Zane Lowe explains Apple Music's new Spatial Audio feature

Apple Music on iPhone
Apple Music on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple Music now supports Spatial Audio for listeners.
  • Apple has published a new explainer from Apple Music's Zane Lowe.

Apple has today published an explainer from Zane Lowe regarding Apple Music and Spatial Audio.

In an article Lowe writes:

First there was mono, then stereo, and now there's Spatial Audio. Spatial is an immersive experience with sound moving around you in different directions. We have only had that kind of experience before in cinema. Have you ever wondered how that would work with music? I have. I first got the opportunity to listen to Spatial Audio on AirPods; I was confused at first. "Does this really work on AirPods? When do I get my car and go to some kind of listening room with special speakers?" And they were like, "No, no — just press play."

Lowe says he is excited for artists going forward will be able to take advantage of multiple channels of music where previously they only had the left and right of stereo:

I'm fascinated to know how I might be emotionally moved by my favorite songs in a different way with Spatial Audio. Because it's all going through my ears and triggering something, right? That's what dawned on me when I was listening to these songs in Spatial: I was listening to these songs that I knew really well, but I was feeling something different. So, it's not even just about the way it's going to end up sounding, it's very much how songs are going to feel.

Looking ahead Lowe says that the future is "going to be a really exciting journey", and that eventually artists will be born into Spatial and just adopt it naturally, he even says some artists may never think about making a stereo record.

Spatial Audio works with devices like Apple's AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, as well as Beats headphones and other devices. Apple has also rolled out its new lossless audio quality and plans to have all of its songs available in lossless by the end of the year.

You can read Zane Lowe's full piece here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9