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Old 06-14-2021, 07:48 PM   #76
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A lot of the reviewers were adamant about SA turning non-SA songs bad, so I’m not sure why they are saying that if the non-SA songs are not being converted to SA. Maybe the reviewers are just full of it. That is often the case! Although “Always On” would seem to indicate that everything gets played in SA, much like “Enable Dolby Vision” displays everything to Dolby Vision. At any rate, I’m not an Apple Music customer so SA isn’t on my list of features to care about.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:22 PM   #77
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Automatic will play spatial audio for supported headphones like the Airpods automatically. Always On is required for it to work with non-supported headphones. Always On only works on spatial audio songs. You don't want to use it on normal unsupported stereo speakers, doesn't sound good and it can't tell the difference between 3.5mm headphones and 3.5mm speakers.
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Old 06-15-2021, 01:18 AM   #78
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Yes, thanks, I remember reading that now, but it isn’t explained at all in the Settings themselves.
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:50 AM   #79
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Menus and options are not always intuitive! Apple, and other companies too, or getting really bad at not explaining what menu options actually do. Take the ATV 4K video formatting settings. Talk about a lot of confusion! You basically have to experiment and test out the various options to see how each works with itself and in conjunction with other options.

Like I suspected then, a lot of the negative reviews stating that SA was ruining some songs that are not recorded in it, those reviewers must either be ignorant of the settings and how to set it up, or they just hear what they expected to hear, or they might even have found a few glitches in the system.

I think, from what I understand about SA, which is limited of course, that a lot depends on the talent of the sound engineers when they mix a song into the SA format. And of course the talent of the musicians has to be considered. The SA format is much more complex than stereo. Some will be good at creating content with it, others will not.
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Old 06-15-2021, 02:51 PM   #80
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On a podcast I listen to, they said that iOS 15 beta had an option for the volume control in Control Panel that let you turn on SA mode for whatever you happened to be listening to. They tried it out with a podcast and described it as sounding ‘weird’ (but were otherwise liking SA with Music). Of course we don’t know if that’s a feature that will actually ship in its current form.
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Old 06-15-2021, 03:20 PM   #81
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The SA reviews I was reading were from a iOS 15 beta testing forum, so that might explain some of the weirdness they were reporting. Beta just started, so like you said, who knows what they will keep, modify, or throw at before the final release.

I’m not that much into audio tech, but I would like to read an in depth discussion from audio engineers on SA so I can see what all is involved. Apple won’t ever give us that level of detail. I’m just curious about it. There are a lot of things the audio folks can do these days to improve sound quality and also improve the ability to here sounds for those of us with hearing issues. Sony has a mode they use to enhance sounds that older people have trouble hearing, that is why I use their equipment as much as I do. It makes it easier to understand conversations in movies and shows. Hopefully one day SA might have some similar options.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:47 PM   #82
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Yes, so far Apple seems to leave hearing issue mitigation to 3rd parties. But hearing issues are widespread, if not always severe enough to merit specialized equipment. There’s a lot that could be done beyond just adjusting R/L balance or setting sound to Mono or whatever Headphone Accommodations is capable of, Conversation Boost etc.

But as far as specialized equipment, there are a bewildering number of MFi hearing devices:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210386

Last edited by tomsem; 06-15-2021 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 06-16-2021, 12:20 AM   #83
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Listen to Background Sounds for Relaxation

This is a new feature in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

To enable select Settings—>Accessibility —>Audio/Visual —>Background Sounds, then on the Background Sounds screen:
  1. Turn ON Background Sounds.
  2. Click Sound and chose an option from Balanced Noise, Bright Noise, Dark Noise, Ocean, Rain, or Stream.

Hopefully it can be toggled On/Off with Siri or a shortcut.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:12 AM   #84
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Listen to Background Sounds for Relaxation

This is a new feature in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

To enable select Settings—>Accessibility —>Audio/Visual —>Background Sounds, then on the Background Sounds screen:
  1. Turn ON Background Sounds.
  2. Click Sound and chose an option from Balanced Noise, Bright Noise, Dark Noise, Ocean, Rain, or Stream.

Hopefully it can be toggled On/Off with Siri or a shortcut.
Interesting. I've already got Naturespace and have used it for quite a few years. Work well. I've bought quite a few tracks in it over the years.

Normally, I'll put the developer beta on various devices just to see what it's like and then remove it when I hit something that I need that just doesn't work and wait until some time in August for them to stomp most of the bug. Monterey is very solid for everything I use my laptop for.
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:18 AM   #85
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Interesting. I've already got Naturespace and have used it for quite a few years. Work well. I've bought quite a few tracks in it over the years.
I’ve got the app Whitenoise on my iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 2020. It has several ambient sounds and can be used as a clock display too. I used to use it at night to drown out all the neighborhood noise, especially the dogs which like to talk smack to each other during the night. But now I rarely use it, opting to use a similar app on one of my Amazon Echos instead. The Echo has better sound and I don't have to worry about wearing out the battery since it doesn't have one.

Last edited by OtinG; 06-16-2021 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:33 PM   #86
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I’ve got the app Whitenoise on my iPad mini 5 and iPad Air 2020. It has several ambient sounds and can be used as a clock display too. I used to use it at night to drown out all the neighborhood noise, especially the dogs which like to talk smack to each other during the night. But now I rarely use it, opting to use a similar app on one of my Amazon Echos instead. The Echo has better sound and I don't have to worry about wearing out the battery since it doesn't have one.
As long as you have your iPhone or iPad hooked up to the charger, it doesn't use the battery either. I always use my iPhone with a mophie battery, which means I rarely use the internal battery. I have some very aged iPhones whose original battery still works fine years later because of that. I always put my iPhone on the charger when I go to bed at night.
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Old 06-17-2021, 01:11 PM   #87
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HomePod has had this feature (play ambient sounds like ocean, forest, rain) for awhile. Don’t know why they cannot add this to Siri for other platforms instead of burying it in Accessibility.
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Old 06-17-2021, 01:41 PM   #88
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HomePod has had this feature (play ambient sounds like ocean, forest, rain) for awhile. Don’t know why they cannot add this to Siri for other platforms instead of burying it in Accessibility.
My thought too. Hopefully it can be activated via Siri once it is set up in Accessibility.

I probably won't use it much, if any, but I certainly don't want to have to go deep into the Accessibility menu to do so. But my iPhone and both iPads don't have good enough speakers to listen to it directly via speakers, so I would either have to hookup a BT speaker to one of them or use earbuds/headset, which I certainly won't do at night. It is much easier to ask Alexa to play its version on my Echo Plus which has a good speaker system.
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:34 PM   #89
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My thought too. Hopefully it can be activated via Siri once it is set up in Accessibility.

I probably won't use it much, if any, but I certainly don't want to have to go deep into the Accessibility menu to do so. But my iPhone and both iPads don't have good enough speakers to listen to it directly via speakers, so I would either have to hookup a BT speaker to one of them or use earbuds/headset, which I certainly won't do at night. It is much easier to ask Alexa to play its version on my Echo Plus which has a good speaker system.
FWIW, I haven’t found these sounds very useful in helping get to sleep, nor do ‘Sleep’ playlists. But an audiobook with a droning narrator can put me down in no time flat.
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:02 PM   #90
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FWIW, I haven’t found these sounds very useful in helping get to sleep, nor do ‘Sleep’ playlists. But an audiobook with a droning narrator can put me down in no time flat.
If I were to use this feature on my iPhone XR, it would be a scenario such as sitting in a noisy waiting room so I could read a book without distraction. I hate being in a waiting room having to listen to multiple conversations around me as that is very distracting. Plus there always seems to be someone in a waiting room who puts their phone on speaker and talks loudly.

They don’t make me sleepy either, but they do a good job of drowning out irregular noises from my house and from the neighborhood. I’m one of those people that has a difficult time falling asleep if there are too my noises, especially irregular ones. Ambient sound can drown those out by creating a consistent sound with a predictable frequency and volume.
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