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Apple today clarified details on which of its devices support Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos through the built-in speakers, and it turns out that some older iPhones and iPads previously thought to work with spatial audio do not, in fact, offer the feature.

iPhone-Hi-Fi-Apple-Music-Feature.jpg

In an updated support document, Apple says that the built-in speakers of the iPhone XS or later (minus the iPhone SE), the 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and the fourth-generation iPad Air support spatial audio.

Prior to today's update, this support document said that spatial audio was also compatible with the iPhone XR, the iPad mini 5, the iPad Air 3, and the 6th to 8th-generation iPads.

Before today's update:
The built-in speakers on an iPhone XR or later (except iPhone SE), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later), iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad (6th generation or later), iPad Air (3rd generation or later), or iPad mini (5th generation)
After today's update:
The built-in speakers on an iPhone XS or later (except iPhone SE), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later), iPad Pro 11-inch, or iPad Air (4th generation)
Apple has not yet updated the footnote on its Apple Music page with the latest information on supported devices, and this is not the first time that Apple has offered confusing information on which devices work with spatial audio.

An earlier version of the Apple Music page at one point said that spatial audio worked with the iPhone 7 or later, but that was updated to say iPhone XR in June. Apple will likely soon update the footnote again to reflect the new data, which indicates spatial audio is limited to newer iPhones and iPads.

Those who have older iPhones and iPads can still access spatial audio with several headphone options including AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Beats X, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro, or Beats Studio Buds.

On Macs, all of the above listed headphone options work as well as the built-in speakers on MacBook Pro (2018 model or later), MacBook Air (2018 model or later), or iMac (2021 model).

Update: Some iPhone XR owners have been able to get the Spatial Audio feature working on their devices in automatic mode, with the iPhones playing Spatial Audio as expected, so it appears the Spatial Audio feature may work with the iPhone XR, XS, and later. The iPad mini 5, iPad Air 3, and 6th to 8th-generation iPads do not support Spatial Audio.


Article Link: Apple Music's Spatial Audio Feature Doesn't Work With Built-In Speakers of iPhone XR, iPad, or iPad mini [Updated]
 
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buckwheet

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2014
333
358
exactly... that's the most obvious thing in the world—there's absolutely no point in bothering to make it run on the built-in device speakers...

And actually, it probably just sounds worse than without it on certain devices... that would at least make sense of why they'd disable it.
 
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One2Grift

Cancelled
Jun 1, 2021
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Playing music on an iPhone or iPad Mini(oh no) is for ambient background noise in the form of a song. I do sometimes only because performance listening devices aren't available, and I'd like some of the aforementioned ambient background.
If anyone finds this story to be of any consequence, you have bigger problems than the lack of lossless music on a iPad Mini or Cell Phone.
 

dog.cow

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2014
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Planet Earth
This is a hot mess. I was away a few weeks ago in the middle of nowhere with friends and was looking forward to playing my playlist on my Bluetooth speaker I’d spent weeks curating… only to find every song stopped playing after 15 seconds, something that is listed in the bug fixes for iOS 14.7.

They need to give people the option to totally disable all this Atmos/Lossless crap until it’s invisible to the end user. Right now, I put a song on and will be wondering if I’m going to get to hear the whole thing or yet another error…I’d rather have AAC that will definitely play than 15 seconds of Lossless then disappointment.
 

ThirteenXIII

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
783
170
This is a hot mess. I was away a few weeks ago in the middle of nowhere with friends and was looking forward to playing my playlist on my Bluetooth speaker I’d spent weeks curating… only to find every song stopped playing after 15 seconds, something that is listed in the bug fixes for iOS 14.7.

They need to give people the option to totally disable all this Atmos/Lossless crap until it’s invisible to the end user. Right now, I put a song on and will be wondering if I’m going to get to hear the whole thing or yet another error…I’d rather have AAC that will definitely play than 15 seconds of Lossless then disappointment.
you can from Settings > Music > Dolby Atmos and Lossless.

but yes I have experienced where it doesn't completely play, redownloading sometimes works or switching off lossless helps.

this whole thing seems rushed to shine the spotlight on Apple and they still haven't made the switch on macOS for exclusive mode or whatever it should be called, shouldn't be that hard if its on iOS and iPad OS. :rolleyes:
 

Khedron

Suspended
Sep 27, 2013
2,561
5,735
Love my iPad mini but I don’t even use the built in speaker to listen to someone talking in a YouTube video, let alone music, when AirPlay is right there.
 

iGeek2019

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2019
355
389
No Selection
I use the built in speakers on my iPhone 12 when I’m doing the washing up as we don’t have a speaker in the kitchen.

Must admit I’m somewhat confused as I had the XR until recently and Dolby Arnos was a ‘thing’ on iOS 14.7.

It was definitely working as I checked out Buddy Holly by Weezer as I’d seen elsewhere on MacRumors about how bad it sounded in Dolby Atmos… it was deffo in Atmos 😂
 
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