On January 24th, the final voting period for IAA’s 2024 Listener's Choice Awards concluded! More votes were cast this year than in any prior edition of the awards.
Earlier this month, we were proud to announce the ten nominees selected by immersive audio fans: five for the physical disc/digital download category, and five for the streaming category. According to our audience, these ten titles represented the best immersive listening experiences to be had from October 2022 to September 2023.
The winners in each category are as follows:
Category #1: Streaming
Artist: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Title: Greatest Hits (1993)
Immersive Mix By: Ryan Ulyate (Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 10/12/22
Following his acclaimed work on the Wildflowers and Angel Dream reissues in 2021, it’s no surprise that Universal Music Group and the Petty estate has once again tapped expert mixer Ryan Ulyate to create a Dolby Atmos mix of The Heartbreakers’ classic 1993 Greatest Hits compilation.
Every track sounds amazing, but “Don’t Come Around Here No More” from 1985’s Southern Accents would have to be a standout. Arguably one of the band’s most ambitious tunes ever, it sounds massive in Atmos with the programmed drums and vocal chorus raining down from above.
Category #2: Physical Disc/Digital Download
Artist: Mr. Big
Title: Mr. Big (1989)
Format: Digital Download, SACD
Immersive Mix By: Chris Bell & Michael Romanowski (5.1 & Dolby Atmos)
Release Date: 4/21/2023
In the Summer of 2021, Evolution Music Group (evoXS) surprised audiophiles and immersive music enthusiasts by issuing a 5.1 surround SACD of California hair metal band Mr. Big's classic 1991 studio album Lean Into It. Naturally, fans began to speculate whether or not the band’s 1989 self-titled debut would receive a similar deluxe reissue. Such conjecture proved correct in January 2023, when evoXS announced a 5.1 SACD of the album with remastered stereo & new 5.1 remixes for release on April 21, 2023.
We at IAA were thrilled to offer the album as an exclusive immersive digital download through our online shop, with high-resolution 5.1 FLAC files as well as Dolby TrueHD/Atmos MKVs. Chris Bell and Michael Romanowski’s immersive interpretation of the album is impressive, especially given the relatively limited number of elements in play. The album sounds quite ‘big’ in stereo, but in reality the core four-piece band’s studio performance is augmented only by the occasional background vocal, guitar, or percussion overdub.
Congratulations to the artist and production team behind each album!