 360 audio to be useful in a home environment.

Also as I understand it, ATMOS music today from Tidal only works with Android phones and you will only have access to this music from the Tidal app if you have an Android phone. Why this silly decision was made, who knows but if you don’t have an Android phone, you won’t even see the music. I’m guessing that you might be able to run HDMI out from an Android phone playing ATMOS music from the Tidal app into an ATMOS AV processor and it might work but I’m guessing it will be a while before there will be ATMOS encoded music Roon can do anything with so it’s really not a “thing” that Roon can support today as far as I know.

I am of the camp that music designed for ATMOS systems will become more common and more artists will take advantage of the creativity enabled to leverage these systems. Although I won’t argue which is better or more accurate, but I’ve been amazed at how surprisingly good 2 channel music sounds upmixed to ATMOS (by the Dolby upmixer in ATMOS enabled systems) and I’m hopeful there will be more native support for it. Mark Waldrep ( recorded a large amount of interesting music in HD and for most of it provides a stereo mix, a 5.1 audience mix (like you’re at a concert) and a 5.1 stage mix (like your sitting in the middle of the band on the stage) that you can switch back and forth with. It’s very cool and when you listen to the stage mix you can imagine what the same approach for ATMOS might sound like when properly leveraged. Unfortunately Mark is retired but he says if he wasn’t, he’d be doing ATMOS music today.


Yes, of course.

Myths of high end audio, do not agree with that, anyway, i totally agree with you.

Now, lets go to the roon problem.

There are recordings available in Dolby Atmos format.

Artists want to use these formats and they enjoy the new options of creating music, with the object based immersive experience.

For example, kraftwerk put a lot of effort to create a Dolby Atmos recording, exactly the way they want people to listen to their music.

Tidal is making exactly the same thing, and artists are interested using these new immersive capabilities to the creation of their music.

Some recordings in the Dolby atmos format are already available at tidal, and i suppose that you all agree that the best way to experience these recordings is the way they are made…

Roon is not able to do that. So, that’s the case.

The 2-channel downmix of these recordings, is way out of the intended by the artist creation, and beyond preference, it is not true to the initial recording, so no high fidelity in reproduction.

I know that there are only a few who have a high quality atmos setup, capable of playing music in high fidelity, but …we exist, and the recordings also exist.

Roon is the best available software for streaming music in high fidelity, and i suppose that these multichannel formats don’t make an exception.


:+1: (10.)

Me too. :wink:

Dr Floyd Toole’s recommendation is using the auro 3d upmixing, as the best possible upmixing tool, compatible with Dolby Atmos setup.

But upmixing or not, is another issue.

Reproduction of the available atmos recordings from Roon, is the issue we are discussing here.

I bought the kraftwerk Dolby Atmos BD, and i have copied the blue ray to my hard disk drive. Roon cannot play these files.
Another media player, like the oppo 203 or even Nvidia shield, can. Isn’t that a shame for roon? :wink:

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I don’t think you’ll ever see Roon decode native BD ATMOS files because technically, its a copyright violation to copy BD to hard disks so it would be problematic if they were decoding native BD ATMOS rips. I’m not sure how Oppo and NVideo gets away with it but they are legally licensed BD disk players. So for Roon you’d probably have to rip the audio from a BD ATMOS disk into an appropriate format that Roon can legally support for this to work. It’s my understanding (I may be wrong on this) that Flac only supports up to 8 channels. WAV and AIFF supports up to 32 so it would probably have to be one of these formats. There may be ways to get from BD ATMOS to 11 channel ATMOS in WAV or AIFF but I haven’t tried them and it’s probably complex. And then to get them to play you’d probably have to go HDMI out from a Roon system into your A/V processor which is typically the case today for 5.1 audio.


MQA is lovely on my system

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Decoding is not needed.

Bitstream pass-through is the way. :wink:

All media players can reproduce audio files (even flacs) with Dolby flag, just by bitstream pass-through, without decoding.

The av processor has decoding capabilities.

If you don’t have an av processor with dolby decoding capabilities, you can’t hear these formats.
Roon is not a substitute to your decoder, it is just a streamer…


Flac only supports up to 8 channels. WAV and AIFF supports up to 32 so it would probably have to be one of these formats. There may be ways to get from BD ATMOS to 11 channel ATMOS in WAV or AIFF but I haven’t tried them and it’s probably complex.

This is confounded because Atmos is positional audio. Audio tracks in Atmos are not defined by channel but rather by absolute positioning. It can’t be converted ahead of time to fixed channels like you’re describing. The ultimate conversion from Atmos to channels necessarily has to be done at the playback endpoint because the physical speaker positions are only known to the playback hardware.

If someone has, for example, a 7.1.4 Atmos setup, you don’t actually know which 4 Atmos speaker positions they are using. They could have rears and middles, or rears and fronts, or fronts and middles. They could have rear ceilings and front heights. The Atmos decoding can’t be done without an understanding of the physical setup at playback.


I once read and agree in theory that the best sound you can have would be one mono speaker. Unfortunately this would have to be about the length of the wall in front of you to recreate the soundstage but if it was it would realistically recreate what you would hear in real life from un amplified concerts or shows. Food for thought anyway after multiple speaker discussions …

Or, maybe an infinite number of speakers all over the place in 360 degrees of your location at different volumes and some slightly delayed.

Or one speaker per recorded artist/instrument, placed accordingly - three speakers for a jazz trio, 180 for a symphonic orchestra with a choir, and so on. And matching listening rooms per recording.

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I would not hold your breath for this feature if it’s only on Android. Roons audio support on Android is severely lacking. Its still incapable of bit perfect audio due to the app refusing to use DACs properly so this is an even bigger step.

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