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What Is Spatial Audio in Apple Products

Explore Spatial Audio across Apple’s product line-up, from AirPods Pro to Mac, Apple TV 4K, and Apple Vision Pro. Immerse yourself in a new audio dimension.

What Is Spatial Audio in Apple Products

What is Spatial Audio?

Spatial Audio is a technology that enhances the listening experience by creating immersive sound environments. It simulates a three-dimensional audio space, allowing users to perceive sound as coming from various directions and distances, similar to how we hear in the real world.

How does Spatial Audio work?

Spatial Audio works through advanced audio processing techniques and algorithms. It utilizes directional audio filters and dynamic head tracking to adjust the sound based on the position of the listener’s head. This creates a realistic sense of depth, positioning audio elements spatially around the listener.

Benefits of Spatial Audio

Immersive Listening Experience

Spatial Audio enhances the immersion in movies, TV shows, and music by placing sound elements around the listener, making the experience more engaging and lifelike.

Dynamic Head Tracking

Apple’s Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking uses sensors like gyroscopes and accelerometers in AirPods or iPhones to track the user’s head movements. This ensures that the audio remains spatially anchored even as the listener moves, maintaining a consistent and realistic audio environment.

Compatibility Across Devices

Spatial Audio is supported on various Apple devices, including AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, as well as iPhones, iPads, and Macs. This ensures a consistent spatial audio experience across different Apple ecosystems.

Enhanced Content Consumption

Users can enjoy spatially enhanced content from streaming services like Apple TV+, Disney+, and others that support Dolby Atmos. This includes movies, TV shows, and music mixed in Dolby Atmos, providing a richer and more immersive listening or viewing experience.

Future-Ready Technology

As content creators increasingly adopt spatial audio formats like Dolby Atmos, Apple’s Spatial Audio ensures that users are ready to experience the latest advancements in audio technology without needing specialized equipment beyond compatible Apple devices and headphones.

Availability

Spatial Audio is available across several Apple products, enhancing the audio experience on devices that support this technology. Here are the key products where Spatial Audio is supported:

  • AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation), AirPods Max, AirPods (3rd generation), or Beats Fit Pro
  • Built-in speakers on iPhone 7 or later
  • iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd generation) and later, iPad Pro 11‑inch, iPad Air (3rd generation) and later, iPad (6th generation) and later, iPad mini (5th generation) and later
  • Mac computers with Apple silicon
  • Apple TV 4K with tvOS 15 or later
  • Apple Vision Pro

Requirements:

  • iOS or iPadOS 15.1 or later
  • Audiovisual content from a supported app

How To Enable Spatial Audio

On iPhone or iPad

  1. Ensure AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation), AirPods Max, AirPods (3rd generation), or Beats Fit Pro are connected.
  2. Open Control Centre, touch and hold the volume control.
  3. Select “Spatial Audio” for multichannel content or “Spatialise Stereo” for two-channel stereo content.
  4. Choose “Head Tracked” for dynamic head tracking or “Fixed” for static spatial audio.

On Mac With Apple Silicon:

  1. Connect your compatible AirPods or Beats.
  2. Click the AirPods or Beats icon in the menu bar.
  3. Choose “Spatial Audio” for multichannel content or “Spatialise Stereo” for two-channel stereo content.
  4. Click “Head Tracked” for dynamic head tracking, “Fixed” for static spatial audio, or “Off” to disable.

On Apple TV

  1. Ensure AirPods Pro (1st or 2nd generation), AirPods Max, AirPods (3rd generation), or Beats Fit Pro are connected.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth, or press and hold the Home button on your Siri Remote.
  3. Select your AirPods or Beats from the list.
  4. Choose “Spatial Audio” for multichannel content or “Spatialise Stereo” for two-channel stereo content.

Spatial Audio On Apple Vision Pro

Control Spatial Audio and head tracking on Apple Vision ProYou can use Spatial Audio and head tracking to create an immersive theatre-like environment with sound that surrounds you. Pinch and hold the volume control, then tap Spatial Audio.

You can use Spatial Audio and head tracking to create an immersive theater-like environment with sound that surrounds you.

  1. Open Control Centre, then tap the Control Centre button.
  2. Pinch and hold the volume control, then tap Spatial Audio.
  3. Tap one of the following:
    • Off: Turns off both Spatial Audio and head tracking.
    • Fixed: Turns on Spatial Audio without head tracking.
    • Head Tracked: Turns on both Spatial Audio and head tracking. The audio you’re listening to will sound like it’s coming from the Music app.

The settings you choose are saved and applied automatically the next time you use that app. For example, if you tap Fixed while listening to a song in Apple Music, the Fixed setting is automatically used the next time you play a song in Apple Music.