Does the Sony WH-1000XM5 support Apple spatial audio?

Apple Spatial Audio is an immersive audio technology that aims to enhance your listening experience by creating a three-dimensional soundstage. While it’s primarily associated with Apple’s own AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, many users wonder whether third-party headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5 are compatible with this feature. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of Apple Spatial Audio and its compatibility with the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones.

Understanding Apple Spatial Audio

Apple Spatial Audio is a technology that leverages spatial audio processing and dynamic head tracking to create a 3D audio experience. When used with compatible headphones or earphones, Spatial Audio aims to mimic the way sound behaves in the real world. This means that sound sources appear to come from distinct directions, adding depth and immersion to your audio content.

Key Features of Apple Spatial Audio:

  1. Dynamic Head Tracking: Apple devices use sensors like the gyroscope and accelerometer to track the position of your head and adjust the direction of sound accordingly, creating a realistic and stable audio environment.
  2. Content Compatibility: Spatial Audio is supported on a range of Apple devices, and content providers such as Apple TV+ and Disney+ offer content with spatial audio capabilities. The technology works with various types of audio, including movies, TV shows, music, and video games.
  3. AirPods Compatibility: Apple’s own AirPods Pro and AirPods Max are designed with Spatial Audio in mind, providing a seamless and optimized experience.

Sony WH-1000XM5 and Apple Spatial Audio Compatibility

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Apple Spatial Audio was primarily optimized for use with Apple’s own audio products, including the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. These devices are equipped with the necessary sensors and firmware to provide the full Spatial Audio experience on Apple devices.

However, it’s important to note that Apple has been expanding support for Spatial Audio to select third-party headphones. To ensure compatibility with your Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones, you should consider the following:

  1. Device Compatibility: Spatial Audio works with Apple devices running iOS 14 and later, as well as macOS Big Sur and later. Ensure your Apple device is updated to a compatible operating system.
  2. App Compatibility: Some streaming apps like Apple TV+ and Disney+ have integrated support for Spatial Audio. Using these apps on a compatible device can provide the Spatial Audio experience.
  3. Firmware Updates: Occasionally, manufacturers release firmware updates for their headphones to enable compatibility with Spatial Audio. Check if Sony has released any firmware updates for the WH-1000XM5 headphones that include Spatial Audio support.
  4. User Experience: Keep in mind that while some third-party headphones may work with Spatial Audio, the experience may not be as optimized as it is with Apple’s own devices. Features like dynamic head tracking may not be fully supported.


As of my last knowledge update, the compatibility of the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones with Apple Spatial Audio may depend on various factors, including firmware updates and app integration. While it’s possible that these headphones can work with Spatial Audio to some extent, the best experience is still achieved with Apple’s own AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. To determine the current status of compatibility, it’s advisable to check for official updates from both Apple and Sony as well as user feedback regarding Spatial Audio performance with the WH-1000XM5 headphones.

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