Spatial Audio Apps for Android

Spatial audio, also known as 3D audio, is an audio technology that creates immersive sound experiences by simulating how sounds interact with the environment around the listener. Some examples of spatial audio techniques include surround sound, binaural recording, and object-based audio. Spatial audio creates the illusion of sounds coming from all around, unlike traditional stereo which only allows sounds to be positioned left, right, or center. This enables a much more realistic soundscape and truly three-dimensional listening experience.

The origins of spatial audio date back to the late 19th century with the invention of binaural recording, which aims to replicate the listening experience of our two ears (Red Bull Academy, 2018). Surround sound emerged in the 1940s for theater applications and evolved over the decades into home entertainment systems. Object-based audio, one of the most advanced forms of spatial audio, allows individual sound elements to be positioned and moved in 3D space. Spatial audio technologies continue to rapidly advance with the growth of virtual and augmented reality.

Spatial audio creates an immersive listening experience by simulating sound reflections and reverberations within the environment. Directional audio cues and changes in intensity as sounds move closer or farther away enhance the sense of realism and being surrounded by the audio. This leads to greater listener engagement and emotional impact compared to traditional stereo. Key benefits of spatial audio include enhancing realism for movies, games, and VR; providing a more natural listening experience; and enabling greater creativity for music production.

Spatial Audio on Android

Android has built-in support for spatial audio, allowing users to experience immersive 3D sound on supported devices. Spatial audio aims to mimic real-world acoustics by applying directional audio filters, creating the illusion that sounds are coming from different places around you.

To take advantage of Android’s spatial audio, your device needs to meet certain hardware requirements. First, you’ll need headphones that support spatial audio codecs like Dolby Atmos or Sony 360 Reality Audio. Many modern Bluetooth headphones include these codecs. You’ll also need a device running Android 9 or higher that has an audio processor capable of decoding spatial audio signals.

Spatial audio works natively on recent Android flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, Google Pixel 6 series, and OnePlus 9 series. These devices contain audio processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound technology that can handle real-time spatial audio processing. Some mid-range and older Android models may lack the necessary audio hardware even if they run Android 9 or higher.

Overall, spatial audio brings an immersive sound experience on supported Android devices. With the right headphones and a capable Android phone or tablet, you can enjoy exciting spatial audio effects in music, movies, games, and more. As the technology matures, spatial audio will likely become more ubiquitous across the Android ecosystem.

Top Spatial Audio Apps

There are a variety of spatial audio apps to choose from on Android. Here are 10 of the top spatial audio apps, with key features and benefits:

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is one of the most well-known spatial audio apps. It provides cinematic, multi-dimensional sound for music, movies, and more. Key features include:

  • Bluetooth headphone optimization
  • Personalized audio with hearing test
  • Enhanced audio for a wide variety of content

DTS Headphone:X

DTS Headphone:X allows you to enjoy immersive spatial audio through any headphones. Features include:

  • 11.1 surround sound simulation
  • Customized audio profiles
  • Works with music, videos, and games

Spatial Audio by Hesu

This app provides an easy way to experience spatial audio on Android. Key features:

  • Virtual surround sound
  • Equalizer and presets
  • Supports various media formats

LOÓNA Spatial Sound

LOÓNA offers a customizable spatial sound experience. Benefits include:

  • Relaxation and sleep support
  • ASMR sounds
  • Soothing ambiences


The Tidal music streaming app includes select tracks available in spatial audio via Dolby Atmos. Great for spatial music.

Spatial Sound by Hesu – Surround

Another Hesu app providing virtual surround sound for videos, music, and gaming.

OneOdio Aware

This app offers spatial audio for any headphones. Features:

  • Head tracking
  • Custom sound fields
  • Cross-platform support

Dolby On

Dolby On gives spatial audio recording and audio enhancement tools. Useful for content creation.

Surround by Embody

This provides surround sound and 3D audio effects. Works with various media.

Razer Spatial Audio

Spatial audio tuned for gaming. Features include:

  • Surround sound
  • Gaming mode
  • Fully customizable

Comparing Spatial Audio Apps

There are a few popular spatial audio apps available for Android that provide an immersive listening experience using surround sound and 3D audio effects. Here we’ll compare some of the top options:

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is one of the leading apps for spatial audio on Android. It works by adding height channels to simulate 3D sound so audio seems to come at you from all directions. Key features include:

  • Supports music, video, and gaming
  • Compatible with headphones and built-in phone speakers
  • EQ customization options
  • Simple, easy-to-use interface

In terms of sound quality, Dolby Atmos adds a noticeable sense of space and dimension to audio. The surround sound effects come through clearly in music, movies, and games. It can provide an immersive listening experience.


DTS:X is Dolby Atmos’ main competitor in spatial audio apps. Like Dolby Atmos, it renders a multi-dimensional sound field using virtual height and surround channels. Key features:

  • Supports movies, music, and games
  • Personalized surround sound profiles
  • Dialog enhancement for clearer vocals
  • Bass boost, virtualizer effects

The sound quality of DTS:X is on par with Dolby Atmos. It adds a spacious, room-filling effect to audio and provides an engaging surround sound experience, especially for movies and games.


Overall, both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X excel at creating immersive spatial audio on Android. Dolby Atmos has a slight edge in terms of usability and compatibility, while DTS:X offers more customization options. For most users, Dolby Atmos provides the best balance of audio quality and ease of use. But DTS:X is also a top choice for its surround sound capabilities and extra features like dialog enhancement. Both are excellent choices for upgrading the audio experience on Android.

Optimizing Spatial Audio on Android

Android has built-in support for spatial audio technologies like Dolby Atmos, allowing you to get immersive 3D audio from your smartphone or tablet. However, there are a few steps you can take to optimize the spatial audio experience:

First, make sure spatial audio is enabled in your device’s sound settings. On Android 13 devices, go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Spatial audio and enable the feature. You may also need to specifically enable Dolby Atmos in the settings if available (source).

Second, use over-ear headphones for the most immersive experience. The closed design helps block out external noise and channel the spatial audio directly into your ears. Earbuds can work too, but may not provide the full surround sound effect (source).

Third, adjust the spatial audio settings like Head Tracking to follow your head movements for a more realistic experience. You can find these settings within the Spatial Audio or Dolby Atmos menu in Settings.

Finally, make sure you’re playing content that actually has spatial audio encoding like Dolby Atmos music or Netflix shows. Normal stereo content won’t magically turn into surround sound.

With the right content and some tweaking of settings, you can enjoy a theater-like spatial audio experience right from your Android phone using just a pair of headphones!

Spatial Audio for Music

Spatial audio enables a more immersive music listening experience by simulating a 3D soundstage and accurately positioning instruments and vocals in space around the listener. On Android devices, spatial audio creates the effect that music is coming from all directions, as if you were at a live concert. This provide a richer, more engaging way to enjoy music.

Many popular Android music apps have added spatial audio support, including Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and Apple Music. These streaming services can play tracks in spatial audio for users with compatible headphones, like the Sony WH-1000XM4. Spatial audio is also available in video apps like Netflix when listening with headphones. Apps may require a premium subscription to access spatial audio content.

To experience spatial audio for music, Android users will need headphones that support the feature, like Sony’s 360 Reality Audio lineup. Apps can analyze the shape of the listener’s ears using a phone’s camera to enable customized spatial audio profiles. Music mixed in spatial audio takes advantage of this personalized calibration for a unique 3D soundscape.

Overall, spatial audio unlocks more lifelike and engaging music listening on Android. With compatible headphones and music apps adding support, more users can enjoy surround sound as if they were on stage or in the studio with their favorite artists.

Spatial Audio for Movies

Spatial audio can significantly enhance the movie and video watching experience on Android devices by creating a more immersive and realistic surround sound effect. Movie makers can strategically place audio channels around the viewer to make action scenes come alive and dialog seem closer and more natural. This type of 3D sound places the viewer at the center of the action (1).

Several popular streaming apps have added support for spatial audio on Android devices recently. Netflix rolled out spatial audio support in late 2022, allowing content with Dolby Atmos spatial audio to take full advantage of compatible Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 series (2). Disney+ also launched spatial audio support in 2022 for select content. The effect helps draw viewers deeper into Marvel movies and other immersive content. And Hulu began supporting Dolby Atmos spatial audio in 2021 (1).

Overall, spatial audio allows movies and shows on Android devices to become more cinematic, nuanced, and engaging. As streaming services continue expanding their spatial audio catalogs and more Android phones add support, the technology promises to eventually become a standard, must-have feature for mobile video.


Spatial Audio for Gaming

Spatial audio can greatly enhance the gaming experience on Android by making games more immersive and realistic. Here are some of the key benefits of spatial audio for Android gaming:

With spatial audio, sounds come at you from all directions, just like in real life. This creates a feeling of being in the game environment rather than just looking at a flat screen. Sounds like enemy footsteps, gunshots, or dialog can come from behind, above, or anywhere around you.1

The sense of space and depth spatial audio adds helps with locating enemies, following game events, and navigating the game world more intuitively.

Spatial audio makes gaming more exciting and engaging. Dynamic sounds that move around you reacting to the gameplay draw you deeper into the experience.

Some popular Android games that support spatial audio include:

  • Fortnite
  • PUBG Mobile
  • Call of Duty Mobile
  • Genshin Impact

To get the best spatial audio experience in games:

Use headphones rather than speakers so sounds can be isolated to left and right ears.2

Enable any spatial audio or 3D audio settings in the game menus.

Adjust headphone volume to a comfortable level so spatial cues are audible.

Sit or stand while playing so your ears are vertical, matching the game’s audio mix.

Other Use Cases

Spatial audio on Android opens up many interesting use cases beyond just music, movies and gaming. Some other applications of spatial audio technology include:

Virtual Reality – Spatial audio is crucial for creating immersive virtual reality experiences. It allows users to perceive sounds as truly surrounding them, enhancing presence and immersion in VR apps and games (source).

Augmented Reality – Spatial audio can overlay location-aware sounds into real-world environments in AR apps. This could involve enhancing navigation apps with directional audio cues or adding ambient sounds that match the physical environment (source).

Accessibility – Android’s spatial audio features include audio zoom options to amplify sounds from a certain direction. This assists users with visual impairments or hearing loss (source).

As spatial audio continues advancing on Android, developers are finding new and creative ways to build immersive experiences across many categories beyond entertainment. The technology has huge potential to enhance usability and accessibility for all users.

Future of Spatial Audio on Android

Spatial audio on Android is still in its early stages, but it is expected to advance rapidly in the coming years. Here are some predictions for the future of this technology:

New spatial audio formats that provide even more immersive experiences are likely to emerge. For example, DroidSome notes that Android is working on implementing MPEG-H Audio, an object-based spatial audio standard that allows for hundreds of audio objects placed in a 3D space. This could enable 360-degree surround sound for content creators.

More Android devices from a wider range of manufacturers will gain support for spatial audio. As Google’s developer documentation explains, Spatial Audio uses standard channel-based content, meaning it can work across many chipsets. So support should spread rapidly.

Spatial audio will likely become a standard feature in media apps for music, movies, games, and more. Google is already promoting its use in YouTube and encouraged adoption in other apps. Establishing spatial audio as an expected capability will spur further innovation.

New head tracking capabilities may emerge to enable even more realistic sound positioning as users move their heads. This could build on face tracking APIs some Android phones already have.

Overall, spatial audio support in Android is still nascent but poised for big advances. Standardization and expanding hardware capabilities will likely make immersive spatial audio a must-have feature on Android devices in the coming years.

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