We’re still digging into all the new features coming with iOS 18, which was announced earlier this week at WWDC 2024. We’ve just reported on the update letting users choose their preferred Home Hub, but now there’s another significant change coming, especially for HomePod owners. With iOS 18, users can finally stream Spatial Audio over AirPlay.

Spatial Audio over AirPlay with iOS 18

AirPlay is Apple’s wireless protocol for transmitting high-quality audio and video between devices. Apple TV and HomePod come with AirPlay built-in, while Apple also lets third parties include the technology in their products – such as Smart TVs and speakers.

However, a major complaint from users about AirPlay is the lack of the ability to stream Spatial Audio. So if you’re watching a movie or listening to a song with Dolby Atmos enabled on your iPhone and want to listen to it on an AirPlay-compatible device, the system will automatically switch to stereo audio.

“AirPlay adds Spatial Audio so users can get an immersive audio experience, including support for Dolby Atmos, when using AirPlay to stream audio from iPhone and iPad to HomePod and compatible third-party audio equipment,” Apple says on its website.

The new feature comes in handy especially for owners of third-party speakers such as Sonos, who had to use a proprietary app to get access to Spatial Audio streaming.

Both iOS 18 and tvOS 18 are currently available as beta for developers. A public beta will be released next month, while the official launch is set for this fall.

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Spatial Audio now works over AirPlay with iOS 18

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