Spatial Audio

If you have the AirPod Pros and have updated your iPhone to iOS 14, put them in and then play this video on YouTube. It’s pretty amazing to hear surround sound from just two speakers.

It sounds like the music is rotating around your head. Amazing.

You’ll get a better effect from sources that support spatial audio. Swipe down to open control center and long hold on the AirPods volume slider. You’ll see the spatial audio icon. If the waves are pulsing, you have a true surround source playing. If they are fixed, it’s just stereo. In this case, it’s just a stereo source even playing in the latest YouTube app.

I watched Alien Covenant with the spatial audio enabled and it’s neat but weird. You turn your head and it feels like the audio is coming from your phone instead of directly in your ears. I think you’ll get it with any Dolby Atmos movie from iTunes. I haven’t tried other apps yet.

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Yeah, this stuff is really cool. I was hanging out with the creator of MacAmp 15 years ago and he was working on it then.

Several years ago I got it on the PS4, it was subtle and if you tried to hear it, you wouldn’t… but then I heard a noise, turned and shot the guy without even thinking… that blew me away!

I’ve been using 7.1 surround with Razer Tiamat headphones for years on my PC. With 5 speakers in each ear, it’s just like you said, you won’t really notice it while testing but it really works when you’re not trying to hear it. My friends would say I’d have an unfair advantage playing games like Left 4 Dead because I could pretty accurately pinpoint the noises of the specials through walls, without being able to see them.

Unfortunately those Tiamats finally broke after 7 years and I have the v2 version now. They are not as nice as the original. And unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be much of a market for true 7.1 headphones.

I’ll likely be stuck with virtual in a few years, because I don’t see these Tiamat v2 headphones giving me 7 years like the last pair. But if what I’m hearing from the AirPods Pro is any indication, maybe it won’t be so bad.

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