Apple recently pushed its latest update to the Apple Music app for Android. In the update, Apple is providing both Lossless and Spatial Audio functionality to compatible devices using compatible headphones. However, hidden in the updated support document, was mention of a few Apple devices.
It appears that Spatial Audio will not be coming to the iPhone XR and iPad Air (3rd generation). Originally, Apple included both of these devices, as its compatible devices were listed as such.
The built-in speakers on an iPhone XR or later (except iPhone SE), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later), iPad Pro 11-inch, iPad (6th generation or later), iPad Air (3rd generation or later), or iPad mini (5th generation)
This tidbit of information was originally discovered by @holgr on Twitter (via 9to5Mac). Unsurprisingly, Apple has not shared any information as to why these devices were removed from the list. Previously, the Apple Music website stated that Spatial Audio is coming to the iPhone 7, but that was later changed.
It’s unlikely that Apple will make any formal announcement regarding these changes. All we can infer from this news is that Apple likely ran into a hiccup, forcing it to change course. Of course, it’s a disappointment if you own either of those devices, further compounded by the lack of transparency on Apple’s part.
What is Spatial Audio
Spatial Audio is one of three new audio formats available with Apple Music. Apple made the surprise announcement, stating that select wireless headphones and smartphones would be compatible. Essentially, the technology makes you feel like you’re actually at the concert.
With Spatial Audio’s fantastic head-tracking technology, the music will move with you. Turn your head to the right, and the music floods your left ear. Turn it to the left, and the opposite effect occurs.
Alongside tvOS 15 and macOS Monterey, Apple confirms head tracking with Spatial Audio is coming to the Apple TV and M1 Macs. Intel Macs are unable to take advantage, and older Apple TV devices aren’t compatible either.
Nevertheless, if you have the opportunity to give Spatial Audio a chance, take it. Even as a non-audiophile, it’s something truly wonderful and could be the best update of the year.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.