Audible has teamed with Dolby Laboratories to introduce spatial sound in its library. Called Dolby Atmos on Audible, it's debuting on more than 40 titles including The Little Mermaid, The Sandman Act III and the music-oriented podcast, Maejor Frequency. The move represents another push into narrative audio content for Dolby, as Wondery (also owned by Amazon) started doing Atmos podcasts last year.
The new collection covers multiple genres, including feature-length multi-cast productions, soundscapes, live performances and podcasts. "The Dolby Atmos collection celebrates and expands the possibilities of audio storytelling by highlighting the extraordinary talents of a variety of actors, writers, directors, sound designers and other creators," the companies said in a press release.
Dolby Atmos might seem like overkill for audiobooks, but much as Dolby did for movies, it has the potential to make narrative stories more immersive on good headphones or sound systems. "Through the ability to create more layers of sound and control over the directionality of different audio elements, creators can draw listeners into a deeper, richer, and more lifelike spatial sound experience that fully engrosses them in each story," they wrote. The examples of originals the companies highlight in the announcement are more dramatic productions than straight readings, so you're likely not going to get spatial audio for every Malcolm Gladwell novel.
For instance, The Little Mermaid will feature a "magical underwater soundscape and original music," presumably enhanced by spatial sound. "Sound placement can now be used as a new element to draw audiences even closer to their favorite podcasts, audio narratives, and stories with Dolby Atmos," said Dolby vice president John Couling.
The Dolby Atmos titles are available to Audible members via the Audible app on compatible iOS and Android Dolby Atmos-enabled mobile devices. To see all the available titles, type “Dolby Atmos” into the search bar on the Audible website, or look for the Dolby Atmos logo in the Audible app.