Do you have to activate spatial audio?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

To answer your question, let’s delve into the topic of spatial audio and its activation process. Spatial audio is a feature that creates a more immersive and realistic sound experience by simulating a three-dimensional audio environment. It gives the impression that sound is coming from different directions, adding depth and dimension to the listening experience.

If you are using Apple and Beats headphones with a W1 or H1 chip, spatial audio will be automatically enabled. These chips are specifically designed to support spatial audio, allowing you to enjoy the feature without any additional steps. This seamless integration simplifies the process and ensures that you can experience spatial audio right out of the box.

However, if you are using headphones without a W1 or H1 chip, such as third-party headphones or older Apple and Beats models, you will need to manually activate spatial audio. The activation process involves switching on the Dolby Atmos feature in the Apple Music app’s settings.

To activate spatial audio on non-W1 or non-H1 chip headphones, follow these steps:

1. Open the Apple Music app on your Apple device.
2. Tap on the “For You” tab at the bottom of the screen.
3. Tap on the profile icon in the top right corner.
4. Scroll down and select “Audio Quality.”
5. Under the Dolby Atmos section, tap on “Always On” to enable spatial audio.

By setting Dolby Atmos to “Always On,” you ensure that all compatible tracks in Apple Music will be played in spatial audio, providing an enhanced listening experience. It’s important to note that not all songs in Apple Music support spatial audio, but an increasing number of tracks are being added regularly.

While spatial audio is automatically enabled on Apple and Beats headphones with a W1 or H1 chip, it needs to be manually activated on other headphones by switching on Dolby Atmos in the Apple Music app’s settings. This allows you to enjoy the immersive and realistic sound experience that spatial audio offers, making your music listening sessions more enjoyable and engaging.