Spatial audio sounds fun on paper, but it invites pesky issues — latency being paramount! To address this, Google built exceptional spatial audio and head-tracking features right into Android 13's core. These features, albeit intended to add spatial attributes to the audio early on in the signal chain and counter latency to a reasonable degree, cock a snoot at low-quality audio sources.
To relish spatial audio on an Android phone, you would need content certified for Dolby Atmos (or Audio) or structured in tune with a 5.1 surround sound setup. Additionally, you would need a really good (read: god-tier) Android flagship to use the feature well.
Former never-settler, OnePlus, is taking charge to resolve this using a bespoke "spatial rendering algorithm" that "takes the spatial audio feature to the next [FUCKING] level" by "creating multi-dimensional sound from mainstream audio and video apps."
In laymanspeak, the Buds Pro 2 will upscale audio from any regular source and suit it for an immersive, enveloping, spatial experience. Irrespective of the source, OnePlus claims the audio will be suited to sound spatially dope on these earbuds. Alongside separate drivers for bass and treble, this optimization could make these earbuds take immersive to a whole new level, but this is definitely going to cost you dearly.
We wait until the OnePlus 11's launch next month to try this feature out and see how it fares against the hype. To learn more about why that matters, read my report, OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Will Support Android 13's Spatial Audio at SlashGear.