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You told us: Most of you don't use Spatial Audio

Spatial audio hasn't won everyone over, despite its appeal in games and films.
By
February 5, 2024
An example of mixing a song with Spatial Audio using Dolby Atmos Renderer.

Spatial audio, a technology designed to create a 360-degree sound environment around the listener, is trying to change how we experience audio through headphones and earbuds. Unlike traditional stereo sound, which confines the audio to a two-dimensional plane, spatial audio adds depth and space, making it feel like sound is coming from all directions.

Ideally, this should offer listeners a more realistic sound stage where each note and voice occupies its distinct space in the world around you. We’ve tested some types of Spatial Audio that are better than others. But can you hear enough of a difference to be convinced to use it regularly? We asked you if you use Spatial Audio, and here’s what you told us.

Poll results

In our first poll, respondents were divided in their use of spatial audio:

  • Forty-one individuals (44%) indicated they never use spatial audio.
  • A combined total of 53 (56%) noted they use it sometimes, often, or always, with these categories capturing 33%, 11%, and 12% of the votes, respectively.

The YouTube poll, with a broader base of 484 voters, showed a more pronounced skepticism or lack of adoption:

  • One hundred seventy-four voters (36%) said yes.
  • A majority of 310 voters (64%) said they did not use spatial audio.

Combining the results, 227 individuals (approximately 39.27%) reported they use spatial audio in some capacity, whereas 351 individuals (about 60.73%) do not engage with this technology. These findings suggest that while spatial audio is gaining traction in consumer electronics, a substantial portion of the audience remains either unaware of or indifferent to its benefits.

Comments

  • @peaceupmtown: Stereo for music, Atmos for games and films that support it.
  • @Leorizing: I love using Atmos on songs. Especially with head tracking tech. It immerses you further as an audio lover, in my opinion.
  • @bananawarlock3981: While I feel regular stereo is more than fine for gaming if you have good audio gear, sometimes I like to turn on Dolby Atmos just for the fun of it. But only in films or games where positional audio isn’t that important.
  • @paultomaszewski1964: A quality set of headphones plugged into a quality amp/DAC setup (not expensive, just quality) with a quality recording can get you close to that 360 sound without all the gimmicks. It’s not perfect, but it will give you the side-to-side, front-to-back, and up-and-down of the recording.