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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Spatial audio is a sonic feature exclusive to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max that adds surround sound to Apple's premium audio wearables. By utilizing dynamic head tracking, it brings a theater-like audio experience to the movie or video you're watching, so that it seems as if the sound is coming from all around you.

spatialaudiofeature.jpg

The feature works by comparing the data from your iOS device's gyroscope and accelerometer against the data from your ‌AirPods‌ Pro or AirPods Max, ensuring that the sound field stays anchored to the device, even if you move your head.

Unsurprisingly, spatial audio isn't universally supported by third-party apps and services. To save you spending time wondering if a particular app works with the feature, we've put together a list below of all the apps that have officially been updated to support Spatial Audio, and some popular apps that have yet to add support.

Popular Apps That Support Spatial Audio

  • Air Video HD (Turn on Surround in Audio settings)
  • Apple's TV app
  • Netflix
  • Disney+
  • FE File Explorer (DTS 5.1 unsupported)
    Foxtel Go (Australia)
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Plex (Enable old video player in Settings)
  • Peacock
  • Discovery+
  • Paramount+
  • Vudu
  • Some TIDAL songs
Popular Apps That Don't Support Spatial Audio

  • Infuse
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • VLC
  • Amazon Prime Video
We'll keep these lists updated as and when we learn of additional third-party apps and updates that come out in support of spatial audio. In the meantime, check the following details to make sure that your hardware is compatible with the feature.

airpods-pro-max-in-silver.jpg
What You Need to Use Spatial Audio

To take advantage of spatial audio on ‌AirPods Pro‌ or ‌AirPods Max‌, you need an ‌iPhone‌ 7 or later or one of the ‌iPad‌ models listed below. Note that spatial audio is not supported by any Mac model or any Apple TV models.
  • iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd generation) and later
  • iPad Pro‌ 11‑inch
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ (6th generation) and later
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
You also need iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 or later installed on your device, as well as the latest firmware on your ‌AirPods Pro‌ or ‌AirPods Max‌. To learn more about using spatial audio, check out our dedicated how-to article.

Article Link: All the Apps That Support Apple's Spatial Audio Feature
 
Last edited:

Kissmo1980

macrumors member
Feb 16, 2021
63
94
I can't get Plex to work with spatial audio.
I enabled and disabled old player support with no change.

Both on iPad Pro 2021 and iPhone 11 Pro Max
 
Last edited:

Morgenland

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2009
1,179
1,239
Europe

Surround Speaker Chec‪k​

Surround Sound Ear Candy​

Spatial Scenes​

To play around on AirPods Pro I found these in the Apple App Store (iOS)
 
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munpip214

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2011
429
1,126
According to the Infuse developer it is not trivial to add support for this
 

urbanslaughter1997

macrumors 6502
Aug 3, 2007
332
197
Now, if only my AirPods Pros hadn't stopped working suddenly last month. Not even two years old yet. They just started playing in one ear only. That one ear switches back and forth but Apple swears it's not a software issue. OK, then the product didn't even last two years. It doesn't seem like that's too much to ask of a company for a $250 set of ear pods.
 

nutmac

macrumors 603
Mar 30, 2004
5,298
4,823
The reason the Macs and Apple TV don't support this is Apple doesn't just positionally track the AirPod Max or Pro, but it tracks the video device as well. The necessary hardware is not in the Mac or Apple TV (yet).
True but at the same time, dynamic head tracking shouldn't be required for the feature to work. Most of the time, I am looking at the screen anyway, especially for TV. Apple should relax the requirement.

Perhaps 6th generation Apple TV will have the necessary hardware to enable dynamic head tracking.
 
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Ydgnsiberia

macrumors newbie
Mar 5, 2021
1
1


Spatial audio is a sonic feature exclusive to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max that adds surround sound to Apple's premium audio wearables. By utilizing dynamic head tracking, it brings a theater-like audio experience to the movie or video you're watching, so that it seems as if the sound is coming from all around you.

spatialaudiofeature.jpg

The feature works by comparing the data from your iOS device's gyroscope and accelerometer against the data from your ‌AirPods‌ Pro or AirPods Max, ensuring that the sound field stays anchored to the device, even if you move your head.

Unsurprisingly, spatial audio isn't universally supported by third-party apps and services. To save you spending time wondering if a particular app works with the feature, we've put together a list below of all the apps that have officially been updated to support Spatial Audio, and some popular apps that have yet to add support.

Popular Apps That Support Spatial Audio

  • Air Video HD (Turn on Surround in Audio settings)
  • Apple's TV app
  • Disney+
  • FE File Explorer (DTS 5.1 unsupported)
    Foxtel Go (Australia)
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Plex (Enable old video player in Settings)
  • Peacock
  • Discovery+
  • Paramount+
  • Vudu
Popular Apps That Don't Support Spatial Audio

  • Infuse
  • Netflix
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • VLC
We'll keep these lists updated as and when we learn of additional third-party apps and updates that come out in support of spatial audio. In the meantime, check the following details to make sure that your hardware is compatible with the feature.

airpods-pro-max-in-silver.jpg
What You Need to Use Spatial Audio

To take advantage of spatial audio on ‌AirPods Pro‌ or ‌AirPods Max‌, you need an ‌iPhone‌ 7 or later or one of the ‌iPad‌ models listed below. Note that spatial audio is not supported by any Mac model or any Apple TV models.
  • iPad Pro 12.9‑inch (3rd generation) and later
  • iPad Pro‌ 11‑inch
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ (6th generation) and later
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
You also need iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 or later installed on your device, as well as the latest firmware on your ‌AirPods Pro‌ or ‌AirPods Max‌. To learn more about using spatial audio, check out our dedicated how-to article.

Article Link: All the Apps That Support Apple's Spatial Audio Feature
Tidal actually also just added a collection of audio mastered with spatial audio
 
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Exponent

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002
199
471
Silicon Valley
I own a pair of Bose NC700 headphone, and those have some sort of "spatial / 3D" audio functionality. (You can download some example Bose-specific apps for this from the App Store.)

I wonder if Apple will enable headphones other than their brand to support their spatial audio operating system features?
 

Morgenland

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2009
1,179
1,239
Europe
I still don't understand this tech. Why wouldn't you want this to work like normal surround sound instead of virtual directional audio so it sounds like it's coming from your iPhone instead?
You can watch movies and distinguish sounds from the left, right, front and back and only need 2 sound sources.
The method uses multi-channel audio (e.g. 5.1 AC3 or 7.1/Atmos E-AC3) and Apple recalculates it.
It realistically only works with headphones though (and only in theory with 2 speakers).
Due to the gyro head movement detection of the AirPods, which Apple includes in the sound calculation in real time, the sound positions remain stationary in the room even when the head is turned. I tried it with the AirPods Pro, which is stunning.
 
Last edited:

Morgenland

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2009
1,179
1,239
Europe
Thanks for sharing! (I'm the dev for the first two apps.)

I'd like to add Vermont Sleep Sounds & Music supports spatial audio as well.
Thank you, I very much appreciated your Apps! I have told many work colleagues about it. Many still have no idea how impressive and realistic spatial audio can be, especially with lightweight headphones.
 
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