LG TVs First to Get Dolby Atmos on Apple Music (No Apple TV Needed)

LG TVs First to Get Dolby Atmos on Apple Music (No Apple TV Needed)

By: CE Critic

Apple Music has made a significant leap in accessibility by partnering with LG to bring native Dolby Atmos spatial audio support to LG's smart TV ecosystem. This change marks a departure from Apple's usual strategy of promoting hardware exclusivity to drive customers towards its devices. In the past, Dolby Atmos through Apple Music required an Apple TV 4K or other compatible external devices. Let's delve into the technical details and implications of this integration.

What is Dolby Atmos?

Dolby Atmos is a revolutionary object-based audio format that goes beyond traditional surround sound. It creates a three-dimensional soundscape, allowing sound engineers to place audio sources (instruments, vocals, effects) as individual objects within a virtual space. This allows for a much more immersive and dynamic listening experience.

Apple Music's Dolby Atmos History

  • Initial Rollout: Apple Music first introduced spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support in 2021.
  • Device Limitations: Initially, Dolby Atmos playback on Apple Music was restricted to:
    • Apple TV 4K
    • iPhone, iPad, Mac with built-in speakers
    • AirPods and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip
    • Select Android devices

LG Smart TV Integration

  • Technical Breakthrough: LG's integration marks the first instance where a Smart TV can natively stream Dolby Atmos content from Apple Music without the need for an Apple TV 4K or other external hardware.
  • Compatibility: This feature is likely available on LG Smart TVs with Dolby Atmos support from 2020 onwards. It may be worth checking with LG Support for the exact list of compatible models.
  • Update Mechanism: The functionality is delivered via a software update to the Apple Music app on LG's webOS platform.

Setup and Audio Experience

  • Hardware Considerations: While LG smart TVs' built-in speakers are technically compatible, the immersive nature of Dolby Atmos is best experienced with a dedicated surround sound system or a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar.
  • Bluetooth Option: LG Smart TVs can also pair with AirPods or other Apple Bluetooth devices to enjoy Dolby Atmos audio.

Implications and Potential

  • Broadened Accessibility: This integration makes Dolby Atmos music more accessible, removing the need for Apple-specific hardware.
  • Trendsetter: LG is likely the first of many Smart TV manufacturers to implement Dolby Atmos support directly within the Apple Music app.
  • Apple's Evolving Strategy: This move signals a potential shift in Apple's strategy, where previously exclusive features may become more widely available on third-party platforms to broaden Apple Music's reach.

Additional Notes:

  • Other Streaming Services: Amazon Music and Tidal also offer Dolby Atmos music, but their smart TV apps may not yet support it.
  • Spotify: Spotify is yet to introduce Dolby Atmos or lossless audio streaming.

Source: Flatpanelshd