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Apple Music supports spatial audio with Dolby Atmos technology, which means you can listen to some of your favorite songs with a cool surround-sound-like effect. We’re going to show you how to enable spatial audio in Apple Music so you can get the most out of this cool feature.
What is spatial audio?
Spatial audio adds a theater-like surround sound effect to any audio you hear, making it feel like the sound is coming from different directions around you. For example, when watching a TV show, you may hear footsteps from the left while a character is speaking from the right, while background noise may be played from in front of or above you.
Apple Music has also added this feature to some songs, optimizing them for spatial audio. If you’re looking to try this feature out, don’t expect it to be groundbreaking – some tracks have been mixed really well and sound awesome, while others may not sound as good as their original versions.
What do I need to hear spatial audio on Apple Music?
You need Dolby Atmos compatible hardware in order to hear spatial audio tracks on Apple Music, and you need to make sure that you have updated your software as well.
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Spatial audio is supported by most of the Apple and Beats headphones currently available. These include AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro, and Beats Studio Buds. You can also use third-party Dolby Atmos compatible headphones.
On some Apple devices, you may also be able to listen to songs in spatial audio through the built-in speakers. We’ll walk you through the steps to activate for each type of device.
How to enable spatial audio on iPhone / iPad
On the iPhone and iPad, make sure you have updated to iOS 14.6 and iPadOS 14.6, respectively. Then go to Settings> Music> Dolby Atmos and choose Always on or Automatically. Choosing Automatic is best if you are using one of the Apple headphones mentioned earlier in this article. In this case, Apple Music will automatically play tracks in spatial audio if a Dolby Atmos version is available. If you are using third-party headphones to enjoy spatial audio, this is the one to choose Always on.
Note that with the built-in speakers of an iPhone XS or newer (but unfortunately not the iPhone SE), the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd, or the 4th generation iPad Air.
How to enable spatial audio on a Mac
If you want to hear spatial audio in Apple Music on Mac, update to macOS 11.4 first. Then open the Music app and navigate to in the menu bar Music> Settings. Go to reproduction Tab and select Always on or Automatically for Dolby Atmos.
Apple says the built-in speakers on a MacBook Pro (2018 model or later), MacBook Air (2018 or later model), and iMac (2021 model) can play all tracks in spatial audio.
How to enable spatial audio on Apple TV
To hear songs in spatial audio on an Apple TV, you need an Apple TV 4K with tvOS 14.6 or later versions of the software and compatible headphones or speakers.
With an Apple TV 4K, you can either set up a HomePod as the default speaker or connect the streaming box to a Dolby Atmos-compatible speaker, television or AV receiver. Alternatively, you can pair the Apple TV with one of the Apple or Beats headphones mentioned earlier in this article.
When these requirements are met, you can turn your Apple TV 4K on and off Settings> Apps> Music> Dolby Atmos. Put it up now Automatically.
How to enable spatial audio for Apple Music on Android
Finally, Apple Music on Android even lets you listen to songs in spatial audio. First, update the app to the latest version and see if your Android phone supports Dolby Atmos. Next, open Apple Music and tap on it More on the home page, and then select Settings> Dolby Atmos. You can now enable spatial audio.
How do I find spatial audio tracks in Apple Music?
Apple Music has a lot going for it spatial audio playlists which you can try right away. You can search for that too Dolby Atmos Logo under the name of the album and artist to verify that it is available in spatial audio.