Ran across this article and thought it was an interesting topic of discussion.
Do others agree that atmos is going to supersede stereo? I don’t, for a few different reasons.
1 - We have decades of music recorded in stereo, music which is still highly consumed. Attempts to modernize that music in to Atmos (Tidal) simply don’t sound right. Of course, that doesn’t mean new music can’t be recorded in atmos, but unlike movies where you can upgrade to atmos and the audio comes out ‘right’, the same can’t be done for music.
2 - Live music comes from a stage, not from all around you. I would argue that even when you can an original track in atmos, it doesn’t sound right to the brain since we instinctively know that music comes from a stage. It always has throughout history. Again, movies are different.
3 - Keeping with the live music aspect, I don’t know that artists want to record music that is impossible to recreate live. While it sounds neat to have drums playing above you, you can’t realistically create that live.
4 - Atmos essentially requires the listener to remain stationary, in a limited area for the effect to be realized. That’s fine for movie watching, but music listeners don’t stay stationary like that.
5 - Setting up an atmos system is much more expensive than a stereo setup. Indeed every home, automobile, headphones, etc are all setup and easy to get in stereo. Atmos, not so much. It’s hard to say that a society that actually downgraded auto quality when they embraced streaming audio is going to embrace atmos so quickly.
6 - While I understand that part of the appeal of Atmos is that it can be reproduced on any set of speakers, including stereo, I don’t think this means producers are going to go through the effort of recording everything in atmos. Again, your mainstream audience won’t be hearing the atmos version, it can’t be reproduced live, and is not the way humans are trained to consume music...so why bother?