Apple Music now supports dynamic head tracking with Spatial Audio

Apple Music Spatial Audio Lossless Audio
Apple Music Spatial Audio Lossless Audio (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has added dynamic head tracking to Spatial Audio in Apple Music.
  • The feature launched alongside the release of iOS 15 earlier this week.
  • AirPods Pro and AirPods Max can take advantage of the feature.

Apple Music fans are getting another treat when it comes to audio formats in iOS 15.

As reported by Engadget, Apple has added dynamic head tracking for its Spatial Audio feature in Apple Music in the latest operating system for the iPhone.

The feature will, for songs that support it, keeps instruments and vocals fixed in a virtual place no matter what direction you turn your head.

The iOS 15 release brings an added treat if you're a fan of immersive audio: a better soundstage for your tunes. As hinted at WWDC in June, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 users now have dynamic head tracking for spatial audio in Apple Music. So long as you're using the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, instruments and vocals will have a fixed-in-place virtual presence — turn your head and that guitar or vocal will pan accordingly.

The feature was already rolled out to video content in services like Apple TV+. For example, I was watching "The Year Earth Changed" and, when I turned my head away from the screen, the sound stayed in place like I was watching television in front of me. It's a unique feature that could open up more creativity for artists but, like Spatial Audio tracks mixed with Dolby Atmos, will need to thoughtfully take advantage of the feature for it to be beneficial.

The feature is, however, limited to the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max headphones. Neither the regular AirPods nor Beats lineup is able to take advantage of the feature.

Apple originally announced Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos support for Apple Music back in the spring and launched it around WWDC21, the company's yearly developer conference. It also launched Lossless Audio. Neither feature brought with it a price hike for the music streaming service.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.