Apple Launches Free Spatial Audio, Dolby Atmos Support for Apple Music

Apple Music Spatial Audio1 Credit: Apple
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Apple announced at WWDC21 that its new Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos feature for Apple Music is launching June 7 for all users.

Unveiled last month, the Spatial Audio feature brings a unique and immersive experience to the company’s music streaming service.

Available at no extra cost, the Spatial Audio features are powered by Dolby Atmos. It uses directional audio filters to control the direction of the sound. Music can sound like it’s coming from in front of you, behind you, and even above you.

Not only does spatial sound determine where the sound is heard, but it also tracks your head movements using the gyroscope and accelerometers built into the company’s AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. This allows the sound to hold its position correctly even as you move your head to look around.

Launched initially for TV shows, this 3D sound is now available for Apple Music users. It will roll out automatically in the free iOS and iPad iOS 14.6 software updates. Spatial audio is available on the following devices:

  • iPhone 7 or later
  • iPad Pro 12.9?inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11?inch
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (6th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • Apple TV (Music only)
  • Apple TV 4K (2021)
  • MacBook Pro (2018 model and later)
  • M1 MacBook Air (2020)
  • M1 MacBook Pro (2020)
  • M1 iMac (2021)
  • M1 Mac Mini (2020)

While those above devices above are eligible for Apple’s basic Spatial Audio, the new Dolby Atmos enhancement is limited to newer iOS devices, including only devices released from 2018 and on.

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