Spatial Audio vs. Spatialize Stereo: Is There a Difference?


Apple has actually just recently launched Spatial Audio for Apple Music, enabling lots of people to delight in an immersive audio experience where multichannel audio is readily available.


However, the tech giant has likewise quietly made a workaround for stereo tracks, called Spatialize Stereo, an audio function that changes routine stereo blends into a surround sound experience. Read on to find out more about the distinction in between Spatial Audio and Spatialize Stereo.


What Is Spatialize Stereo?

While Spatial Audio for Apple Music developed headings, Apple has actually been rather peaceful about the Spatialize Stereo function.

Related: How to Enable Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio for Apple Music

With Spatialize Stereo, Apple utilizes computational audio innovation to change a normal stereo audio mix into a surround sound experience. It tries to mimic Spatial Audio without the requirement for Dolby Atmos audio tracks.

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Just listen to any track and turn the function on to change the stereo music into a more immersive listening experience. The function makes it much easier to differentiate instruments and sound results in the mix, originating from all around you, similar to what Spatial Audio does.

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If a Dolby-made it possible for track is readily available, Apple will utilize Spatial Audio. But it’ll instantly change to Spatialize Stereo whenever there is no multichannel Dolby-made it possible for track to utilize rather. This is an exceptional choice if you’re an Apple Music customer, however your preferred track isn’t yet on Spatial Audio.

But this function isn’t restricted to simply Apple Music. You can likewise utilize it on other apps that normally utilize stereo audio, like Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. You can even attempt it on videos in your picture library.

Spatial Audio vs. Spatial Stereo: Similarities


A visual demonstration on how Spatial Audio works from Apple's keynote
Image Credit: Apple

Both audio innovations need you to have an Apple gadget operating on the most recent software application, coupled with among following sets of earphones:

  • AirPods Pro
  • AirPods Max
  • AirPods (3rd generation)
  • Beats Fit Pro

Both audio alternatives can incorporate with vibrant head tracking provided by your Apple devices. Likewise, the devices ought to be linked to a gadget that supports the audio innovation. These gadgets consist of:


  • iPhone 7 or later on
  • iPad Pro (3rd generation) or later on
  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) or later on
  • iPad (sixth generation) or later on
  • iPad mini (5th generation) or later on
  • Apple TELEVISION 4K
  • MacBook Pro (2021)

Note: These gadgets ought to be running iOS or iPadOS 14, macOS Big Sur, tvOS 15, or later on.

Spatial Audio vs. Spatial Stereo: Differences

Now, let’s take a look at some distinctions in between Spatial Audio and Spatialize Stereo.

Software Requirements

Spatial Audio is readily available for gadgets running iOS and iPadOS 14.6 or macOS Big Sur, while Spatialize Stereo is just readily available for gadgets operating on iOS 15.

Source File Types

Tracks readily available in Spatial Audio usage Dolby Atmos, an audio format that needs advanced software and hardware to record and mix. On the other hand, Spatial Stereo utilizes Apple’s software application magic to change routine stereo audio into a much better listening experience


Some audiophiles fast to mention the distinction in the quality of noises in between the 2 innovations, while others gladly kept in mind that some tracks used Spatialize Stereo are even much better than Dolby Atmos tracks.

Many likewise suggested that it doesn’t work well with audio tracks that have actually been greatly processed.

Access to Surround Sound Music

Apple’s Spatial Audio plays tracks in surround sound format, mostly utilizing Dolby Atmos. Apple Music has actually partnered with Dolby Atmos to supply its customers with surround sound music. However, Dolby Atmos music tracks can likewise be accessed through other streaming music memberships, like Tidal and Amazon HD.

On the other hand, Spatialize Stereo permits iOS users to change all type of stereo blends into a three-dimensional noise experience, despite what app they’re utilizing.


Surround Sound Without the Price Tag

Spatialize Stereo permits you to play non-Dolby Atmos audio material and turn them into something that sounds more three-dimensional than a basic stereo played similarly on your earbuds. And you don’t require to pay out for costly audio devices, or perhaps register for an Apple Music membership, to get it.


Surround sound system graphic
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