Apple spatial audio takes 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos signals and applies directional audio filters, adjusting the frequencies that each ear hears so that sounds can be placed virtually anywhere in 3D space. Sounds will appear to be coming from in front of you, from the sides, the rear and even above. The idea is to recreate the audio experience of a cinema. This is not the first technology of its type. Dolby Atmos for Headphones has been around for some time now, while Sony has its 360 Reality Audio format for music, delivers 3D audio in some PS4 games via its Platinum Wireless Headset, and has gone big on 3D audio for the PS5. Apple’s spatial audio is unique, though, at least where movie soundtracks are concerned, in that it doesn’t only provide virtualised surround and Atmos sound, it also tracks your head movement using accelerometers and gyroscopes in the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max in order to position the sound accurately, and even tracks the position of the iPhone or iPad that you’re watching on so that sound is also placed relative to the screen. This means that even if you turn your head or reposition your device, dialogue will still be anchored to the actor on the screen.