Exploring 3D Audio for Headphones on Amazon Music

May 8, 2022 Comments Off on Exploring 3D Audio for Headphones on Amazon Music


Following through on Amazon Music Unlimited’s “any headphones” maxim, I pulled out four options to test this theory — namely, my high-end Sennheisers, wireless Marleys, Sony ’phones I use mainly for Zoom calls, and truly old-school USB Apple earbuds — to see just how the claim stacked up. I listened to a wide selection of Amazon Music Unlimited’s spatial audio mixes in Dolby Atmos while I rotated through my headphone quartet connected with a variety of devices including my iPhone, HP laptop, and Roku Ultra. True, the better the headphones, the more immersively intense the listening experience was — but I can report if you wanna go the earbuds route, your experience will be relatively top-notch, and likely better than you might expect.

Naturally, I began my headphone sessions at the top of the spatial audio foodchain with a key selection from the irrepressible Steven Wilson. I cued up one of the best Atmos tracks from his January 2021 release The Future Bites, and one that wasn’t used in last year’s spatial audio evaluation feature — namely, the frenzied 9-minute product acquisition indictment “Personal Shopper.” The all-aswirl middle section starting around 5:20 rattled around in my head like an errant aural pinball. Here, the track’s special guest voice Elton John rattled off a litany of allegedly desirable consumer goods, starting from the center position before each subsequent item citing fanned out in all directions. I also picked up on some additional details I hadn’t focused on in previous open-air listening sessions, such as the subversively angelic/operatic vocal lines supporting Sir Elton’s declarations.


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