How To Use & Manage Spatial Audio When Sharing Audio in tvOS 17

  • Dive into shared Spatial Audio with tvOS 17 on Apple TV 4K.
  • Discover the immersive sound experience and its prerequisites.
  • Unlock a richer surround experience with the right headphones.
Spatial Audio when sharing audio airpods

Spatial Audio offers an immersive sound experience that seemingly places audio from various directions, enriching our perception of audio tracks. With tvOS 17, Apple has taken this feature a notch higher, allowing headphones to share this incredible Spatial Audio experience.

Can You Use Spatial Audio on Apple TV?

Absolutely! tvOS 17 introduces the capability for compatible headphones to not only connect but also to enjoy the multi-dimensional Spatial Audio tracks together.

Imagine watching a blockbuster with a friend, and the audio is so rich and encompassing that you’d swear it’s emanating from a high-end sound system. That’s the Spatial Audio magic! Especially with transparency mode activated, it’s a game-changer for shared audio experiences. Check out how to set up personalized Spatial Audio for your AirPods in iOS 16.


  • Device Requirement: Apple TV 4K.
  • Compatible Headphones:
    • AirPods 3
    • AirPods Pro (all generations)
    • AirPods Max
    • Beats Fit Pro
    • Beats Studio Pro

How To Set Up Spatial Audio When Sharing Audio in tvOS 17

Time needed: 2 minutes

  1. Connect your first headphone set to Apple TV 4K.

  2. Activate the Control Center using the Siri Remote’s TV button.

    control center button

  3. Within the audio menu, choose your first headphone set.

  4. To connect the second pair, bring them closer to your Apple TV and select Share Audio.

    share audio airpods

  5. Play content with Spatial Audio support, and immerse yourself in the experience!

Note that only Apple TV 4K supports Spatial Audio output; Apple TV HD misses out. If you’re keen on using Spatial Audio and head tracking simultaneously, that won’t work with shared audio.

Accessing Controls

To adjust your listening, invoke the Control Center. Here, not only will you find controls for both headphones, but you’ll also encounter Dolby Atmos settings tailored for Spatial Audio.

(Image Credit: Apple Support)

Features and Limitations


  • Automatic Pairing for Seamless Experience: Once you’ve connected the headphones, tvOS 17 ensures that every time you want to immerse yourself in a Spatial Audio track, both headphones will automatically synchronize to provide a harmonized auditory treat.
  • Universal Compatibility with Spatial Tracks: There’s no need to sift through tracks to find the ones that are Spatial Audio enabled. Every compatible track can be effortlessly played, ensuring a consistent and engaging experience.


  • Fixed Tracking during Sharing: While Spatial Audio is known for its dynamic response to head movements, this particular attribute takes a backseat during sharing. The audio will stay consistent in its spatial orientation, regardless of how you tilt or turn your head.
  • “Spatialize Stereo” Specificity: If you’re an audiophile who enjoys using the “Spatialize Stereo” toggle to elevate regular stereo tracks, note that this is purpose-built for stereo tracks only. It won’t bring its transformative touch to other audio formats.


How does head-tracked Spatial Audio work?

Head-tracked Spatial Audio responds to your head movements, making the audio sound like it’s coming from a fixed source, such as your device.

What is Spatial Audio (fixed vs. head-tracked)?

Fixed Spatial Audio maintains a consistent sound field, whereas head-tracked adjusts based on your head’s orientation to the device.

What’s the difference between stereo and Spatial Audio?

Stereo audio primarily splits audio between two channels, left and right. Spatial Audio, on the other hand, crafts a 3D sound environment, providing depth and directionality to the audio.


We’ve journeyed through the intricacies of tvOS 17’s enhanced Spatial Audio sharing, understanding its core features like automatic pairing and universal track compatibility. However, as with all technologies, there are nuances to navigate, such as the fixed tracking during shared sessions and the specific function of the “Spatialize Stereo” toggle.

The overarching promise is clear: an immersive, cinema-like auditory treat right in the comfort of your home. If you’ve been seeking a revolution in shared viewing, this is your moment. Ready to dive in? Give it a try, and share your reflections with the wider community. Your perspective can shape the next wave in audio evolution!

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