While tvOS hasn’t changed much in recent years, this year, with tvOS 15, Apple added two important new features for Apple TV users: Spatial Audio when using AirPods and full HomePod mini support.
There’s no new interface, no new apps, or even any new Aerial screensavers in tvOS 15, but I’ve been testing the new version of the operating system on my Apple TV, and I must say, I’m pretty happy with what we get with this year’s update.
Let’s talk about how good Spatial Audio is. There are many things I don’t like about the AirPods Max, but I really love using them to watch content on my iPad because of the immersive sound experience. It really makes me feel like I’m watching a movie in the theater.
However, having to use the iPad to experience this feature just didn’t feel right. TV seems like the perfect place to watch something with 360-degree sound right in your ears. I couldn’t be more right — it’s amazing to watch a movie or TV show with Dolby sound coming from your headphones. This has become another good reason to have an Apple TV at home if you don’t already have one…
tvOS 15 will let users set a stereo pair of HomePod mini as the default speaker for an Apple TV… users don’t have to choose the HomePods from the AirPlay list every time they want to use it for listening to a song or watching a movie… Sure, HomePod mini doesn’t have all that fancy hardware with multiple internal speakers and spatial awareness like the big one, but a stereo pair of HomePod mini definitely sounds a lot better than the built-in speakers of many TVs.
MacDailyNews Take: If you don’t yet have an Apple TV 4K, it’s definitely the time to get one, especially now that is comes with a real Siri Remote and will soon get even better, at no extra cost, with tvOS 15!