How to turn off / on the Head Tracking feature on iPhone running iOS 15

iOS 15 is finally out to the public and users around the world are getting their hands on the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. New features that you can experience are Focus, SharePlay, Live Listen, Siri notifications, Background Sounds, and many more. Among the new additions to the OS is Head Tracking , a feature that mimics the listening experience with the experience of a real concert.

When you install iOS 15 , Head Tracking will be enabled by default on your iPhone at the time you connect your AirPods to your iPhone. If you want to turn this feature off and go back to the usual way of listening to music or other sounds, you have the option to do that. In this post, we will help you do just that. 

What is Head Tracking on iOS 15?

With iOS 15, Apple rolled out a new feature for its AirPods users – Head Tracking with Spacial Audio. Head tracking uses sensors built into the AirPods to create a virtual space around the source of the sound, in this case the iPhone. As you move around the room, iOS tracks the movement relative to your iPhone and changes the way sound is played in both ears. 

This feature has been developed to simulate the experience of going to a live concert right within the confines of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max. For example, if you are facing your iPhone and tilt your head to the left side, the sound in the right ear will have a higher volume level. Similarly, if you move your head to the right, the sound will be more prominent on the left ear. 

At the time of writing, you can use iOS’ new Head Tracking feature when you’re listening to songs or podcasts on Apple Music. We can expect Head Tracking support to come to other Apple apps as well as third-party apps soon. Since head tracking is an AirPods-focused feature, we can expect support. 

How to turn off Head Tracking on iOS

There are two ways you can turn off Head Tracking on iOS 15; one using the Settings app and the other using the Control Center on the iPhone. 

Method #01: Use Control Center

When AirPods are connected to your iPhone, you can swipe down from the top to open Control Center, then tap and hold the volume levels on the screen. 

This will expand the Volume controls on the screen. If AirPods are connected, you’ll see additional stereo options at the bottom. To turn off Head Tracking, slide your finger off ‘Head Tracking’.

How to turn off / on the Head Tracking feature on iPhone running iOS 15

Choose option 3 given above to disable Spatial Sound and thus Head Tracking.

Method #02: Use the Settings app

The most basic way to turn off Head Tracking, as you’d expect, is to use the Settings app on iOS. For this, open the Settings app on your iPhone and select ‘Accessibility’. 

On the next screen, select your AirPods or the audio device for which you have Head Tracking turned on. 

Scroll down on the next screen and disable the ‘Spatial Sound’ option by tapping its toggle (green) button.

How to turn off / on the Head Tracking feature on iPhone running iOS 15

Head Tracking will now be disabled for your selected AirPods. If you have more than one AirPod with you, you’ll have to disable Head Tracking on each one. 

How to disable Head Tracking for currently playing Audio only

Well, using the Control Center method provided above, choose the first option above. This way, Spatial Sound and its Head Tracking feature will remain enabled on the headset, but not for the current audio.

That’s all we need to know about how to turn off Head Tracking on iOS. 

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