How do I use spatial audio on Spotify Android?

What is Spatial Audio?

Spatial audio refers to audio technologies that create a sense of space and direction beyond traditional stereo audio. It aims to immerse the listener in a 3D soundscape where sounds are positioned all around in a virtual space (IxDF). This creates a more natural and lifelike listening experience, simulating how sounds reach our ears in the real world.

With spatial audio, sounds can be precisely localized and move around independent of the listener’s head position and orientation. This contrasts with regular stereo audio where the sound stage is fixed between the left and right speakers or headphones. Spatial audio introduces immersive effects like sounds coming from above, behind, and all around the listener (PCMag).

Popular platforms like Spotify support spatial audio content and technologies. Spotify features 360 audio tracks and playlists that place sounds and vocals in an immersive sphere. The company also rolled out support for spatial audio on iOS, bringing immersive audio to more listeners.

Benefits of Using Spatial Audio

Spatial audio provides a more immersive listening experience by replicating how sound is processed in real life. With spatial audio, sounds come at you from all directions, just as they would in a live setting. This creates a multi-dimensional listening environment that makes you feel like you’re inside the music [1].

Spatial audio also gives you the ability to pinpoint the location of sounds with more precision. The audio cues allow you to identify exactly where each instrument or vocal is coming from. This provides a heightened sense of space and depth [2].

Finally, spatial audio enhances overall audio quality by eliminating crosstalk between channels. Sounds are isolated and localized, resulting in clearer audio with reduced interference. The multidimensional sound allows you to hear details you may have missed before [3].

Requirements for Spatial Audio

To use Spotify’s spatial audio feature on Android, your device and Spotify app version need to meet certain requirements:

Your Android phone model needs to support spatial audio. As of January 2023, only certain Samsung Galaxy models are compatible, including the S21 series and newer flagships like the S22 and S23 series. Your phone also needs to be running Android 12 or newer.

You need to have version or newer of the Spotify app from the Play Store. Older versions do not include the spatial audio functionality.

Lastly, you need an active Spotify Premium subscription. The spatial audio feature is not available for free Spotify users at this time.

According to user reports on Reddit [1], some Galaxy S21 users running older versions of Android 11 were able to enable spatial audio after updating their Spotify app, while S20 users had no luck even on Android 12. So your Android version does matter. Just meet the above core requirements of a compatible Samsung phone model, Android 12 or newer, and the latest Spotify app from the Play Store.

Enabling Spatial Audio in Spotify

To enable Spatial Audio in Spotify on an Android device, the first step is to open the Spotify app and go to Settings by tapping on your profile picture in the top right:

Then, scroll down and find the “Audio quality” or “Sound quality and effects” section:

Under those sections, find and toggle on settings like “Enable Dolby Atmos”, “Spatialize Audio”, and “Enable Canvas”. Exact settings available and wording may vary by device and Spotify version.

According to, for devices like the Samsung Galaxy, toggle on “Dolby Atmos”. For devices like Sony, find the “surround sound” or “Audio upscaling” option.

Make sure to connect headphones or speakers that support Spatial Audio for the full immersive experience. You may also want to toggle on the “Head Tracking” setting, if available, for a more dynamic sound experience as you move your head around.

Spatial Audio Supported Content

To take advantage of spatial audio on Spotify, you need to be listening to content that supports the feature. According to Does Spotify Have Spatial Audio?, Spotify spatial audio works with:

You can identify spatial audio tracks and playlists by looking for the “Made for Spatial Audio” tag. When playing a track, you may also see a “Spatial Audio” icon. Enabling spatial audio options in your device settings will automatically play spatial tracks with the immersive experience when available.

According to users on Reddit, Spotify’s spatial audio catalog is still limited compared to other services, but is expected to grow over time as more content adds support.

Using Head Tracking

Head tracking with spatial audio allows the sound to adjust based on the movement of your head, creating an immersive 3D audio experience. As you turn your head left or right, the audio pans to match the direction you are facing. This makes it seem like the music is coming from all around you.

To enable head tracking on Spotify for Android:

  1. Open the Spotify app on your Android phone.
  2. Tap on a song or playlist that supports spatial audio.
  3. Tap on the track name at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Toggle the “Head Tracking” switch on.

Once enabled, start moving and turning your head around. You should notice the spatial audio adjusting to match your head movements. For the best experience, use over-ear headphones that fully cover your ears.

According to sources, Spotify does not natively support head tracking spatial audio. This feature only works when using a separate spatial audio platform like Dolby Atmos.

Listening with Headphones

To get the full spatial audio experience, positioning your headphones correctly is important. The sound is optimized for over-ear headphones that fully encompass your ears. Make sure the left and right sides are aligned properly so that the audio channels match up with your ears.

Wearing your headphones slightly forward so the earcups seal around your ears allows for better sound isolation and spatial imaging. Tilting them backward can cause the audio to sound unbalanced from left to right.

Adjust the fit so there is a tight seal around your ears to prevent audio leakage. Spatial audio is engineered to make it seem like sounds are coming at you from different directions, so a proper seal helps immerse you fully.

Set the volume at a moderate, comfortable level. Spatial audio works best when you can hear all the subtle directional audio cues. Loud volumes can overpower the 3D soundscape.

Try to minimize outside distractions and noise while listening to get the full effect. Spatial audio works by using head tracking to place sounds spatially around you, so reducing competing sounds helps the illusion feel more convincing.

Relax and keep your head still while listening, turning off head tracking if needed. Spatial audio is optimized for heads facing forward.

With the right headphone positioning and listening environment, spatial audio can make music, movies, and podcasts feel like a 360-degree world of sound around you.

Listening with Speakers

To optimize the listening experience with spatial audio on speakers, it’s recommended to use 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speaker setups. According to this Audioholics forum discussion, having a dedicated center channel and matched surround speakers enhances the spacial effect of certain content.

It’s also important to properly position your surround speakers to optimize spatial audio rendering. The front left, center, and right channel speakers should be placed at or around your ear level when seated, while side and rear surround channels should be positioned farther apart to create a wider stereo image.

Additionally, tuning the space by minimizing echoes and other sound reflections can enhance clarity, especially for higher frequency audio. Using room treatment panels or furniture like couches or curtains to absorb excess reverberation will prevent muddiness in the spatial audio effect.

Troubleshooting Spatial Audio Issues

If you are having issues enabling or using spatial audio on Spotify’s Android app, try these troubleshooting tips:

Common Spatial Audio Issues

According to the Apple Support Forum, some common spatial audio issues on Spotify include:

  • Spatial audio not activating properly
  • Issues with head tracking or stereo panning
  • Inconsistent spatial audio effects during tracks

Spotify Settings to Check

To resolve these issues, first check these Spotify settings on your Android device:

  • Confirm spatial audio is enabled in your Spotify app settings
  • Make sure you have the latest version of the Spotify app
  • Check that your Android OS and Spotify app are up-to-date
  • Confirm your headphones are compatible with spatial audio

If settings appear correct but issues persist, try uninstalling and reinstalling the Spotify app or contacting Spotify Support.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources for learning about and using spatial audio in Spotify on Android:

Spotify Support Articles

Read Spotify’s in-depth help articles on spatial audio:
How to enable spatial audio on Spotify Premium
Get started with Spotify and Spatial Audio

Relevant Forums and Communities

Connect with other users experiencing spatial audio:
r/truespotify on Reddit
Spotify Community

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