What is spatial audio? Here’s everything you need to know

Many of your audio devices support spatial audio, whether a variant of Dolby’s digital spatial audio technology or an in-house-made spatial audio technology. 


Many newer TVs, like the Hisense U6K and the TCL QM8, have built-in speakers compatible with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital. Some TVs also have speakers compatible with DTS:X and DTS Virtual: X. If you’re lucky, some TVs support both.


If you don’t have a TV with spatial audio-supported built-in speakers, you can buy a soundbar that supports spatial audio, like the LG S95TR. If your TV is a few years old but still working fine, a soundbar can help enhance your audio experience. 

Also: The best soundbars you can buy, tested and reviewed

Even if your TV’s built-in speakers support spatial audio, they are probably quite small and could use the extra boost to turn your living room TV into an entertainment hub.

Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and earbuds

Many portable Bluetooth speakers, headphones, and earbuds offer spatial audio. However, to listen to music in Dolby Atmos specifically, you usually must have a compatible listening device and music streaming service. You’ll need two compatible devices because tracks with Dolby Atmos are mixed by sound engineers

But some manufacturers, like Apple and Bose, implement their immersive sound technology into headphones like the AirPods Max and the Bose QuietComfort Ultra, which allow you to listen to anything in spatial audio. 

Additionally, head-tracking technology in over-ear headphones like the Sonos Ace and earbuds like the AirPods Pro 2 uses sensors to track your head movements and simulate audio from any direction you turn your head.

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