Test tracks: 7.1.4 Atmos

These descriptions are written to accompany some of the tracks in this playlist on Apple Music.


  • Lf: Left Front
  • Rf: Right Front
  • Cf: Centre Front
  • Ls: Left Surround
  • Rs: Right Surround
  • Lb: Left Back
    (Other sources sometimes use Lrs: Left Rear Surround
  • Rb: Right Back
    (Other sources sometimes use Rrs: Right Rear Surround
  • Lfh: Left front height
    (Other sources sometimes use Lft: Left Top Front or Left Front Height)
  • Rfh: Right front height
    (Other sources sometimes use Rft: Right Top Front or Right Front Height)
  • Lsh: Left surround height
    (Other sources sometimes use Ltr: Left Top Rear)
  • Rsh: Right surround height
    (Other sources sometimes use Rtr: Right Top Rear)

Lead Vocal – Spatial

Tracks with Vocals in Cf

Vocals will be localisable only in the centre front loudspeaker (both in terms of L/R panning and distance), regardless of where you’re sitting.

  • Joji: Run (It’s no longer true. The mix has been changed…)

Tracks with Vocals in Lf & Rf, but not in Cf

Just like in 2.0 stereo, vocals will be localised in the middle if you’re sitting in the middle, or in the closest of the two loudspeakers (Lf or Rf). Distance / depth will behave the same as 2.0 stereo, which is contingent on the directivity of your Lf/Rf loudspeakers and the comb-filtering that occurs in this kind of mix.

  • ABBA: I Still Have Faith in You
  • Imagine Dragons: Follow You
  • The Weeknd: Blinding Lights

Tracks with Vocals in Lf, Rf, & Cf

Localisation precision may be reduced (in other words, the vocal position becomes more “fuzzy” or “cloudy”), and you may get comb filtering effects on the timbre, depending on your position, the time-alignment of the system at the listening position, and the acoustical properties of the loudspeakers and the room (i.e. the relationship between the distance(s) to the loudspeaker(s), their directivity, and the critical distance of the room.)

  • Elton John: Rocket Man (heavier on Cf than Lf/Rf)
  • Diana Krall: Isn’t it Romantic (heavier on Lf/Rf than Cf)


  • The Kid LAROI + Justin Beiber: Stay
    Lead Vocals in Lf/Rf/Cf/Ls/Rs. Vocals will be localised in the closest loudspeaker – or nowhere – or everywhere…
  • Ed Sheeran: Shivers
    Verse: Lead Vocal in Lf/Rf only. Chorus: Lead vocal in Lf/Rf, Ls/Rs, & Lb/Rb

Height Channels

No content (although the stream is not 7.x.0)

  • Julia Fischer: Violin Sonata

Psychoacoustic CODEC artefacts

Note that these artefacts only occur in streaming services due to bandwidth limitations. They won’t be there on a Blu-ray release. You may need to solo a sub-set of channels (or sit near a loudspeaker) to hear these in some cases.

  • Elton John: Rocket Man
  • Beatles: Octopus’s Garden
  • Amaare: Sad Girlz

Imaging / Localisation demos

Listen to these track while sitting next to a surround or back loudspeaker. You’ll hear the tricks they played in the mix, panning sources wildly around the room. In the “listening position” this winds up being similar to watching a 3D Cartoon; there are effects coming at you from everywhere.

  • Ed Sheeran: Shivers
  • Scott Helman: Pretty

Spaciousness / Envelopment

Tracks where the channels are completely (or nearly completely) de-correlated result in the sound sources staying out in all the (pertinent) loudspeakers instead of dumping into the closest one.

  • King’s College Choir: In the Bleak Mid-Winter
    The reverberation is everywhere – regardless of where you’re sitting. This is most easily done by ensuring that the reverb is de-correlated by using widely-spaced microphones (or digital reverb).