While screen display densities and technologies are approaching ludicrous levels, many phones and tablets still provide lackluster audio at best.
It's like trying to enjoy a movie with half your senses tied behind your head. But is home theater quality sound possible on mobile? Bob Borchers, chief marketing officer at Dolby Laboratories, writing on LinkedIn:
Some people think that mobile devices are doomed to have lousy audio because of their small speakers and the fact that so many people listen with inexpensive earbuds. But great audio is possible on mobile devices. We can even implement Dolby Atmos, our technology that can place and move sounds anywhere around you, including overhead, on mobile devices.
Borcher's name may sound familiar — he worked at Apple during the birth of the iPhone and was featured in many of the original iPhone video tours. What he describes might also sound familiar — we all of us remember the first time we leapt out of our seats when something moved behind us, or lost ourselves to a room filled with score and effects.
Yes, many people have high-end headphones to help with that on mobile, but with bigger, better displays comes the opportunity to share what we're watching with those around us, and it's hard to share what we're listening to as well if it's stuck in just our ears.
If Apple could reproduce Atmos-like sound on a future iPhone or iPad, I'd buy 9.1 of them.