A number of companies have focused on spatial audio technology in recent months. From Dolby Atmos to Apple’s recent Music update, the higher-quality sound experience has been making headlines as it’s become integrated into more devices and services. Verizon threw its hat into the ring Wednesday, announcing what it calls Adaptive Sound.
The new feature will be integrated on a platform level on the devices Verizon sells. It’ll debut on the $300 (converts to about £220 or AU$400) Motorola One 5G UW Ace, which is available Thursday. When it’s enabled, Adaptive Sound will offer an improved surround sound “regardless of what headphone or earbud brand you use or what application you’re watching or listening to.” Verizon says that this includes Dolby Atmos content, such as videos from Netflix or Disney Plus.
The Motorola One 5G UW Ace will be the first phone to ship with the carrier’s new Adaptive Sound.
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It’s theoretically hardware-agnostic, which suggests you won’t need to use a specific pair of headphones or app to enjoy the improvements. Verizon says the technology has been in testing since 2019, and that it takes advantage of “patented technology rooted in the science of human auditory perception.”
Verizon is making some lofty promises about what its new technology can do. It told CNET that Adaptive Sound can make cheap headphones sound as if they were “$100-plus headphones, with deeper bass, enhanced vocal presence, crisp treble and immersive spatial detail.”
Apple Music recently introduced spatial audio features, by contrast, which requires that you use the music streaming app and listen on an Apple TV 4K (either the 2017 or 2021 models), use AirPods or Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip or listen through the speakers on the latest iPhone, iPad or M1-equipped Macs.
Verizon says it will bring the technology to other phones in the future. Spokesman George Koroneos told CNET that the carrier will feature the technology on select upcoming Android devices at launch. He said it “plans to make this solution available on a broader portfolio of Verizon devices in subsequent releases.”
Some existing devices may also be getting the feature in an update, with Droid-Life reporting on Monday that it will be coming to the Motorola Edge Plus.
If you aren’t happy with the way the software makes your music, videos or other content sounds, Koroneos said you’ll be able to turn it off.