Best Dolby Atmos Music Demo Albums

As the trend of mixing more albums in Dolby Atmos gains momentum, streaming platforms are gradually embracing this immersive format. Dolby has recently unveiled the Dolby Atmos Music Accelerator program, which is dedicated to educating and assisting emerging music creators in releasing their new music in Dolby Atmos. Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, and Tidal have already joined the Atmos party. With the rising popularity of this format among emerging artists, we anticipate an expanding list of streaming services joining the Dolby Atmos revolution.

While Dolby Atmos is often linked with movies, its impact also extends to music. Unlike movies, where visuals accompany the audio, songs lack a visual counterpart, prompting a focus on the immersive sound enveloping you. Utilizing one of these songs becomes an excellent method to test your Dolby Atmos setup, allowing you to completely focus on the intricacies of the audio landscape of the song.

For our testing, we used a mix of Tidal, Apple Music, and Amazon Music HD. To enjoy Atmos music on each platform, you must use one of their paid plans. For Tidal, you will need their HiFi Plus subscription ($19.99/month) to access Atmos-enabled content. For Amazon Music HD, you must have their Unlimited Plan ($9.99/month). And Apple Music’s Student ($5.99), Individual ($10.99), and Family ($16.99) plans all include Dolby Atmos tracks. Each of these platforms does a good job of showing you what songs are in Dolby Atmos by displaying the Dolby Atmos logo near the name of the album or song. At Audio Advice, we are pretty big fans of Tidal, but all of these platforms have free one-month trials, so you can experience each one and decide which is best for you.

We did most of our listening in a 7.1.4 home theater with dedicated surround sound speakers and in-ceiling height speakers. We then also tested the songs on the Devialet Dione Dolby Atmos soundbar, which uses up-firing drivers to bounce the height effects off the walls and back to you. It’s important to note that a home theater with dedicated speakers will sound the best, but in our testing, the Dione did a fantastic job at creating a bubble of immersive sound all around you. So, if you don’t have a full home theater setup, you can still enjoy Atmos music with just a soundbar. Check out our favorite Dolby Atmos Soundbars here.

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Audio Advice’s Favorite Dolby Atmos Albums

The Dark Side of the Moon (50th Anniversary) [Remastered]
Pink Floyd

The 50th Anniversary Remastered edition in Dolby Atmos of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon adds a fresh perspective to this timeless classic. Our experience streaming it on Apple Music was already fantastic, but there's an even more immersive Dolby Atmos Blu-Ray version that we're eager to explore in the future.

Delving into the Dolby Atmos Apple Music version takes you on an unexpected journey. We highly recommend immersing yourself in the entire album from start to finish.  However, if you want a preview, check out the tracks "On The Run" and "Time."

"On The Run" treats you to sweeping pans of sound effects, with the synth placed right in front, creating an immersive atmosphere. PA system announcements come from behind and above, accompanied by the sounds of people running, truly placing you in the center of a bustling area. The synth then swirls around the room, creating a sensation as if it's buzzing around your head. This track stands out for crafting a soundscape beyond instruments, incorporating atmospheric sounds to transport you to a different world.

"Time" begins with a cacophony of alarm clocks ringing everywhere, instantly awakening you for the journey ahead. The evolving beat unfolds right before you, with drum hits filling the surround speakers, giving the sensation of standing amidst the band. During the chorus, backup vocals soar to the heights and rear speakers with oohs and ahhs, distinct from the main vocals upfront, enveloping you in a massive bubble of sound. The stage is no longer merely in front of you; instead, you find yourself sitting in the heart of the stage.

Dawn FM
The Weeknd

Dawn FM by The Weeknd is one of those albums that we believe is absolutely better in Dolby Atmos than the traditional stereo version. Every song is extremely well mixed, and each sound is placed with purpose and intention. There are a lot of sounds coming from all directions, yet it doesn’t feel like you’re being overwhelmed., Instead, the instruments and backup vocals are tastefully placed around you just the right amount. 

One of our favorite tracks on this album is the hit song “Take My Breath.” Be sure to turn this one up and get ready to experience a beautiful disco-style rhythm from this song.

His lead vocals sit perfectly up front while the backup falsetto vocals fill the speakers all around you, creating a really cool effect. We highly recommend you check out this album to hear how a great Atmos mix is done.

Taylor Swift

Whether her music is for you or not, there’s no denying that anytime Taylor Swift does something, she does a great job at it. Her Midnights album is another good example of a well-done Dolby Atmos mix. It’s not overwhelming or in your face like some of the other Atmos albums. Instead, it carefully uses the surround and height channels only when they are needed to enhance the song. 

“Maroon” is a great example of a song on this album that utilizes the surround speakers and height speakers to help build a bubble of sound all around you. 

Again, it doesn’t overwhelm you with any disorienting and whizzing sound effects but rather provides additional backup vocals and instruments to fill out your room, making it an immersive experience while emphasizing her vocals.

Happier Than Ever
Billie Eilish

The album Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish is one of the best Dolby Atmos albums we’ve ever heard. Instead of the Dolby Atmos mix being an afterthought to the album, Billie and her brother Finneas actually thought about where to place sounds during the songwriting process. This makes the whole album stand out compared to others that are turned into Dolby Atmos versions after the fact. This means that every little detail around you is placed with the artist's intention, and it’s really cool to know it was all part of their creative process.

This album has so many great song options, but “Oxytocin” is particularly great. You’ll hear subtle breaths and sounds coming from all around you, and it’s a great example of how a song can become a whole new experience in Dolby Atmos. The whispers come from just over your shoulder and above your head, making you feel like you have to turn around and double-check that Billie isn’t actually in the room with you. 

Since Billie and Finneas fully embraced the Dolby Atmos idea when creating this album, it’s clear why every song sounds so good and is a brilliant experience.

The Immersive Experience
Ben Gernon & London Philharmonic Orchestra

Recorded at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, The Immersive Experience is truly a magical experience that sets you right in the heart of the stage while the orchestra fully envelops you. Ben Gernon, the conductor of this album, said “I want the audiences at home to really feel like they are immersed in a live orchestral performance.” And let us tell you, he has hit the nail on the head. 

You have to check out “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on this album to hear the instruments fill your room in a really incredible way.

The intro has the horns right up front in the center channel, and the rest of the instruments fill in all the way around you. The strings, the percussion, and the horns all have their own space and allow you to really appreciate each instrument in the orchestra. It was mixed in a way that there is a perfect harmonious balance between each instrument and where it is coming from in the room.

Did Your Favorite Make The List?

There are hundreds of amazing Dolby Atmos albums that we could go on and list. However, these are five that we have found to be impressive. If you have one you enjoy that didn’t make this list; we highly encourage you to watch our YouTube video above and leave a comment about what your favorite ones are!

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