Spatial audio in Apple Music makes it sound like music is surrounding you -- here's how to try it

5 days ago 18

Apple Music with Dolby Atmos spatial audio

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple rolled retired a truly chill new Dolby Atmos situation dependable feature to Apple Music this week that mightiness assistance it pull and support subscribers arsenic it competes with streaming euphony person Spotify.

Dolby Atmos spatial audio makes it consciousness a spot much similar euphony is surrounding you portion utilizing headphones, alternatively of conscionable piping into your near and close ears. Songs with Dolby Atmos are disposable for free, truthful agelong arsenic you're already an Apple Music subscriber. Dolby Atmos is besides disposable done Amazon Music HD and TIDAL subscriptions, portion Deezer uses Sony's competing mentation called 360 Reality Audio for its Deezer HiFi service. Spotify doesn't yet person a Dolby Atmos option.

I'm not an audiophile, and I can't usually archer the quality betwixt immoderate of the higher-quality tracks euphony services person started to rotation out. But there's a noticeable quality betwixt regular stereo euphony and these caller "Spatial Audio with enactment for Dolby Atmos" songs. At least, astir of the time. The quality is much noticeable successful immoderate songs than others.

There are lone thousands of tracks (out of the 75 cardinal successful Apple Music) with enactment for it close now, but Apple has immoderate playlists that tin amusement you what it's susceptible of. And caller albums volition proceed to adhd enactment portion artists rework immoderate older songs, too. 

It's astir apt not capable unsocial to get radical to subscribe to Apple Music -- astatine slightest not yet -- but it's a bully added payment for radical who already person Apple Music to get much retired of the service.

What is Dolby Atmos spatial audio?

Normally, erstwhile you perceive to a opus done headphones, you're listening to stereo sound. It's similar erstwhile you person 2 speakers connected the near and close of your TV. Dolby Atmos offers situation sound, truthful it's akin to what you mightiness expect if you had a clump of speakers each astir your surviving room. Except, alternatively of having a clump of surviving country speakers each astir you, this works done your headphones. 

AirPods Pro volition get a caller surround-sounds spatial audio experience.


Dolby Atmos allows musicians to make songs that specifically spot vocals and instruments successful definite areas of the "sound stage." And these are the caller types of songs that are present disposable successful Apple Music. 

This fall, Apple volition physique connected it with a head-tracking diagnostic for AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro Max that's already disposable for things similar movies and TV shows that connection Dolby Atmos. When that's on, it sounds similar the euphony is coming from the instrumentality that's playing it. So, if you person headphones on, and you crook your head, you'll perceive the euphony displacement successful the absorption of your iPhone, for example. Sort of similar the iPhone is the stage. 

What bash I request to perceive to spatial audio?

Apple Music with Dolby Atmos spatial audio

Todd Haselton | CNBC

  • An Apple Music subscription (or trial), which costs $4.99 a period for students, $9.99 a period for individuals oregon $14.99 a period for families (up to six people.)
  • AirPods
  • AirPods Pro and AirPods Pro Max (with Spatial Audio turned on)
  • BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro oregon Beats Solo Pro
  • It besides works done the built-in speakers connected iPhones and iPads released successful the past fewer years (except the iPhone SE), but I recovered it overmuch much noticeable done headphones.

But you don't request AirPods. Dolby Atmos songs enactment connected each headphones, you conscionable request to crook connected "always on" successful settings first. 

To bash that:

  • Open Settings connected your iPhone oregon iPad.
  • Choose Music.
  • Select "Dolby Atmos"
  • Change the mounting to "Always On."

If you're listening from an Apple TV, you tin perceive to Dolby Atmos done speakers that enactment the format, oregon done the aforementioned AirPods and Beats headphones. To crook it on, spell to Settings > Apps > Music and marque definite Dolby Atmos is connected "Automatic." On a Mac, you'll privation to alteration the mounting to download successful Dolby Atmos successful the preferences paper of Apple Music.

How bash I perceive to spatial audio successful Apple Music?

Apple Music with Dolby Atmos spatial audio

Todd Haselton | CNBC

It's casual to effort Dolby Atmos spatial audio successful Apple Music. 

If you unfastened the app close now, you'll spot respective playlists for assorted genres with songs created to enactment Dolby Atmos. But I urge starting with the "Hits successful Spatial Audio" playlist, which provides an audio illustration of stereo vs. Dolby Atmos.

As caller tracks and albums rotation out, you'll spot a small tag nether each opus that shows "Dolby Atmos" to fto you cognize it supports the format. 

You'll person to redownload your songs

Apple Music with Dolby Atmos spatial audio

Todd Haselton | CNBC

You tin watercourse Dolby Atmos each you want. But if you privation those tracks disposable erstwhile you don't person a Wi-Fi connection, you request to download them. And if you already person non-Dolby Atmos songs downloaded, you'll person to delete those and redownload the opus to get it successful the spatial audio format. 

You tin marque definite aboriginal downloads ever download the Dolby Atmos mentation by opening Settings connected your iPhone and tapping Music and enabling the "Download successful Dolby Atmos" option.Subscribe to CNBC connected YouTube.