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Apple Music Sessions
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Tech tips

Have an iPhone, iPad or Mac? How to watch free concerts this summer

The early stages of the pandemic meant no more attending live performances. This hit particularly hard for regular concertgoers. Many artists pleased fans with virtual performances that gave them their live music fix.

Fortunately, you can get something close to a live concert experience at home thanks to Apple’s spatial audio. You get a 3D sound that seems like it’s coming from different directions, as you would experience in a movie theater or concert hall. Tap or click here to get more out of Apple Music.

It was only a matter of time before Apple devised a way to compete with the live, exclusive performances offered by Spotify Sessions. The Cupertino Company is striking back with Apple Music Sessions and bringing its audio wizardry along for the show.

It’s like you’re there

Apple’s spatial audio creates a virtual 3D surround sound effect in your headphones. It’s available for thousands of songs on Apple Music and will now be offered for exclusive live performances.

Apple Music Sessions gives artists a space to perform songs from their catalog and cover new ones. The performances are filmed, offering live music videos to Apple Music subscribers. All songs from these sessions are available to watch or listen to in spatial audio.

Apple launched the series with performances from Carrie Underwood and Tenille Townes out of the company’s state-of-the-art studios in Nashville. Upcoming concerts will feature more country stars such as Ronnie Dunn and Ingrid Andress.

Not a fan of country music? No problem! Apple is expanding Music Sessions into other genres in the future.

RELATED: Need some calm? Listen to the sounds of forests around the world

How to get spatial audio

To get spatial audio, you’ll need the following compatible headphones: AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, AirPods (3rd generation) or Beats Fit Pro.

You’ll also need the following Apple devices:

  • iPhone 7 or newer running iOS 14 or later.
  • 3rd generation iPad Pro or newer, 3rd generation iPad Air or newer, 6th generation iPad or newer and the 5th generation iPad Mini or newer running iPadOS 14 or later.
  • Apple silicon Macs, such as the M1 MacBook Air, the 14-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro or the Mac Studio. You also need to make sure that you’re running macOS Monterey.

Next, you need to turn on spatial audio on your iPhone or iPad:

  • Ensure you’re wearing a pair of the compatible headphones listed above and that they’re paired to your device.
  • Open Control Center.
  • Touch and hold the volume control to turn on spatial audio.
  • When you turn on spatial audio with head tracking, audio adjusts based on your head movement. To turn on spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, tap Head Tracked. To turn on spatial audio only, tap Fixed. To turn off spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, tap Off.

Here’s how to turn on spatial audio on your Mac:

  • Ensure you’re wearing a pair of the compatible headphones listed above and that they’re paired to your computer.
  • Click the AirPods or Beats icon in the menu bar to see Spatial Audio listed while you’re playing supported content.
  • Click Head Tracked to turn on spatial audio and dynamic head tracking. To turn on spatial audio only, click Fixed. To turn off spatial audio and dynamic head tracking, click Off.

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