Spatial Audio head tracking coming to Pixel Buds Pro
9to5Google has discovered that Google is putting the finishing touches for enabling Spatial Audio head tracking on the Pixel Buds Pro. To recap, Google brought Spatial Audio support to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series last month with its January 2023 update. Theoretically, Spatial Audio works with any headphones and earbuds, Bluetooth-enabled or otherwise. However, Google confirmed that head tracking would only be available when pairing its recent flagship smartphones with the Pixel Buds Pro.
Google has not outlined when the feature will land on its flagship earbuds, but a recent Pixel Buds app update now contains the changes necessary to enable head tracking from a Pixel device. As the images below show, Google will provide an overview of how the technology works, rather than leaving you to your own devices in order to determine when head tracking is better than stereo audio. Seemingly, you cannot use head tracking with Spatial Audio disabled.
The Pixel Buds Pro will require a firmware update to utilise Head tracking. 9to5Google speculates that Google could roll this change into its next Pixel Feature Drop, which is expected to arrive in March with the finalisation of Android 13 QPR2. There is no guarantee that this will be the case though; the Pixel Buds Pro received their most recent update four months ago outside of a Feature Drop release.
9to5Google via GSMArena