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Tidal adds Dolby Atmos support

By | Published on Friday 29 May 2020


Tidal – remember Tidal, everybody? – well, it’s still here, and it has now added Dolby Atmos Music support to its HiFi high quality audio subscription tier, allowing you to play music in advanced surround sound through your home cinema system.

This obliviously requires you to have a Dolby Atmos home cinema setup and a compatible streaming device – such as an Apple TV 4K or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – connected to it, and the desire to spend £19.99 a month on a streaming service.

But once you have all those things, boasts Tidal, you will be able to play tracks from its small catalogue of songs mastered for Dolby Atmos Music, including Ariana Grande’s ‘7 Rings’, The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ and Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello’s ‘Señorita’. All of which, I think we’d all agree, are the first songs you would turn to in order to test out your new cutting edge audio system.

Anyway, says Tidal: “With Dolby Atmos Music, songs can live and breathe in new ways to fully immerse you. Unveil levels of detail and depth that may [otherwise] get lost. Dolby Atmos Music puts you more directly in touch with the artist’s vision without compromise, bringing you closer than ever to the songs you love. Hear it how they hear it. Feel it how they feel it”.

I’m not sure any of that is true, but it sounded good. And if reading words about it in your head sounds good, imagine what it’s like actually listening to it through speakers!

High quality sound for music is obviously not a bad thing and if I had the means I might consider trying this out. But we all know that the audience for high quality streaming services that cost twice as much as Spotify or Apple Music is a niche audience.

Tidal isn’t the only company competing for that niche either. True, this Dolby Atmos offer might set its high quality audio apart from the others for now. But I can’t help thinking the Dolby Atmos add on appeals to another niche. A niche within a niche.

Basically, I’m really confused about how Tidal is still going. It can’t still be burning up all that money it got from Sprint three and a half years ago.