Apple Music has officially launched Spatial Audio, powered by Dolby Atmos for those running iOS/tvOS 14.6 and macOS 11.4 or a later version. This is a guide that will instruct you on how to find and play Spatial Audio, as well as how to enable this new feature to work with other headphones besides AirPods and Beats.
Spatial Audio on Apple Music offers a new and immersive experience when listening to music, either through an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K with HomePod, or other Dolby Atmos supported speakers.
Even better, this feature is available to all Apple Music subscribers, there is no extra cost. In this guide, the focus will be on Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio, but you can also enable Lossless hi-res music on Apple Music with iOS 14.6 and later versions. On either an iPhone or an iPad head to Settings > Music > Audio Quality > Lossless Audio.
Enabling Spatial Audio on Apple Music
Automatic detection is the default setting for Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio in iOS 14.6 and later. That works when using AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, any recent model of Beats headphones, and the built-in speakers on recent iPhone XR and later and any recent model of the iPad.
Despite this, according to Apple, you can also use Spatial Audio with any headphones that support Dolby Atmos with the setting that says “Always On”.
- If you are using an iPhone and iPad that is running iOS 14.6 or later, go to the Settings application.
- Head to Music > Dolby Atmos.
- The default setting will most likely be Automatic. Tap on Always On if you would like to use Spatial Audio with headphones that are not supported by Apple/Beats.
Finding and playing Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio
- In the Browse tab of Apple Music, look at all the playlists made up of all Spatial Audio music, such as Hits, Pop, Hip-Hop, Rock, Country, and Jazz.
- In the Search tab, there is a new Spatial Audio category in the top left corner. This is being used as a hub for all the Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio content, such as music, videos, featured albums, tutorials, and new content.
- If you want to find out if a specific album or song that you are looking for is available in Spatial Audio, search for it in Apple Music. To do this, look for “Dolby Atmos” below the album thumbnail and play button.
- An alternate way is to open the Apple Control Center and long-press on the headphones icon > look for Spatial Audio playing in the bottom right corner of your screen, and Dolby Atmos underneath the volume slider.