The Pixel Buds Pro’s head-tracked spatial audio is a wonderful, useless tech

Google Pixel Buds next to Pixel 7 Pro showing Spatial Audio settings with head tracking enabled

Credit: Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Opinion post by
Rita El Khoury

I put the Google Pixel Buds Pro in my ears, pick a YouTube video with spatial audio, leave the phone on the desk in front of me, and roll away on my revolving desk chair. I let go and start spinning. Whichever direction I want, whichever way the sound takes me. I stop, change midway, slow down, speed up, and yet the sound remains suspended in the space around me. It kind of feels like magic.

At one point, I close my eyes because the dissociation between my real environment and what my ears are hearing is too weird. How can I be moving (and so are the Pixel Buds in my ears), but the sound is still palpably in the same place? It feels like there is an entire immobile surround system all around me.

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