Windows Sonic for Headphones

What is Windows Sonic for Headphones [Activate it]

Microsoft’s Windows Sonic technology for headphones is a technology that makes use of spatial sounds to improve a user’s listening experience. In this post, we will explore further details to help you understand what is Windows sonic for headphones? How it works, associated pros & cons, and much more. Keep reading to find out.

What is Windows Sonic for headphones? Windows Sonic is an audio technology based on the simulation of everyday sounds in the environment. Microsoft added the Windows Sonic feature on Windows 10 and also added it on its Xbox One. It uses spatial sounds that give listeners a more lively sound experience. But how exactly does this audio technology work? Find the details below.

How Windows Sonic for Headphones works

How Windows Sonic For Headphones Works

Windows Sonic for headphones analyzes sound directions using spatial good technology to create a larger soundscape for earphones and place them in a surround sound. The technique gives the impression of sounds from a distance, like real-life sounds in your surroundings.

Windows Sonic is anchored on three main concepts:

  • Head-related transfer function (HRTF): The concept simulates how you hear the sound, depending on its source and head position. This headphone is a great option if you need more room to place your real surround sound speaker.
  • 3D object-based audio: This concept concentrates the sound in three virtual dimensional spaces, giving you a mesmeric listening experience.
  • Sound processing creates a spatial sound by changing the audio signals and replicating a real-life audio experience from one’s environment.

The Advantages of Using Windows Sonic for Headphones.

The concept of Windows Sonic for headphones packs a great deal of advantages. Some of these include:

  • Ease setup process and use: It takes mere minutes to activate this technology, and it is ready for use on your headsets—no complex setup procedures.
  • Compatible with many headphones: Though proprietary, Windows Sonic is available with just about any headphone. It’s that compatible and flexible.
  • Powerful and immersive audio: By simulating everyday audio, Windows Sonic for headphones gives you an excellent sound experience, like at the movies.
  • Free to use: Windows Sonic for headphones is preinstalled in Windows 10 & 11 and Xbox One gaming consoles. And for all the quality audio it offers, Microsoft’s Windows Sonic for headphones is free.

The Disadvantages of Using Windows Sonic for Headphones.

Besides all the pros, Windows Sonic for Headphones has a few disadvantages besides all the pros. Some of these include:

  • It’s only available on headphones: You can only make the most of this high-end technology if you use a headset for listening to your audio. It won’t work with ordinary speakers on laptops or desktop computers.
  • Lower sound quality: Compared to other audio processing software, its output quality is comparatively low, especially when it comes to non-headphone speakers.
  • Not built for spatial sounds: Windows Sonic for headphones does not offer the best output, especially for spatial sounds, because the technology is mastered and formatted for some audio channels (7.1 spatial sound channel) and not others.

When should you use Windows Sonic for Headphones?

A couple of instances suit the use of Windows Sonic for headphones. Some of these include:

  1. When video gaming: The technique is ideal and best suited to enhancing sound patterns in video games, making the entire experience more immersive.
  2. At the movies: The spatial sound technology used is often based on a combination of audio channels, including but not limited to 5.1 and 7.1, for a memorable sound experience.

How to activate Windows Sonic for headphones on PC

It’s worth mentioning that Windows Sonic for headphones isn’t active by default. The user has to activate it before getting to experience it. Here is a breakdown of the steps to get it done:

Step 1: Go to the start menu and click on settings > system >

Step 2: You will see an option for related sounds. Click to get to the sound control panel.

sound control panel

Step 3: Choose your preferred playback device.

Step 4: Right-click on the properties tab and choose the spatial sound

Step 5: On the next screen, under the Spatial Sound Format option, select Windows Sonic for headphones.

Windows Sonic for headphones

Step 6: Select Apply, and you are done.

It's simple, and you have successfully activated Windows Sonic for headphones on your personal computer.

How to Activate Windows Sonic for Headphones on Xbox One

To enable Windows Sonic on Xbox One, proceed as follows:

  • Open the menu and click on Settings, then Audio Devices and Audio Output.
  • Then you’ll get another menu. From the “Stereo Uncompressed” option, click on Windows Sonic for Headphones.
  • Lastly, select Windows Sonic.

Which Headphones have the best spatial sound features?

Sony WH-1000XM4

Currently, most popular headphone manufacturers are working to incorporate spatial sound in their headphones. The top three headphone brands with spatial sound qualities are:

  1. Sony WH-1000XM4. It gives you a high-quality sound that effectively wraps around your headspace. According to its users, it provides a more natural sound effect, unlike other headphones.
  2. Sony WF-1000XM4. It’s a wireless headphone that costs $279, cheaper than the over-the-ear headphone set.
  3. Apple AirPods Max. These headphones have the best integration with the iPhone. They have some spatial audio features that are easy to activate as you adjust the volume lever on the home menu when paired.

Requirements to use Spatial Sound

So, what exactly does it take to make the most of spatial sound? It turns out that you need pretty some investments, but not much. Luckily, various media options support this feature. Some of these are mixed with Atmos, including HBO Max, Amazon, and Netflix. In addition, Tidal, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited also offer spatial audio media.

Most intelligent gadgets have built-in Atmos features that support Windows sonic audio output channels.

Pro Tip!

Besides Windows Sonic for headphones, other available spatial sounds include Dolby Atmos for Home Theatre and Dolby Atmos for headphones. At the same time, Windows Sonic for headphones is compatible with a wide range of headsets. On the other hand, Dolby Atmos is only supported by a handful of gadgets.


Now that you know what Windows Sonic is for headphones, we can comfortably wrap up this guide. However, if something isn’t clear regarding this tool, you can always drop us a comment, and we will be more than ready to assist you further.

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