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Android 13 May Bring Spatial Audio To Pixel Devices

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After a few months of developer preview, Android 13 is now available publicly to Pixel users. The first beta build went live yesterday and we can already see tons of new features and improvements. Hidden underneath is a premium audio feature that Google is long rumored to be working on. We are talking about spatial audio, a 3D audio tech already found in iPhones.

According to Mishaal Rahman of Esper.io, Android 13 Beta 1 brings a spatializer effect to the Pixel 6. But that’s not the only new audio feature that Google is working on. Digging deeper into the Android code, Rahman found a shared library file for spatial audio in the “soundfx” folder (via Android Police). This suggests spatial audio is coming to Pixel phones.

For the uninitiated, spatial audio adds 3D effects to the audio coming from a device, enabling a cinema-like listening experience. It adjusts the sound direction based on the movement of your device, head, or the source of sound in the supported video.

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Google might be finally nearing launching the spatial audio feature

Reports of Google developing a spatial audio solution have been doing rounds for some time now. The company has made several audio-related acquisitions over the past year and a half and that expectedly fueled the speculations.

The run started in December 2020 when Google acquired parts of the audio hardware business from its longtime partner Synaptics. It got the firm’s audio patents and also brought over some staff. This was followed by the acquisition of a startup called Dysonics, which specializes in 3D audio, in the same month. Google bought the firm’s IP and patents.

In early 2021, Google added defunct Austin-based startup RevX Technologies to its audio tech pool. The firm had developed a portable device for performing musicians that allowed them to optimize in-ear monitors. In May 2021, Google acquired French audio wearables startup Tempow.

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These acquisitions are certainly part of a big audio plan from Google. It appears spatial audio for Pixel devices would be the first major outcome of this plan. Unfortunately, there’s no way to confirm if and when this feature will be available to users. Android 13 Beta 1 didn’t include it and it’s anyone’s guess whether the second beta build will bring it. Perhaps at this point, we can’t even tell whether spatial audio will be part of the stable Android 13 release later this year. But we will closely monitor this development and will keep you posted accordingly.