Fans of Apple Music with Roku devices would be happy to know that they already have access to the music streaming platform as an application in the Roku Channel Store. However, this excitement will quickly turn into disappointment when they learned that Roku’s Apple Music lacks the platform’s best feature, Spatial Audio.
While the Roku update brings over 90 million songs and 30,000 selected playlists to the owners of the brand’s TV streaming devices (or those who own Roku TV), missing Spatial Audio is a shame.
This means that anyone who wants to stream Apple Music through their Roku device misses the unique 3D audio provided by Apple’s Spatial Audio technology, and with the amount of content available in this format, it’s growing all the time, bothering users. having access to these songs seems like a strange decision.
When Spatial Audio is done correctly, it can have a transformative effect on the way we perceive music – even albums we may have heard hundreds of times. Placing the various instruments in the virtual realm – which are then precisely spatial thanks to the intelligent head tracking technology in the AirPods Max, AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro headphones – gives each element of the song the room it needs to shine.
This means you can hear things you may have never noticed before, making your favorite songs sound brand new again. Sometimes the effect is so compelling that it feels like you’re sitting right there in the studio with the bands you love.
Of course, Spatial Audio doesn’t work for every piece of music, but it’s a huge selling point for Apple Music and something that sets it apart from other streaming services like Spotify – and that’s not all Roku device owners will miss. .
There will be no support for Lossless Audio, so you won’t get the highest quality streams (even if you have a pair of high-end stereo speakers connected to your TV). Again, this means that you may not be able to hear every element of the music you love, which is a big deal for all audiophiles.
These omissions are not unique to Roku. In 2021, the PS5 finally received support for Apple Music, with users previously limited to Spotify if they wanted to choose their own music for the soundtrack of their gaming sessions.
Again, the Apple Music app on the PS5 does not support surround audio. Although Sony did not give us a reason for this, we speculated at the time that it may have thought there were too many technological hurdles to jump over to deliver spatial audio to Apple Music subscribers.
After all, you need to use a pair of compatible Apple or Beats headphones to enjoy the shape, which would require connecting a Bluetooth adapter to the PS5 – you can’t just connect a pair of wireless headphones to the console.
It’s a little easier to do this with Roku devices thanks to a feature called Private Listening, which allows you to hear your content through your wireless headphones using the Roku smartphone app – you just need to pair your headphones with your smartphone via Bluetooth.
There is a fairly simple solution for anyone who wants to use a pair of wireless headphones with their Roku device – which makes it even more confusing that the company would not make Spatial Audio available for its new Apple Music application.
Maybe Roku thought it was unnecessary – after all, if you’re pairing your headphones with your smartphone anyway, why not just use the Apple Music app on your phone to access surround audio? Why bother doing it on your TV?
The answer lies in Dolby Atmos soundbars and speakers. You may have one connected to your Roku TV or streaming device, which means you need to be able to play surround sound recordings from Apple Music in a voice-filled sound.
Well, you would be able to if Roku’s Apple Music actually made it possible. For now, you’ll have to stick to the smartphone app – which again makes the new Roku update feel a little pointless at the moment.