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iOS 15 adds head-turning Apple Music feature for some AirPods owners

Apple’s iOS 15 operating system arrived on Monday and with it comes a long-requested feature for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max owners within Apple Music.

Installing the new operating system update unlocks the dynamic head-tracking feature within Apple Music, which is an extension of the fantastic spatial audio feature that landed this summer.

It’s a nice bonus for AirPods Max and AirPods Pro owners, a little reminder for those who don’t have them, and a disappointment for those who own the standard AirPods. Given those basic AirPods are set for an imminent refresh, the feature may be part of that release.

Apple had previously promised the feature would arrive this autumn, but until now we didn’t know it was going to be part of iOS 15. Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos arrived independently of a major iOS update, for example.

“Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking in Apple Music brings an even more immersive experience to Dolby Atmos music with AirPods Pro and AirPods Max,” Apple said in yesterday’s release notes.

So what is dynamic head tracking anyway? Well, the feature locks the audio soundscape in place for an experience even more immersive than the current spatial audio tech. When you turn your head, for example, the music won’t follow you, it’ll remain in place.

The feature somewhat replicates the feeling of being at a concert, for example. So, if you turn your head to speak to a friend, the way you experience the sound will naturally be a little different.

In a support document Apple explains: “It brings music to life by delivering sound that dynamically adjusts as you turn your head. And you can experience spatial audio with dynamic head tracking on AirPods Pro and AirPods Max with a compatible iPhone or iPad.”

Previously only some Apple Music videos had supported dynamic head tracking, so it’ll be interesting to see how this works with audio-only tracks. So far, the reaction on social media is quite mixed.

Have you sampled dynamic head tracking with iOS 15? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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