How to Enable Spatial Sound in Apple Music
Apple Music supports surround sound using Dolby Atmos technology, which means you can listen to some of your favorite songs with a cool surround sound effect. We’re going to show you how to enable spatial audio in Apple Music so you can make the most of this great feature.
What is Spatial Sound?
Spatial sound adds a theater-like surround sound effect to any sound you listen to, making it feel as if the sound is coming from different directions around you. For example, if you are watching a TV show, you may hear footsteps coming from the left side while the character speaks from the right side, while background sounds may play in front of you or above you.
Apple Music has also added this feature to some songs, optimizing them for spatial sound. If you’re going to try this feature, don’t expect it to be a game changer – some tracks have been really well mixed and sound amazing, while others may not sound as good as their original versions.
What do I need to listen to spatial audio in Apple Music?
To listen to spatial audio tracks in Apple Music, you need Dolby Atmos compatible hardware and you also need to make sure you update your software.
Spatial audio is supported by most of the currently available Apple and Beats headphones. This includes 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 Dolby Atmos compatible headphones from other companies.
You can also listen to songs with spatial sound using the built-in speakers on select Apple devices. We’ll show you how to enable it for each type of device.
How to enable spatial audio on iPhone / iPad
On 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 Automatic . It’s best to choose automatic mode if you’re using the Apple headphones mentioned earlier in this article. In this case, Apple Music will automatically play tracks in spatial sound if the Dolby Atmos version is available. If you are using third-party headphones for listening to surround sound, you should select Always On .
Please note that you can listen to songs with spatial audio using the built-in speakers on the iPhone XS or newer phone (but unfortunately not on the iPhone SE), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation or newer), 11-inch iPad Pro. or 4th generation iPad Air.
How to enable spatial audio on Mac
If you want to listen to spatial audio in Apple Music on Mac, please update to macOS 11.4 first. Once that’s done, open the Music app and in the menu bar go to Music> Preferences . Click the Playback tab and select Always On or Automatic for Dolby Atmos.
Apple says the built-in speakers on MacBook Pro (2018 or newer), MacBook Air (2018 or newer), and iMac (2021) can play back tracks with spatial audio.
How to enable spatial audio on Apple TV
To listen to songs with spatial audio on your Apple TV, you must have an Apple TV 4K with tvOS 14.6 or later software and compatible headphones or speakers.
For Apple TV 4K, you can either set up HomePod as the default speaker or connect the streaming box to a Dolby Atmos compatible speaker, TV, or AV receiver. Alternatively, you can connect your Apple TV to any Apple or Beats headphones mentioned earlier in this article.
Once these requirements are met, you can turn on your Apple TV 4K and go to Settings> Apps> Music> Dolby Atmos . Now set to automatic mode .
How to Enable Spatial Sound for Apple Music on Android
Finally, you can even listen to songs with spatial sound in Apple Music on Android. Please update the app to the latest version first and check if your Android phone supports Dolby Atmos. Next, open Apple Music and click the More button on the home page, then choose Settings> Dolby Atmos . You can now enable spatial audio.
How can I find spatial audio tracks in Apple Music?
Apple Music has tons of spatial audio playlists that you can check right now. You can also look for the Dolby Atmos logo under the album and artist name to check if it’s available in spatial audio.