Does Spatial Audio Work With Apple Music? (2023)

Does Spatial Audio Work With Apple Music? Yes, spatial audio works with the Apple Music platform. In this article, we will discuss it in detail.

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Does Spatial Audio Work With Apple Music? (1)

Table of Contents: hide

1)Does Spatial Audio Work With Apple Music?

2)What is spatial audio?

3)What does spatial audio with Dolby Atmos mean?

4)Do you need special devices for the spatial audio to work?

5)How to listen to songs with Spatial audio support in Apple Music

6)How well does the spatial audio work, and how does it sound?

(Video) Audio Engineer Reviews Spatial Audio in Apple Music // Dolby Atmos

7)Is the spatial audio true to the expectations?

(Video) How to hear spatial audio and lossless audio in Apple Music – Apple Support

Can you listen to spatial audio on other branded headphones?

The spatial audio format has come out targeting the Apple products such as the AirPod, AirPod pro, AirPod Max, and other Beats headphones. But in reality, you can listen to spatial audio with any headphone that supports Dolby Atmos, and it doesn’t have to be an Apple device.
To enable this feature, go to Dolby Atmos settings and leave it always on. Although it may show a disclaimer that the feature may not sound correct in your non-Apple device, in reality, it works fine in most cases.
Nevertheless, it is important to know that once Apple launches head-tracking for spatial audio format in the latest iOS 15, this feature will not be available in third-party headphones.

Does Spatial Audio Work With Apple Music?

Yes! If you’re subscribed to Apple Music, it’s very easy to listen to select songs in spatial audio through the Dolby Atmos experience. Spatial audio does work with Apple Music. It is the latest feature that Apple has introduced to its listeners.

The spatial audio provides an unparalleled experience of music listening. You’ll not only listen to the music but feel like you’re inside it.

The spatial audio support for Dolby Atmos comes at no additional cost for Apple Music subscribers. That means, the listeners can switch to the spatial audio format within their existing subscriptions.

The news has been a pleasant surprise for listeners all across the globe. But before we dive into more details, let’s know more about spatial audio and how to use it.

What is spatial audio?

The sole reason behind introducing spatial audio is to deliver superior quality audio to all the listeners. Spatial audio is a high-resolution codec that attributes to creating a three-dimensional effect in sound. That means you can track and locate a sound source that can come from anywhere.

In real life, we don’t hear sounds coming from a single source or direction; each sound comes from a specific or different way. You can refer to the sounds of a vehicle or an airplane zooming in and out.

The result is parabolic; you hear the sound at a low volume, then it gradually increases, reaches a peak, and then again fades out. With that, you can feel it changing the direction, which you can refer to as the 3D effect.

(Video) Apple Music lossless and Spatial Audio - 5 months later | Mark Ellis Reviews

The Apple spatial audio applies the same strategy to create such effects. It takes the 5.1 or 7.1 channels and Dolby Atmos and applies its own directional audio filters. It also adjusts the sound output and frequencies that each ear can hear.

Following that algorithm, it can place the sound virtually anywhere it wants in a three-dimensional space. The result is a cinematic, true-to-life sound experience that resembles real life. With the spatial effect, you can hear sounds coming from the front, sides, and even from the background and above.

You’ll feel that you’re not listening to your headphones, but you’re actually present in the scene. Most audio files that we listen to come after a lot of compression and reduction. This format lets you hear all the tiny nuances, and more to that, you can hear songs in the quality of the actual recording in a studio.

The advanced sensors in Apple’s audio devices can track and determine the position of your head to apply the effects.

For example, suppose you’re watching a film on your Apple device with Apple’s audio appliances. If you move your head in another direction, the sensors will track the movement, and you’ll hear that the sound is coming from the direction of your phone.

What does spatial audio with Dolby Atmos mean?

Dolby Atmos is a benchmark in surround sound technology. The feature was previously present in sound systems and home theatres, but today many PCs, smartphones, gaming consoles, and smart speakers also come with the feature.

The advanced audio technology resembles the sound inside a concert hall or a movie theatre. You’ll feel the sound coming from all sides.

The spatial audio feature takes the listening experience a step further. Though the feature can work separately without Dolby Atmos, Apple has enabled the feature for the songs that already has Dolby Atmos support. The combination of both ensures that you don’t only get ultra-high-quality sound but a lively listening experience.

The sound staging is so realistic that if you listen to a song, say, Bohemian Rhapsody, you’ll feel like you’re sitting among the musicians recording the song. If you move or tilt your head in a certain direction, you may hear the instruments on that side more prominently.

Watch this video:

Do you need special devices for the spatial audio to work?

You can avail spatial audio in all existing Apple devices, you don’t need a specialized device for that. Apple Music will play Dolby Atmos tracks by default if you have a subscription.

The spatial audio feature with Dolby Atmos is available on Apple AirPod pro, AirPod max, and Beats headphones equipped with an H1 or W1 chipset. With that, the latest iPhones, iPads, and Macs are built-in speakers. You can also get this feature in the latest version of Apple TV and HomePod.

(Video) What's Apple Music lossless and Spatial Audio really like? | How to listen | Mark Ellis Reviews

It is important to note that the feature works with specific versions across all Apple devices. If you have an older device, make sure to check whether your software version is eligible for availing of this feature.

Spatial audio will work for iPhones and ipads that have a version 14.6 or above for both systems. If you want to listen on Mac, update the software version to 11.4 or above to enjoy this feature. To enable this feature, go to the settings and search music, then choose Dolby Atmos under Audio.

How to listen to songs with Spatial audio support in Apple Music

The process is fairly easy for sampling spatial audio in Apple Music. When you play a song, you’ll see the Dolby Atmos logo in the album’s details. That means you can listen to the entire album in Dolby atmos.

However, you can check playlists that have spatial audio facilities. If you want to compare between regular stereo sound and Dolby Atmos with special audio, you can always turn them on or off to see the difference.

As the process is new, there may be a limited number of songs supporting Dolby Atmos with spatial audio. The company is set for adding an Atmos version, especially with spatial audio support for every song on the platform. The platform has around 75 million songs in its library at this moment.

How well does the spatial audio work, and how does it sound?

Apple has announced that they will introduce a spatial audio format for all the songs in their library. For now, the format works for thousands of songs across genres. The format works pretty nicely for those songs, with or without an Apple device. People have compared the upgrade from stereo sound with regular TVs and HD TVs.

The latter brought an unparalleled viewing experience for people, so it happens when you turn the spatial audio feature on. Once you have switched to Dolby Atmos with spatial audio support, it’s hard to go back to regular stereo quality sound.

This format’s audio quality is significantly higher in terms of volume and bit rate. Though Apple already provides a lossless format that delivers studio-quality output, Dolby Atmos with spatial audio takes the whole experience a notch higher.

They provide this feature with 192kHz sampling rate. That results in immersive audio, and with the head tracking facility, it seems like you’re living in the moment.

You must know that songs don’t always follow the same production value and can also vary from genre to genre. Some songs automatically come with a higher sampling rate than some live recordings. Studio versions always have the upper hand regarding sound quality, which shows in the spatial audio format.

Audio engineers can place different instruments anywhere in the overall sound spectrum. Little care while mastering a song can generate problems while listening to the higher-quality output.

The vocals and beats may sound distant or very widely spaced, or there can be too much reverb, disrupting clarity. Spatial audio tends to unearth these issues. Some songs can sound very dull, and you may not be familiar with listening to certain instruments in unfamiliar places.

On the other hand, classical and jazz ensembles can sound astoundingly beautiful if they are good-quality recordings. To sum up, the feature may sometimes work inconsistently.

(Video) Apple Music Spatial Audio: How To Listen On Sonos Today

Is the spatial audio true to the expectations?

Modern inventions have challenged and changed the way we think about sound. The spatial sound format with Dolby Atmos is a breakthrough in the realm of high-performance, high-quality audio.
It offers a sound like never before without additional cost, and Apple Music has already added thousands of songs supporting the format. Moreover, you can enjoy this luxurious experience with any compatible device. With all that, spatial audio in Apple Music is a blessing for music enthusiasts and professionals alike.


Does Spatial Audio on Apple Music make a difference? ›

Apple's spatial audio is unique, though, at least where movie soundtracks are concerned, in that it doesn't only provide virtualised surround and Atmos sound, it also tracks your head movement using accelerometers and gyroscopes in the AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, AirPods Max and Beats Fit Pro in order to ...

Does Spatial Audio sound good with music? ›

Spatial audio doesn't make much sense if the only time you listen to music is at the gym. It may also not be the best option for those who only stream videos during their commutes. We recommend listening to spatial audio content from a quiet, controlled environment, so you don't find it distracting.

Does Spatial Audio work with everything? ›

Spatial Audio with dynamic head-tracking is restricted to iOS devices. Thus, you'll need the following hardware/software to sample it. With regards to video streaming apps, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Netflix, along with US-based streaming services HBO Max and Hulu support it.

Why won't Apple Music Play Spatial Audio? ›

Ensure the AirPods Are Connected to a Compatible Device

So, if you're using your AirPods with an Android device or a Windows machine, you will not be able to enjoy the dynamic spatial audio experience.

Is lossless better than spatial audio? ›

Lossless Audio is probably the more beneficial of the two features. While Spatial Audio improves your listening experience, you probably won't use it in the gym and can't use it in your car. Lossless Audio makes sure you get the best audio quality possible.

Is spatial audio better on Spotify or Apple Music? ›

Spatial Audio, a revolutionary feature that Apple Music launched in June 2021, provides a more immersive listening experience for its users. Spatial Audio leverages Dolby Atmos technology, creating a three-dimensional soundstage for music.

Is Dolby Atmos worth it in Apple Music? ›

For movies and TV shows, it is absolutely superb. Whenever I use my AirPods Pro or AirPods Max in conjunction with my Apple TV, the head tracking and completely un-headphone-like sound reproduction never fail to amaze me.

Is spatial audio better than stereo for music? ›

Spatialize Stereo allows you to play non-Dolby Atmos audio content and turn them into something that sounds more three-dimensional than a standard stereo played equally on your earbuds. And you don't need to shell out for expensive audio equipment, or even sign up for an Apple Music subscription, to get it.

Is spatial audio better than Dolby Atmos? ›

Spatial Audio is a layer on top of Dolby Atmos that enables an even more immersive listening experience. Not only do you get a multitude of audio channels via Dolby Atmos, but you also get to move around inside this audio space.

How do I make sure spatial audio works? ›

Touch and hold the volume control to turn on spatial audio while you're playing multichannel content or Spatialize Stereo while you're playing two-channel stereo content. This also shows you the status icons. When you turn on spatial audio with head tracking, audio adjusts based on your head movement.

When should I use spatial audio? ›

Say you're watching a film on one of the best iPhones, where someone is loudly walking along the left of the screen. If the movie is compatible with spatial audio, you could turn your head to the left and the footsteps would then sound like they were coming from straight in front of you.

Can you tell the difference with spatial audio? ›

"Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings a theater-like surround-sound experience to the movie or video you're watching, so that it seems as if the sound is coming from all around you. The sound field stays mapped to the actor or action on the screen even as you move your head or your device."

Should I keep spatial sound on? ›

Sound can be inaccurate: This spatial sound software only works well in certain situations. It works well with gaming and movies, but can cause audio to sound inaccurate when primarily used for music. Not for speakers: Unsurprisingly, Windows Sonic for Headphones only works well with headphones.

What is the benefit of spatial audio? ›

One of those components is spatialization, which simulates a sound's direction and distance. Users will hear audio from the left and right in conventional stereo setups, although spatialized audio advances this by enabling users to listen to sounds from all angles, above, below, in front, and behind.

Should I turn on spatial sound? ›

Some games, movies, and shows can natively support spatial sound, which will provide the highest level of audio immersion and location accuracy. However, if you turn on spatial sound on Windows 10, all your movies and games will sound better.


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