Spatial audio has arrived on Clubhouse: how to use it

Clubhouse is starting to experiment with spatial audio: when enabled, it allows you to locate a speaker within a room. Currently starting with iOS, Android unavailable

Spatial audio is starting to catch on outside of streaming content, such as music and movies: it's just arrived on Clubhouse's iOS app, and will be coming to the Android smartphone app in the future. The announcement is from Clubhouse itself, which communicated it via its official blog and a tweet.

The feature's release is already underway, so those who have the iOS app either already got it or will get it soon. As usual, Android users will have to wait longer, but it is well known that Clubhouse is mainly focused on the iOS world, as evidenced by the long wait before the launch of the Android app, which is in beta. The "spatial audio" on Clubhouse is news because this implementation is the first on a large scale outside of entertainment content and follows a little bit an equivalent function present in Horizon Workrooms, the virtual reality work video call launched a few days ago by Facebook. To use spatial audio on Workrooms, however, you'll need the Oculus Quest 2 visor while to use it on the Clubhouse iOS app you'll just need an iPhone and a headset compatible with the technology.

How spatial audio works on Clubhouse

Spatial audio, if available in the user's app, is enabled by default (but you can disable it, if you prefer).

Basically, thanks to spatialization of audio you'll have the feeling that each participant in the audio chat on Clubhouse occupies a physical place in a room. For an app that focuses on "virtual audio rooms" where you can chat about your passions with well-known influencers, such as Clubhouse, this is clearly a big news.

When will it arrive on Android

As for the arrival of spatial audio on Clubhouse for Android, the developer is still very vague: "coming soon". It's not yet known, then, when users who use audio chat from smartphones running Google's operating system will be able to use the feature and, more importantly, with what hardware.

For the iOS app, Clubhouse says that "Spatial audio works best with headphones, wired or not." Clubhouse released a video showing spatial audio in action, but playing it on regular stereo speakers, the result isn't all that exciting.

Apple has enabled spatial audio on a small number of devices: AirPods, AirPods Max and AirPods Pro among Apple's own headphones, BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro or Beats Studio Buds among third-party headphones.

We don't yet know if spatial audio will work on iPhones connected with other headphones and with what results. Much less can we speculate today about compatibility in the Android world.