Qobuz partners with THX for Hi-Res music in 3D


The French music streaming and download platform Qobuz has joined forces with American giant THX to offer Hi-Res tracks mixed in THX Spatial Audio. This format borrowed from the gaming world promises a 3D spatialized sound to offer the listener increased immersion and to compete with the Dolby Atmos music proposed by Apple and Tidal.

3D music: a sound revolution

Three-dimensional spatialized music is definitely on the rise. Although 3D music has been available for several years on Tidal, Amazon Music and Deezer, it has really won over listeners since the appearance of Spatial Audio tracks in Apple Music’s catalog (read: 10 Spatial Audio tracks to listen to on Apple Music). Mixed in Dolby Atmos, they offer a three-dimensional space and a wider soundstage to more effectively reproduce and delineate every detail and deliver a concert-like experience, whether with headphones, a stereo system, or a home theater kit. Recently, Apple even launched Apple Music Sessions, exclusive concerts in Spatial Audio. It is now the turn of the French company Qobuz to offer its interpretation of 3D sound.

THX Spatial Audio: surround sound

While many platforms are turning to Dolby Atmos technology to offer tracks in spatial audio, French company Qobuz has decided to partner with cinema sound specialist THX. Established by George Lucas, THX was acquired in 2016 by gaming equipment leader Razer, which leveraged the brand’s expertise in surround spatialization to work on the THX Spatial Audio processing system. The latter allows you to simulate a 7.1 sound using only software. This technology is now used in studios by Qobuz to provide 3D sound.

THX Spatial Audio: 3D Hi-Res sound

As Qobuz is a pioneer of Hi-Res streaming, the tracks mixed in THX Spatial Audio available on the platform are available in a resolution that can reach 24-bit/192kHz. Therefore, while THX Spatial Audio music can be listened to with any hi-fi headphones, pair of IEMs or audio system, the use of a USB DAC or a Hi-Res audio certified portable USB DAC is highly recommended to enjoy the best listening experience.

Hi-Res Audio certified, the FiiO KA3 portable USB DAC is ideal for enjoying the best THX Spatial Audio listening experience.

In announcing the partnership between THX and Qobuz, Kasson Crooker, THX Spatial Audio engineer said, “THX is thrilled to be working with these talented musicians at Qobuz to bring the artists’ vision of deep, true audio immersion to fans. As an artist and engineer, I am always interested in furthering the experiences that music can offer. THX Spatial Audio is a phenomenal immersive technology that we are excited to bring to musicians to help them enhance their creativity and strengthen their connection with their audience.”

Which tracks are available in THX Spatial Audio?

THX Spatial Audio is not just a simple filter applied to music and requires a long mixing process. Therefore, Qobuz only features three THX Spatial Audio tracks at the moment. They are Double Dare by Circuit des Yeux, Whenever You’re Ready by Dinosaur Jr and Calling Vic Juris by Anat Cohen. Each track was created with the immersive audio experience in mind to combine the rich detail of 24-bit resolution with the feel of a live performance.

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