Great news for Apple Music subscribers: the latest iOS 15 update brings an extra-immersive audio treat, namely dynamic head tracking for Apple's 3D audio tech, spatial audio. As teased at the Cupertino giant's WWDC conference on 7th June, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 users can now enjoy dynamic head tracking for spatial audio in Apple Music, whereby instruments and vocals have a fixed (virtual) place and, should you turn your head, that sonic element will remain in place, just as if you're at a live gig.
You don't need Apple's flagship AirPods if you're content with 'normal' spatial audio, remember. Your Apple AirPods or Beats headphones will play spatial audio content with Dolby Atmos automatically. Your third-party headphones will play it too, you just need to enable it in your phone's settings.
Apple's levelled-up spatial audio experience, introduced with iOS 15, is a clear indication that Apple really does want you to invest in its most premium AirPods – despite the fact that these wireless models won't play Apple's Lossless or Hi-Res Lossless streams to their fullest potential (for Lossless quality, you'll currently need wired headphones, and for Hi-Res Lossless you'll also need a third party DAC, although Qualcomm says that's all about to change).
Then again, from our (admittedly limited) time listening to the AirPods Max, Apple's immersive audio experience is impressive...
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