With tvOS 15, Apple brings Spatial Audio to Apple TV when the set-top box is used with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. It has been unclear how this feature will work because Apple TV does not have a U1 chip for main tracking purposes, but Apple recently provided an explanation for Engadget.
When watching a TV show or movie on Apple TV, the main tracking function (powered by AirPods Pro or Max) detects that you have looked in the same direction, calculates your probable main direction and activates the spatial sound effect. If you get up, it will be reactivated.
When you sit down to watch a movie or TV show, the supplied main tracking feature locks in when it detects that you’ve been looking in the same direction for some time. When you get up to walk around, it is reactivated.
Spatial sound works with stereo, 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos content, and connecting AirPods to an Apple TV running tvOS 15 has been streamlined. When you have AirPods and are near Apple TV, you will see a popup on the screen that allows you to connect with a click of the remote control.
Spatial Audio is designed to provide a theater-like listening experience with sound that seems to come from everything around you. tvOS 15 also gets new SharePlay features to watch TV with friends via FaceTime calls and support pairing two HomePod mini speakers to an Apple TV.