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Amazon Music HD's "3D Music" offerings

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2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Jan 9, 2013
I am with beerking

This stuff is not being created for surround fans. This stuff is being created to move product. The whole 'Atmos' thing is so undefined that it's hard to grasp.

Sure, there is "real Atmos". You have independent channels and speakers, be it 7.1, 9.1, 11.1, whatever. Height speakers, the whole deal. OK, so how many families in the WORLD will do this? If they won't do 5.1, they sure as hell ain't ripping their walls apart to install height speakers and buying a $2000 receiver.

BUT - - - Hey, they can buy a slim line 'Atmos Compatible' receiver with what, 5.1 speakers(?), and play Atmos stuff in the compatible mode. Not quite "real" Atmos, but sorta super 5.1. And how many families in the world go out and buy a receiver and speakers these days. Some, but not many.

That leaves the soundbar/single box folks. The target audience that Amazon is looking for. Sure, they might be inquisitive and splurge for the $300 box, buy access to a few "Atmos" streams, and show their friends, but in the end, there is no way for them to know if they are actually hearing a surround mix, or a surround-derived upmix. Just no way for them to know.

Since they can't tell, the content providers can do whatever the hell they like. Why should Sony and WEA or whomever spend money on going back to the master tapes and creating a real surround mix when the end user can't tell the difference? Answer: they won't. They'll throw Paul Simon's first album into a DAW, run it through PENTEO ATMOS MODE, then give it to Amazon. That's why Paul Simon can't complain because they are not really remixing it.

This is why I don't trust Atmos and the industry. Sure, there's "Abbey Road", and R.E.M., and a few others that are legit and that's great. But there will be such a huge pool of these fake or unknown and unproven mixes out there that the real surround fan will be better off with their own DAW with SPECWeb or PENTEO and do it themselves.

It's just too easy for the content providers to pull another fast one on us. History repeats itself. It's about time for them to do it again. I am all for "real Atmos". It's the other stuff that makes me leery.
Absolutely right on Jon. The very fact we can't get legitimate 'in the can' bona fide remixed QUAD/5.1 material released which WOULD FURTHER our forum's agenda and have to put up with pseudo ATMOS nonsense is a travesty.

And I thought in another thread I read that DOLBY wasn't going to license ATMOS for 'sketchy' purposes thus further diluting it's namebrand.

Reminds me of Alexander Jero's surround schemes which promises ultimate surround from questionable sources.

Amazon's echo studio which promises an all in one solution to achieve 3D sound should hardly be taken seriously by QQ posters who should know by now there are NO shortcuts in achieving true multichannel nirvana. At present, I know of no replacements for ATMOS, true 5.1 or QUAD without the requisite amps, speakers and software.

Like soundbars, Amazon's 'plastic' echo studio reeks of commercialism and GREED and music remixed for this purpose as sold by Amazon in all reality bears little resemblance to authentic DOLBY ATMOS remixes expressly authored for this purpose.


Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Mar 2, 2002
So I checked out "Amazon 3D HD Audio". No, I did not buy one of their spy boxes, no way, but when I went to their site I was offered a 90 day free trial deal for the streaming service, so I took it.

I then loaded the app on my phone and took it in the car. The HD stereo audio sounded pretty good, I must admit. As an audio source it was pretty easy to use and the Bluetooth connection to the ELS 3D system in my Acura actually sounded better than a SIRIUS channel (not saying much).

But I wanted to check out the 3D stuff, so first off I queued up "Rocket Man" on my car HD that's a 24/48 rip of the SACD. Listened and paid close attention to playback. Then I selected the same track from the Amazon 3D Playlist. I have to admit the car system accepted it fine, it almost had a "Hall" effect, as the audio sounded different, but nowhere near the discrete placement of the SACD rip. I then kicked on the DTS Synthesizer that's built into the cars audio system to enhance stereo, I was very curious to hear if I could tell a difference with this on and off.

It was very slight. Despite the alleged spatial performance, I really didn't notice much difference at all.

So, end results. Yes, the 3D Amazon file sounded "bigger" than a stereo playback, kind of like pressing that HALL button on the old Sansui receivers. But, it in no way came close to the SACD rip. Of course, the 2019 Acura was not designed to play these files from the service in the proper format, so you really can't expect great results - but it was interesting trying it out.

Still, no matter what, I am not buying that $200 speaker thing (down from $300 at launch) and putting it in my house. No way.


800 Club - QQ All-Star
Jan 24, 2018
UK 🇬🇧
Here's a youtube video where someone tests out an Echo Studio... He sort of compliments it and criticises it at the same time. But it's obvious this is just a marketing thing based on a stop gap and can never compete with proper surround sound. I quite like the term "fantasy bollocks"! :phones