Technology

Google details what apps will offer Spatial Audio on Pixel, Buds Pro

Spatial Audio on Pixel phones and Pixel Buds Pro is not launching until January, but Google today detailed how it will work and what Android apps will be supported.

Movies are the intended use case of Spatial Audio on Pixel phones to offer an “immersive effect.” It will be supported on the Pixel 6, 6 Pro, 7, and 7 Pro, but it’s not clear whether another update (January’s) is needed or if everything is already in place with the QPR1 December patch. That said, the aforementioned menu does not yet appear after updating (compared to during the beta period):

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Sound & vibration > Spatial Audio.
  3. Turn on Spatial Audio.

Google says “you can use Spatial Audio on your Pixel phone with movies from Netflix, YouTube, Google TV, and HBOMax that have 5.1 or higher audio tracks. You must wear headphones or earbuds.”

Meanwhile, Pixel Buds Pro owners can enable “head tracked Spatial Audio.” This will presumably require new firmware:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Connected devices > Pixel Buds Pro > Settings > Head tracking.
  3. Turn on Head tracking.

Meanwhile, Google has the following tips:

  • Use content marked as Dolby audio, 5.1, or Dolby Atmos.
  • Keep your phone steady or place it on a stable surface or stand.

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