Skip to main content

Google could give the Pixel 6 its take on Apple spatial audio

Is the Pixel 6 about to get a Google's take on Apple spatial audio?
(Image credit: Google)

The latest Android 13 leak suggests that Google is testing out an Apple Spatial Audio-like feature.

As discovered by by Esper.io's Mishaal Rahman, and reported by Android Police, the Android 13 Beta 1 code contains a spatializer effect for the Google Pixel 6 Pro smartphone. 

When activated, this feature seems to adds more dimension to the audio heard through headphones. Rahman also dug up a shared library file for spatial audio in the "soundfx" folder, which is also pretty revealing.

Of course if Google does plan to support spatial audio with head tracking over a Bluetooth A2DP connection, a latency mode control would also be required. Happily, Android 13 Beat 1 seems to have a low latency mode (less than 100ms) compatible with headtracking. Very convenient.

As for the question of whether the rumoured Google spatial audio tech would require certain headphones... it's possible. Last year's Pixel Buds A-Series were tipped to support a 3D audio feature. And since then, Google has bought up a host of audio companies – including 3D audio startup Dysonics. 

It's by no means official, it does look as though Google is experimenting with a form of spatial audio ahead of the official launch of Android 13 later this year. If the feature does make it into the final version, it could help Google take the fight to Apple.

Will we see an updated version of the Pixel 6 Pro ahead of the official launch of Android 13 later this year? Stay tuned and we'll bring you more as this story develops.

MORE: 

11 of the best tracks in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos 

Our pick of the best smartphones

Read our judgement on PS5 vs Xbox Series X: which is better? 

Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.