Google Pixel 7, Pixel 6 series to get AirPods Spatial Audio feature; other Android devices may follow

Spatial Audio support will see Google’s newest Pixel phones take on Apple, which already supports this feature on select phones.

Highlights
  • Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 are seemingly set to get Spatial Audio support
  • The feature will be introduced via a software update this month
  • A wide range of headphones may soon support Spatial Audio on Android phones

After Apple debuted it with its AirPods Pro last year, Google is seemingly set to bring support for Spatial Audio to Android devices, starting with its Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 series of phones. According to a report, Google will introduce the feature via its January 2023 software update, although the Pixel 6a is expected to be omitted from the list of phones that will support the feature right away. However, given that the feature is debuting on Android, this may turn out to be a key moment going forward, since multiple headphone makers may eventually introduce the feature in future.

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How Spatial Audio will roll out to Android phones

Spatial Audio uses software algorithms to simulate a multi-speaker sound system on smaller audio devices, such as earphones. This will be seemingly done by Android’s Spatializer API, which will be introduced for all users of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 6 series of phones this month itself. According to reports, Google had tried out the feature in its Android 13 beta update in September last year, but the same is only rolling out now.

The obvious roadblock to the adoption of this cutting edge audio feature is, of course, the lack of enough headphones that support it. According to reports, this support will begin via a firmware update issued to the Google Pixel Buds Pro that will be rolled out soon, and bring out both Spatial Audio and Head Tracking to create a simulated multi-speaker sound experience on the headphones.

In the long run, it remains to be seen how many phones and headphones adopt Spatial Audio support, which will be introduced as a default Android feature in the long run. More details on how this feature will work across the Android ecosystem should surface over the coming months.